Treadmill vs Elliptical – What's the Best Choice for You?
Treadmills and ellipticals are both great forms of cardiovascular exercise. Studies have found that one hour on the elliptical can burn close to the same number of calories as one hour on the treadmill. While these machines operate differently, they still both offer a way to get a good cardio workout. You’ll find that there are different pros and cons for each, so one may well be a better fit for your specific goals than the other. Here are a few things to consider.
Treadmill Workout – Pros and Cons
Treadmills are better than ellipticals when it comes to strengthening your bones and muscles. Unlike ellipticals, your feet come up and down on the treadmill, more closely simulating running outside. Treadmills are also better for people who are training to run longer distances. With more settings, a treadmill can offer a wide variety of speeds and inclines for someone to walk or run. In this regard, it makes them more versatile than ellipticals. Treadmills are more similar to walking, hiking, and running. If you’re looking for an intense workout to replicate the feeling of running outside, choose a treadmill.
On the flip side, since treadmills are a higher impact workout, they can be more damaging to your joints and the workout can feel like it requires more exertion than the same time on an elliptical. It especially impacts joints in the lower body, like your knees, ankles and hips. While walking on a treadmill won’t impact your joints as much as running on the treadmill, an elliptical has almost no impact on joints. If you have joint problems, you should give serious consideration to an elliptical. You may find it to be a better option for you.
What About an Elliptical?
Ellipticals allow you to burn the same number of calories as a treadmill, even though it will feel less intense. It’s easier on your joints because it provides a lower impact workout than a treadmill. In addition to being easier on your joints, it puts less strain on your knees, shins, and back. Ellipticals are a full-body workout, unlike the lower-body workout that the treadmill tends to provide. This is due to the fact that ellipticals have moveable handles and allows your arms to be engaged in the exercise. If you want a good cardiovascular workout with less stress on your joints, the elliptical might be the best choice for you.
While ellipticals are preferable for people with joint problems, they are not the best choice for distance runners or people training for marathons. If you’re trying to get in shape for a race, the treadmill would seem to be the better option. With ellipticals, you generally don’t have as many workout choices as offered on a treadmill, particularly when it comes to adjusting speed and incline. While ellipticals and treadmills differ in some respects, working out diligently on either will likely reward you with many of the same fitness benefits. As always, we recommend that you choose your goals ... THEN choose your machine.
RX Fitness Equipment Is Here to Offer Advice and Expertise
If you're trying to decide between a treadmill and an elliptical, and you'd like to talk it over with people who know both machines inside and out, stop by RX Fitness and give several a test run. We carry the best models from the top manufacturers, and you will find something to fit your goal and budget. And, for some great advice about equipment and accessories, don't forget to check out Tim's best-selling book, Fitness Equipment – A Shopper's Guide, available at Amazon and other online book sellers as well as in our store.
Contact Tim Adams for a free consultation or stop by the store and take something for a test drive. We’re here to help.