Can You Keep a Treadmill Outdoors?

treadmill
Two treadmills in a gym. (Image: uatp2/iStock/Getty Images)

Maintaining outdoor treadmills can be a challenge, but the rewards are well worth it. Using treadmills outdoors on your patio, porch or balcony gives you a safe and convenient place to walk or run while enjoying the pleasures and benefits of fresh air. The benefits of a home treadmill include a greater tendency to stick to your exercise plan as well as convenience, injury prevention and safety. Keeping outdoor treadmills clean and in good working helps ensure a safe, effective workout.

Step 1

Set a treadmill mat in a sheltered spot that is protected from the sun, and place your treadmill on top of it. Direct sunlight can damage the computer processor in your treadmill by causing it to overheat, so you need a spot that is fairly shady. Setting the treadmill on a mat helps control static electricity, as well as making it harder for dust and moisture to get up inside your treadmill motor from underneath.

Step 2

Place a carpenter's level on the front frame of your treadmill to make sure that your treadmill is not tilted. Being off-level can make the belt slip sideways over time, causing extra wear on it and on the rollers.

Step 3

Sweep your treadmill with a whisk broom before each use. This keeps dust and dirt from being ground into the belt where it can cause friction with the rollers.

Step 4

Wipe down the belt after each use with a damp shop cloth. Soap and other cleansers are not necessary and can damage the belt or the motor. Give the handgrips and control panel a quick wipe as well to keep dust, sweat and skin oils from soaking in.

Step 5

Blow out any dust or dirt that may have gotten into the motor with a can of compressed air. This should be done once a week or so because grit in the motor can ruin your treadmill.

Step 6

Cover your treadmill with a water-proof treadmill cover when you are not using it to help protect it from dust and weather. Many sporting goods stores carry them, or you can customize a cover designed for patio furniture. Make sure that the treadmill is completely covered and especially that no moisture can get in.

Things You'll Need

  • Treadmill mat

  • Level (optional)

  • Whisk broom

  • Compressed air

  • Clean shop cloths

  • Waterproof treadmill cover

Tip

Check the alignment of your treadmill belt once a month to make sure it's running straight. Being even slightly off true can cause uneven wear on the edges.

Warning

Never use any kind of liquid cleaning solution or solvent on your treadmill, because it can get underneath the belt and damage the moving parts.

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