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Which is Better: Exercise Bike or Treadmill?

If you’re looking for a home exercise machine, you may be overwhelmed by the sheer number or types, makes and models. Deciding on a single machine will really depend on your goals, personal preferences and budget. When it comes to choosing between the two most popular home exercise machines – exercise bikes and treadmills – you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons against your intentions and needs. In this article, we’ll compare and contrast which is better: exercise bike or treadmill.

Treadmills Pros

Treadmills are ideal for those who enjoy walking and running. It’s something that most everyone can do and doesn’t require much of a learning curve to use properly. A treadmill can be used for high intensity interval training and help you burn a lot of calories in a relatively short period of time. Most treadmills have adjustable speed and incline functions to allow you to personalize your workout.

Treadmill Cons

A treadmill might not be the best for you if you have bone or joint issues. Although most treadmills have some sort of shock absorption qualities there is still the possibility of impact on areas such as the knees, hips and back. Similarly, a treadmill may not be suitable if you have mobility or balance issues. There is a slight risk of falling associated with the moving belt and it requires some coordination for proper use.

Exercise Bike Pros

Exercise bikes, of course, work better for those who enjoy cycling. And even if you’ve never ridden a bicycle before, it doesn’t take that much effort to be able to learn how to use a stationary exercise bike. Intense use can create a good cardio workout while strengthening the legs. If you have problems with your knees or have recently undergone ACL or MCL surgery, cycling can allow you to continue to exercise without the worry of furthering your injury. An exercise bike also provides a non-impact workout for those with joint or bone issues.

Exercise Bike Cons

It takes more effort and a longer period of time on an exercise bike to burn the same amount of calories that would occur if you were using a treadmill. Because the exercise bike supports your body weight you don’t have to expend as much energy while performing the exercise. As opposed to treadmills, exercise bikes don’t utilize the upper body at all which also reduces the amount of calories expended. Those who have back issues may also find upright stationary bikes to be uncomfortable after prolonged use.

Which Is Better: Exercise Bike or Treadmill

If you’re looking for overall body motion, the treadmill is the superior exercise machine. Even though your arms aren’t experiencing a whole lot of resistance, they’re moving much more than if you’re using an exercise bike. If you suffer from joint, bone or mobility issues or have a problem with balance or high impact exercises, an exercise bike is probably much better suited to you.

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