Elliptical vs Treadmill – Which To Choose

March 24, 2013 11:46 am
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Elliptical vs Treadmill – Which To Choose

Two of the most popular fitness equipments available in the market are the treadmill and the elliptical trainer. For all those who are interested in keeping their fitness levels high by performing workouts at home, it is a tough task choosing between a treadmill and an elliptical. There was a time during the 80’s and 90’s when fitness freaks were absolutely crazy about treadmills as this machine allowed them to stay indoors while availing all the benefits of running and jogging. But an elliptical with more advanced features and lower impact is today the preferred choice of millions around the world. In this article we shall compare the features of these two fitness equipments and find out the pros and cons of both to help readers decide which one of the two, elliptical or treadmill is a better option for them.

Benefits of a treadmill

  • If you are a runner or an athlete, treadmill is the machine to choose as it allows you to complete your daily number of mile without stepping out of your home, especially if the weather is foul outside.
  • With a treadmill, you have the option of setting up the resistance level to increase or decrease the intensity of your workout.
  • You even have the option of changing the incline to simulate running or walkin g on a slope or hill.
  • You can prevent boredom from seeping in by watching your favorite TV program while doing workouts.
  • A treadmill is known for providing effective cardio vascular workout as you can walk, jog, or run depending upon your requirements.

Disadvantages of a treadmill

  • Treadmill can put stress on your joints, especially knees and ankles. Though there are available treadmills with shock absorbers, there is still a high amount of impact on the joints of the individual.
  • Treadmills can be a safety threat, especially for those who are not skilled and experienced and try to do running on incline or high resistance level.
  • People find that their natural walking or running movements get changed as they become dependent on the shape and size of the platform available.
  • Running is not everyone’s cup of tea.

Benefits of an elliptical

  • Low impact workout is the main advantage of an elliptical trainer. You get the advantage of climbing stairs, running, and walking without putting too much of strain on your joints.
  • Some elliptical have moving handles that allow you to exercise the upper body at the same time that you are getting workout for lower body.
  • Workouts are smooth making people exert more than they think.

Disadvantages of an elliptical

  • Lack of weight bearing means there is lesser exercise for the bones and muscles of lower body.
  • Working out at lower levels of resistance is no good as the momentum of the pedals itself powers the machine.
  • Elliptical is not very versatile as changing incline and resistance is not very effective.

Comparison of calories burnt

According to a recent study, jogging for an hour on a treadmill burnt on an average 705-866 calories. On the other hand, using an elliptical for an hour burns around 773 calories. Thus there is no significant difference between treadmill and elliptical on this count.

If you are still confused and cannot decide which one is better, elliptical or treadmill, read this fact. If you are a serious jogger or runner, treadmill is the better option for you as you not only get great cardiovascular workouts; you also get the satisfaction of logging your daily count of miles. The machine also allows you to workouts when it is foul weather outside. On the other hand, if you have any issues with your knees and ankles, elliptical are the machine you should buy to prevent injury because of stress, Elliptical is known for its ability to provide low impact workout.

There are many fitness equipment manufacturers out there. Sensing the requirements of people with tight schedules, most of these companies have started to make treadmills and elliptical for use at home. Nautilus Inc is one company that has been making fitness equipments since 1965 and owns brands like Nautilus and Schwinn. The most popular elliptical and cross trainers made by the company are Schwinn A40 Elliptical Trainer, Nautilus E514c Elliptical Trainer, and Schwinn 420 Elliptical Trainer. These machines are not only cost effective; they also provide effective workouts and last long.

Cutting the long debate short

There will always be loyal fans of the treadmills and staunch supporters of elliptical. However, keep these points in mind before deciding between the two fitness machines.

  • Treadmills are better known and more popular as they have been there for a long time.
  • Treadmills are great for cardiovascular workouts though they put strain on knees and ankles.
  • Elliptical machines provide smooth total body workouts that are low impact.
  • Go for treadmill if you are a runner but choose an elliptical if you have any issues with your knees or hips.
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