Treadmills versus Ellipticals
Treadmills have been around for a long time and are accepted for their cardiovascular benefits.
They work the lower limbs and when the inclination is cranked up the strengthening effect increases on the muscles of the legs and the lower abdomen.
Ellipticals are gaining popularity rapidly, possibly due to the exposure from weight loss TV programmes.
They have the advantage of working both the upper limb muscles as well as the legs.
Many experts have attempted to compare the calorie burning effects of the two machines.
Ellipticals have a “stepping up” component that varies from one machine to another.
This means the thigh and buttock muscles work harder and more energy is used (more calories burnt).
The arms can be allowed to passively move with the handles of the elliptical or the user can put as much effort as he/she desires.
This will provide a greater cardiovascular workout as the upper limb muscles require more oxygen than the leg muscles and will provide a good toning effect for shoulders and arms.
With practice the user can train him/herself to vary the workload on the upper and lower body.
The bottom line is that you have to be comfortable with what you are using and some people are happier running, jogging or walking on a treadmill while others feel better with the smoother and impact-free action of an elliptical.
An elliptical for the average person may require some getting used to and some will probably have to limit the initial workouts to a few minutes at a time.
To sum up, both provide a great aerobic wokout. Treadmills are an excellent way of getting fit and losing weight if used regularly.
Ellipticals provide a full body workout and are better for overall toning. Their smooth action makes them a better choice if the user has knee or hip problems.
If the resistance is turned up, they can provide a good calorie burning exercise.
A word of warning about equipment, it its false economy to buy inferior quality equipment because you will not feel comfortable using it and it will invariably finish up packed away in a corner somewhere and both treadmills and ellipticals take up a reasonable amount of space.