Treadmills vs. Elliptical Machines
Treadmills and elliptical machines can both give you awesome workouts, just in slightly different ways. The treadmill lets you walk, jog or run, with the option of adjusting the speed and incline to increase or decrease the intensity of your workout. The elliptical machine also lets you set the difficulty of your workout, which involves a gliding motion of your lower body.
Benefits of the Treadmill
Treadmills may win over elliptical if you’re training for marathons or other types of running events. It mimics the same motions as running outdoors, although it does give you extra help with a moving belt.
Calorie burn on the treadmill depends on the incline and speed, with higher doses of both resulting in higher calorie burn. Harvard Health Publications says a 155-pound person can burn 167 calories in 30 minutes walking at a pace of 4 mph and 298 calories running at a pace of 5 mph.
One more plus for the treadmill is the option of using it while you work, thanks to the treadmill desk.
Benefits of the Elliptical Machine
Calorie burn can be a shade higher on the elliptical machine, with a 155-pound person burning 335 calories with a general 30-minute workout. Elliptical machines are equipped with moving handles that ensure you move your arms as well as your legs, resulting in an instant upper-body workout.
While walking on a treadmill is a low-impact activity, jogging or running can be a bit jarring on your knees. Elliptical machines provide a smooth gliding motion for your legs, resulting in little to no impact on your joints. You can also change direction, chossing a forward or backward glide.
Both machines provide the same level of physical and physiological benefits. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning and Research found elliptical machines typically give you a higher heart rate, but energy expenditure and oxygen consumption are the same on both devices when the exertion levels are the same.
A study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness found the two machines provided the same level of
metabolic and cardiovascular improvements when used at the same intensity levels.
When it comes to choosing between the two, personal preference is the bottom line. You’ll enjoy benefits from regular workouts on either machine, as long as you keep on working out.
When it comes to killer workouts, the treadmill and elliptical machine can both provide them, just in slightly different ways.