Easily the most popular cardio machines in the fitness clubs and home gyms are treadmills and ellipticals. It’s quite often hard to find one open at your local gym. So, you may want to add one to your fitness area in your own home gym. But, which cardio machine would work best? Treadmill vs. Elliptical? How do they compare? Before you make such an investment, you want to make sure you have made an informed decision.
This article will break down some of the broad strokes to consider before making your decision.
Base Your Purchase on Your Fitness and Workout Goals
Obviously most people want to get a great cardio workout to burn calories, get better heart health or lose weight. Actually most people choose one of these machines for all those reasons.
WEIGHT LOSS/CALORIE BURNING – Treadmill vs. Elliptical
– If your goal is to lose weight and burn calories, both the treadmill and the elliptical will help you do this quite effectively.
ENDURANCE TRAINING – Treadmill vs. Elliptical
– If your fitness goals include endurance training, the elliptical is not a good choice. As the elliptical helps lift more of your body weight for you and is limited in movement and pace.
The ideal endurance training machine is the treadmill. The treadmill allows for more body movement and pace changes. It also makes you run or walk while carrying your own body mass, so therefore it’s closer to the real environment of cross country or 5K type events.
Treadmills and Ellipticals affect weight loss differently. It depends on your body weight and impact on your body. Let’s take a look at these factors:
If burning calories and losing weight is your fitness goal, the treadmill will get you there quicker than the elliptical. Reason being, as mentioned before, the elliptical helps carry your weight whereas the treadmill doesn’t. Therefore you will lose more calories with the same intensity workout on a treadmill. But, quite often it is advised to begin on ellipticals and work up to more intense workouts before using a treadmill to ensure your body is ready for the adjustment to more impact and heart rate.
Using a treadmill is going to have much more impact on your joints and body than an elliptical. If you have any knee injuries, arthritis or other joint or muscle pain – or, if you are getting up there in years, you should probably be advised to purchase and/or use an elliptical. The elliptical is a low impact workout that has mush less risk for injury, for that reason calorie burning is less effective.
However an elliptical is still a great choice for an intense cardio workout while putting less stress on the joints. Treadmills mimic your actual body movement and will assist and train your body for endurance, cardio and weight loss and have a quicker positive affect on your overall heath and physique.
If you are training for more endurance or long distance running or walking events such as half-marathons, 5k events or full 26.2 mile marathons, a treadmill will be your best investment. A treadmill will mimic actual real world body movements such and inclines and pace changes and will get you in shape quicker than an elliptical. Many treadmills today come with incredible electronic simulations for real world training for endurance workouts.
That is not to say that an elliptical wouldn’t get you in shape, burn calories and give you cardiovascular benefits, it definitely will, it will just may take a little longer to adjust to real world body movement.
In Conclusion – Treadmill vs. Elliptical
As you can see, there are many benefits to using both machines and there is a lot to consider. Depending on your physical abilities, injuries, fitness level, and training purpose, making a decision can be difficult. Most people would benefit with a treadmill because of the real world movement and faster their fitness goals are achieved. However, if you need less impact due to age or injury (both in joints and heart health) an elliptical is most likely the better choice for your fitness goals. Or, to be honest – many people get and/or use both.
==> Shop Ellipticals
==> Shop Treadmills