Elliptical Trainer vs. Treadmill: How to Choose

by Jodee on April 29, 2011

If you are looking for a piece of exercise equipment that will give you a good cardiovascular workout, the elliptical trainer and the treadmill can help you get the results you are looking for. Which one is the best choice? There are advantages to choosing each piece of equipment, and the best one for you depends on your particular needs and goals.

Both pieces of equipment are popular choices for people who want to set up a home gym. Working out at home means that you can do so on your schedule, without having to factor in travel time to get to a health club or gym.

Having a home gym outfitted with an elliptical trainer or a treadmill means that your exercise schedule is not dependent on the weather. You have the freedom to work out during cold or wet weather if you wish; exceptionally hot weather doesn’t need to stop you from getting the exercise you need if your home is air conditioned.

Advantages of an Elliptical Trainer

An elliptical trainer provides a complete workout, since it works the upper and lower body simultaneously. The person using the machine can control the intensity of the exercise very easily by speeding up or slowing down his or her leg movements.

Grasping the handlebars on the unit and moving the arms and shoulders in tandem with the leg movements means you will burn more calories. If your goal is to lose weight, the elliptical trainer will probably be the better choice. It also makes sense if you have a limited amount of time to exercise and you want to get the maximum benefit from each session.

Advantages of a Treadmill

Choosing a treadmill for your home gym workout means that you can set a particular program to follow during your exercise session. Depending on the intensity you want, you can set the machine to give you an experience on a flat surface or going up hills for a more challenging one.

The treadmill allows you to avoid getting bored with your workout by exercising while watching television. Walking or running while checking out your favorite show can make the time spent exercising pass quickly.

If tracking your progress when working out is important to you, the treadmill’s console can help you keep track of how long you have been working out, as well as how many miles you have walked or run. The unit should also be able to track your heart rate so that you will know whether you are in your target zone for fat burning.

When you are considering an elliptical trainer vs. a treadmill for home use, you also need to factor in cost. A treadmill will probably be less expensive to purchase than an elliptical trainer, but the elliptical trainer will give you a better overall workout. Your final choice will depend on what criteria are most important to you.

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