If you’re considering purchasing an exercise machine, there are several things to take into account before deciding which type of equipment is best. When it comes to elliptical vs treadmill, it’s important to remember that each exercise tool has its own pros and cons, so your health and fitness goals should ultimately dictate which of the two is better for you.
Both types of equipment cost about the same and offer several customized workout options. In addition, both can easily be set up and stored in your own home so you can workout where and when it’s convenient. Many fitness experts claim that the secret to exercise success is eliminating excuses. Adding an elliptical or treadmill to your home environment makes it more convenient than a trip to the gym. It also eliminates weather-based excuses. Now you’ll have to decide whether being accessible to family members during a workout is a benefit, but if you have a sick loved one – you can still get a workout in without allowing caregiving to become an excuse.
Treadmills offer a workout that’s pretty similar to what you experience when running outside or in another natural environment – albeit with the help of a motor. So they’re usually the workout equipment of choice for runners or athletes who want a more real-feeling experience.
On the downside, treadmills focus more on working out your lower body, so you might not get the same level of upper body workout as compared to an elliptical. In addition, because treadmills simulate the physical act of running it by definition involves normal joint, bone, and muscle impact. For some individuals, especially those with bone or joint problems or who just want a lighter workout, an elliptical may be a better choice.
Another thing that makes treadmills nice is they can often be stored beneath a bed or sofa with just a small amount of effort. This enables you to enjoy the use of the entire room at all times.
Ellipticals, on the other hand, provide a great whole-body workout, because the machine requires both your arms and legs to move in sync with each other. They also allow you to set your own pace rather than have the pace delivered via a motor. Because your body is suspended during the workout, elliptical machines provide a very low-impact workout, so they’re a great option for anyone with bone or joint problems. Unlike on a treadmill, you can also run in reverse on an elliptical, which works a whole new set of muscles.
However, the fact that you’re relying on the momentum of the machine more and the power of your body means that you might not get as good of an overall workout on an elliptical as compared to a treadmill.
Ultimately, the piece of equipment that you choose – elliptical trainer or treadmill – depends on your overall fitness level and the goals you hope to accomplish while working out. You really can’t go wrong with either choice. The important thing is that you’ll be committing to exercise which will help you feel great and retain your youthful outlook while improving longevity. Good luck.