A piece of easy-to-use exercise equipment can make it easy to get fit at home. Treadmills and elliptical trainers are both popular choices. They offer workouts suited to both beginners and more active people. Deciding whether an elliptical or a treadmill is right for you can be a challenge, but the right machine for you will depend upon your body, your fitness level, your preferences and even the space you have available.
The treadmill and elliptical both provide cardiovascular workouts either at home or in the gym. Studies have shown that they are equally effective. The treadmill provides a belt-like surface for either walking or running. The elliptical allows the legs and arms to move in a smooth and fluid motion, similar to cross country skiing.
Elliptical machines have become popular for a reason. These fitness machines offer a full body workout without applying any pressure to the joints, making them ideal for the elderly and those with joint injuries. They stop as soon as your body stops, and the risk of injury is quite low. Many treadmills feature similar auto stop features to prevent falls, but they will still have some impact on the knees, ankles and shins.
A piece of fitness equipment is a big investment. Treadmill quality varies substantially. Less expensive treadmills may not have a lower weight limit or may be less suitable for runners. While elliptical machines are typically less expensive than treadmills, even lower-priced elliptical trainers produce good results and offer durability–along with a challenging workout.
Nearly every treadmill and elliptical trainer offers a variety of pre-programmed fitness routines, as well as pulse monitoring and timing. The treadmill allows you to mimic hill climbing or interval train with slower and faster phases to your workout. Unlike a treadmill, the elliptical trainer incorporates hand pulls to allow you to get a full body workout in just one step. Both forward and reverse motions are an option, incorporating all major muscle groups.
Regardless of the equipment you choose, regular workouts will help you be strong and healthy. The elliptical offers an easy workout with big benefits. Low perceived effort may make you more apt to work out regularly. If you routinely run or walk outside and are looking for an indoor alternative, the treadmill may allow you to continue your usual workouts in a climate-controlled environment.