How can I slow down an Exercise Machine

Dear all, I need some advice.

A kind neighbour has donated an old Inspiration Treadmill to us. I thought it would be helpful to my partner to do a little walking indoors whenever the weather is poor.

However, the slowest I can set the machine, 1 km/h, is still too fast for her and after about 10 seconds she has to stop.

I have approached the manufacturers and they think it is not possible to make it run slower than 1km/h.

I thought I might be able to hack’ the machine; perhaps try running it on 110 Volts instead of 220 V - Maplins do a converter - perhaps there’s some gearing I can change?

It seems odd that something that could be very useful for people with mobility issues, such as MS, cannot be adjusted to make them run slow enough to be useful to a wider range of people.

I’m going to start looking at it but if there are any engineers or electricians who could point me in the right direction, all ideas would be appreciated.

Kind regards,


dear John

To be honest, I really wouldn’t advise that you tamper with a machine which is not designed to be altered outside manufacturers specification, it could be very dangerous.

1km/h is super slow and I don’t know of any treadmill which goes at an even slower speed. Would your wife not get just the same benefits walking from one side of a room or hallway to the other several times at her own pace.

Or maybe if she gets tired after 10 seconds on the machine, perhaps she could just do short bursts of 10 seconds then stop for 20/30 secs and then do another 10 secs, etc. if this is possible for her.

Hope you can find a solution.

I’m not sure about the practicalities of doing it - especially if even the manufacturers doubt it’s possible.

But like Fudgey, I question whether a treadmill is suitable at all for someone whose walking speed is less than 1km an hour. I don’t think it’s just the speed. On a good day, I can walk about three miles in a mixed ability group - many older than me, yet not disabled. I’m usually about halfway up the field - neither leading, nor bringing up the rear. So that gives you an idea that my walking is still pretty good.

But I still doubt I could make good use of a treadmill. It has nothing to do with strength and endurance, but everything to do with balance and coordination. Somehow I can’t seem to adapt properly to the fact the ground is moving, and not me. I dislike escalators, moving pavements, and definitely treadmills, because they make me feel very unsteady.

Has your wife actually expressed enthusiasm for this, or is the initiative all coming from you? Or is it more a case of not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth,even though it seems, with hindsight, the gift might not have been suitable?

Can’t you put it on eBay, or would you be worried your neighbour would ask how your wife’s getting along with it, and you’d be put in a bit of a spot? The only other alternative would be to come clean and admit she’s really not able to use it, and ask if they’d like it back. If they say: “No problem, do what you like with it!”, you’re free to dispose of it as you wish, including donating it to someone better able to use it, or making a small amount of money from it.



l would put the treadmill on a local preloved site. And look to getting an Eliptical Trainer. They support you in a good upright position. Go at your speed - and have adjustable tension so that you can make it a bit harder when you get fitter. lt works the upper body as well as legs and back. And you do not have to get down on the ground to it like a rowing machine.

I agree with the above posters, I am a para athlete and still cannot run AT ALL on a treadmill. In fact its dangerous!! Foot drop, balance, co-ordination issues mean a treadmill is no good for us at all. I have almost had some nasty falls in the gym when I was in denial!! The advice from Fudgey about walking across the room seems best x As Tina and space jacket suggest - sell it!! Eltiptical trainers are okay, I personally find the rower best, but ideally shun all of it in favour or walking as best I can or running around a track x x


I agree with other posters: it’s not the right machine. If your kind neighbour is aware of your wife’s difficulties, I am sure that he/she won’t be offended when it disappears down the freecycle or similar route.

Many of us with MS, me included, find that some exercise machine that holds one’s feet in place is a good way of getting some aerobic exercise without falling over - rowing machines are great, or static bikes, for instance. But it varies from person to person, so your wife will know best what she feels comfortable with.

Good luck.