Treadmill Vs Elliptical Vs Bike For Fitness & Weight Loss

Health benefits of keeping to one’s recommended weight as per your height have long been known and documented. Many methods have been developed to ensure you can follow a schedule to better health. They have included a myriad of diets or exercise regimen. Ideally, the two should go hand in hand to ensure that shed weight does not return.

A proper diet plan makes certain that your body does not miss out on essential macronutrients, while exercise allows you to burn up calories.

Of the many exercises in practice today, cardiovascular exercises have proved essential in burning body fat. In them, you carry out physical activities that increase your heart rate. In turn, calories are burned and muscle built. There is no single cardio exercise that fits the bill for all individuals. Therefore many wonder what works best when taking into account treadmill vs elliptical vs bike for weight loss and fitness. There are broadly two categories individuals choose from:

1. High-Impact Cardio Exercises
These are exercises that apply direct force to your body. This includes exercises such as gymnastics, cross-country or running on a treadmill and soccer which place greater force on your body.

2. Low-Impact Cardio Exercises
This is probably where the journey to a healthier you begins for most of us. Non-impact or low-impact exercises are much gentler on your body. These exercises do not apply as much stress to your body as high impact exercises. There are therefore fewer chances of getting injured while exercising.

This includes swimming, using an elliptical trainer or stationary bike machines, rowing, skiing and host of other sport. They are just as efficient in burning fat as high-impact cardio.

Treadmill Vs Elliptical Vs Bike – A Comparison

People at the gym using treadmill, elliptical trainer and bike for weight loss and fitness

Treadmill Cardio Exercises

This is both a low and high-impact exercise that is great for all levels of exercisers – novice to advanced. Walking on the machine is considered low-impact even though your feet leave the surface. When you begin jogging on it instead, you will have switched to high-impact training. All stand to benefit from a healthier heart, sports endurance, and reduced weight. Used daily, it is an efficient way to burn fat and staying trim. The number of calories you can burn largely depend on your gender, age, current weight, build and fitness. For example, a 155 lbs person will lose 298 calories while a 185 lbs person will lose 356 calories while walking on a treadmill at 3.5 miles/hour.

A treadmill machine allows you to set different speeds or incline the plane to vary the intensity of the workout. By increasing the speed by just an extra mile per hour the 185 lbs person will now burn 444 calories each hour as opposed to 356 calories. It is generally taken that for each extra mile you add per hour, you burn up an extra 10 calories. Changing the inclination implies you use up more energy per mile covered which also improves calorie burn.

Elliptical Trainer Cardio Exercises

An elliptical just like a treadmill is very common in any gym. Your back, joints, and feet will thank you for using this low-impact exercise approach especially if just picking up cardio exercises. Your ability to burn calories will be determined by its set resistance level, ramp height, and the current stride speed. In half an hour, you can lose anywhere between 270 and 400 calories. All this at a pace that is more agreeable to your body and without the constant pounding your body takes in an impact-oriented workout.

For a better workout though, you are better off exercising for an hour or more. It is an all-inclusive calorie burning machine that improves your sports endurance predominantly in your chest, back and arms. It also works out your calves, hamstrings, glutes, and quadriceps. There are more muscles worked in an elliptical session than in most other cardio workouts.

Elliptical Vs Treadmill Comparison

The two would probably be the most commonly used low-impact machines. The elliptical is usually favored by novice runners. More experienced runners go for the treadmill, which in their view is more effective in calorie burning. The numbers too support this view. The higher-impact treadmill impact is great when trying to build bone density. In any case, a treadmill focuses more on working out your body below the waist while elliptical machine centers more on a full body workout.

Simply put, the elliptical is ideal for a full-body workout, for those recovering from injury and those with joint aches. Cross-training too can benefit experienced runners by improving endurance.

Bike To Lose Weight

There are two bikes used for cardio – a stationary bike and an outdoor bike. Both have a fairly low impact on your body. The fact that you can support your weight while on a bike makes them suitable for individuals with recuperating from injury. Though you can adjust the resistance to make each workout more effective, you can not adjust the bike’s incline.

An outdoor bike, on the other hand, is much different from working out in the gym. Navigating through the real world terrain, you are faced with obstacles and constantly changing ground inclines.

On average, a 185 lbs individual will lose between 654 calories on a moderate (12 – 14 mph) speed and over 1300 calories when racing (over 20 mph). An elliptical training machine is still much better than either. It causes less damage to joints or injured body parts than an outdoor bike. Moreover, you can change the elliptical machine’s inclination at will. The same can not be said about a stationary bike.

So, which one should I use?

The treadmill, however, is difficult to beat. It offers more calorie burn than either bikes or elliptical machines. It nonetheless is not meant for everyone. Beginners should start at a slow pace and gradually build up their endurance to face the treadmill. The treadmill proves to be better suited for advanced exercisers. Considering you need to burn 3500 calories just to shed off 1 pound of body fat, it is clear that the treadmill will get you there faster.

Overweight individuals run the risk of injury when they first start off with cardio or other exercises. They should as such start with the elliptical machine or bikes until they meet the required weight for their height or at least come close to it before taking on the treadmill or heavy-impact exercises.

Those recovering from injury too should go easy on exercises. It is recommended that they too start with the elliptical trainer or pick up biking until they recover.

For the best result, follow proper a diet as well. Ensure your body receives all the required macronutrients. Stay hydrated as well. It also takes a combination of proper breathing technique and water to burn fat and build muscle, making water key in meeting your weight goal.

This short video provides a great breakdown of the elliptical vs treadmill battle!

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