admin On August - 2 - 2011

Choose between an Elliptical & a Treadmill

While ellipticals have only come into the workout scene fairly recently, they have fast become more popular than treadmills. Here’s some insight into how the two compare – worth a read before you buy or use either or both of them..

The plus point in a treadmill is that it provides a better training experience for a dedicated runner/jogger than an elliptical trainer. So, if you’re into marathons or walkathons, the treadmill might be better for you, esp. during the colder months! However, while treadmills focus more on your lower body alone, ellipticals enable whole-body exercise – the handlebars for the upper body & foot-pedals for the lower. So, if you’re looking for a quality comprehensive cardio workout with max efficiency, the elliptical takes the cake. Plus, with the elliptical, there is no impact on the ground & this allows you to burn roughly the same amount of calories as treadmills with the impression of putting less effort. This, in turn, ensures no damage to the joints & hence you’re safe from osteoporosis. This is why ellipticals have become a fav of seniors with knee & joint problems, and of you and me..
Stay motivated with variation: In order to stay motivated & interested in your workout, you look for variations to the regular exercise routine. Like with the treadmill, you can change the inclination or speed. Likewise, with the elliptical, you can set a program to fluctuate between intensities, change the cross-ramp incline (in some models) & even switch off the handlebars & focus only on your lower body. But the most distinguishing feature on the elliptical is the forward and reversible feature on the foot pedals. Reverse pedaling targets your lower body more effectively and you will feel the burning in your quadriceps muscles a lot faster. Many ellipticals are also equipped with wireless heart rate control, which allows you to optimize your workout by letting your heart rate control the resistance level.

Low maintenance cost: A benefit of an elliptical trainer over a treadmill is reduced maintenance. Due to the low-impact elliptical motion, and because of fewer moving parts, an elliptical trainer is less likely to require service. You do not have to worry about belts, motors, rollers and bearings burning out.

Overall body workout w/o the impact: With an elliptical trainer, you get a workout that utilizes the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, chest, back, triceps and biceps.  Plus, you end up burning more calories and fat in less time.  Moreover, with the less impact with the elliptical (as opposed to the jolts your whole body experiences with every step of your normal or treadmill workout), there is a reduced perceived rate of exertion, but you are actually exercising harder than you think. You see, when you run, your knees, hips & ankles have to endure a lot of strain. With the elliptical, the low impact exercise actually stimulates bone cell growth while also helping you to burn fat and improve your cardio-vascular conditioning. An elliptical trainer can be your secret weapon in the fight against osteoporosis!

There is just 1 drawback of the elliptical – which really is just a matter of perception & convenience – Some people find the dual action elliptical exercise awkward and are more comfortable simply walking or jogging on a treadmill. So, my final word on this comparison is – The elliptical wins!! Whether at the gym or at home , it gets me a effective overall workout experience, engaging all the vital muscles without the negative impact on my joints, is easier & cheaper to maintain and above all, keeps Osteoporosis at bay!

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