Elliptical Trainer vs. Treadmill: How to Choose

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.

Elliptical Trainer Basics

Are you interested in getting an all-over aerobic workout? The elliptical trainer is a great choice for people who want to get the benefits of cardio exercise without putting excessive stress on the back, legs and knees.

Weight-bearing exercise, which is performed while standing up, is important for bone health. Girls and women are encouraged to include activities like walking, jogging, hiking or dancing in their routine to decrease the risk of developing osteoporosis later in life. Heart disease in women is a very real health issue, and regular exercise will help to reduce the risk of developing this serious health condition.

These types of activities help to keep bones strong, but the pounding that occurs when using the legs and muscles against gravity can lead to injuries such as straining or tearing ligaments, tendinitis and shin splints. Tendinitis in the knee occurs when the tendon in the joint becomes irritated. A shin splint is an irritation of the muscle of the lower leg which occurs during a run.

Elliptical Trainer for Weight Bearing Exercise

An elliptical trainer provides the benefits of weight bearing exercise without the same level of impact of running, jogging or similar activities. The elliptical trainer incorporates upper and lower body movements to raise the user’s heartbeat and keep it in the target range for maximum cardiac benefit. The user gets a very effective workout without feeling as if he or she is working really hard to do so.

An elliptical trainer is a common piece of exercise equipment at health clubs and gyms, and for good reason. It’s relatively easy to use once the user establishes a rhythm on the machine and someone can burn an impressive amount of calories without straining to do so.

Elliptical Trainer for Your Home Gym

When considering an elliptical trainer for a home gym, look for a unit with adjustable resistance. A low resistance setting may be good choice for beginners, but as the user’s level of fitness improves, he or she will want to have a more challenging experience and a better overall workout.

Noise level is another important consideration, especially when considering an elliptical trainer for home use. If the unit makes enough noise to cause a distraction, the owner will not be inclined to use it often enough to get the benefits of doing so.

Choosing an elliptical trainer for home use will provide a great workout without putting undue strain on the lower body. A person at any level of fitness can use the machine, and he or she can control the intensity of the workout by moving faster or slower while using it. It’s a good choice for people who are concerned about impact injuries while performing other types of fitness activities.