When you are trying to get fit, you want to do the exercise that will give you the most bang for your buck. This may mean the exercise that burns the most calories, or it could mean the exercise that is easiest to do. Both the elliptical trainer and the treadmill can give you a great workout, but you may want to think about which one is best for you.
The amount of calories that you burn plays a big role in how good an exercise is. An exercise that burns a great many calories allows you to work out for a shorter period or burn more calories, resulting in more weight loss. According to Men’s Health, the average person can burn 13 calories per minute on an elliptical trainer and as many as 17 calories per minute on a treadmill.
On a treadmill, you can either walk or run. Both exercises–but especially running–can be high impact, which may damage your knees. The treadmill belt does absorb some of the shock, which makes it better than running on the road, but the danger is still there. Additionally, when on a treadmill, you run the risk of injuring yourself if you fall, because the belt will keep turning. The elliptical is much easier on your body. It’s low impact, so it protects your knees. It also stops when you stop.
Increase the Burn
When you are using the elliptical trainer, you can increase the number of calories that you burn by increasing the resistance on the machine. It’s also smart to use the handles to move your arms at the same time as your legs. On a treadmill, you can burn more calories by increasing the speed at which you walk or run. Many machines also allow you to adjust the incline on the machine, which makes you work harder.
Work Different Muscles
You can use the machines to work out other muscles as well. For example, the elliptical allows you to move either forward or backward, which works different groups of muscles. On a treadmill, you can slow the speed down so that you can do walking lunges.
Select a Machine
Both machines can give you a workout that will help get you into shape. One, however, may stand out as the right machine for you. If you are concerned about protecting your knees, the elliptical is a clear winner. However, if you want shorter workouts or want to burn more calories, then the smart move is to run on a treadmill. If you want the best of both worlds, you can alternate machines on different workout days.
- man exercising on treadmill 6 image by Ken Hurst from Fotolia.com