When you first decide you want to lead a more active lifestyle, you may look at the selection of equipment at your local gym or home fitness store and feel overwhelmed by all the possibilities. There are rowing machines, stair climbers, and exercise bikes to use. But of course, two of the most popular fitness staples are the treadmill and the elliptical trainer. If you're trying to choose between the two, you'll probably have a number of questions. Is one better for burning calories and shedding pounds? Which one is gentler on those with health considerations? Will one option help you achieve results more quickly? We're sharing some answers in today's post.
Around 30% of U.S. adults over the age of 15 who exercise regularly say they walk for their fitness activity of choice. It's no surprise, then, that treadmills continue to be a popular option for people at all skill levels. You're able to control the speed of your gait, as well as the incline of the motorized belt. Because of that, you can choose whether to have a low-impact or a high-impact workout when using this type of equipment.
Using a treadmill can provide a more consistent experience as opposed to running outside. It may also be a bit safer, as you're able to avoid uneven terrain and hard pavement. While treadmills are generally the best option for runners, you don't have to be a runner (or even consider yourself to be all that athletic) to get a good workout with this machine. As a bonus, it's incredibly easy to use -- which means it's a good option for people with limited experience in physical fitness. In some cases, running on a treadmill actually requires more core engagement as compared to working out on an elliptical. If you're planning on going to your home fitness store to purchase a treadmill, keep in mind that this equipment typically takes up less room than an elliptical trainer does -- a plus for people with limited space in their house.
While elliptical trainers haven't been on the scene for as long as the traditional treadmill, this machine can offer a cardio workout that's gained a lot of popularity in recent years. It can provide a more full-body workout experience, as you use both the foot pedals and the arm handles to facilitate movement. It sort of feels like riding a bike while standing up. It may not feel as natural as walking does at first, but once you get the hang of it, you might find you actually prefer it to the treadmill workout.
A big selling point of the elliptical machine is that it offers a low-impact workout. In other words, it's often easier on your joints than running is. Some feel it's even safer than a treadmill, as your feet never leave the pedals while exercising. You're able to target more specific muscle groups and choose different workout programs for variety, as well. Ellipticals really don't require much (if any) maintenance, which may make this option even more appealing for those who want to equip their home gym at their local home fitness store.
Ultimately, your exercise equipment needs are totally personal. The brand or type of fitness trainer you love might be completely different from what your sister or your neighbor down the street needs. Often, it's best to visit your home fitness store to try out some high-quality equipment and obtain advice from knowledgeable staff members. If you're ready to get started on your fitness journey, we're here to help. Get in touch with us today to learn more.