Stationary bikes and treadmills prove to be the most effective fitness equipment for cardiovascular workouts. With their raging popularity and demand, both exercise machines are now available in a whole new array of sizes, models, and brands with loads of features packed.
They come with adjustable settings for resistance, workout programs and times to cater to different levels of fitness. Both machines often come with high-tech functions like pulse indicators on the handlebar or through wireless sensors.
Exercise Bike Vs. Treadmill
If you’re planning to buy any of the exercise machines for your home and don’t know what decision to make?
Don’t worry our detailed comparison post will help you to choose the best exercise machine for your home based on your needs, requirements, and budget.
You’ll also learn if a treadmill or exercise bike better to lose weight fast, which one burns more calories, or better for toning leg muscles.
But before you buy either of the machines, it’s important to learn about the major distinctions between how they work and how they affect you as a user.
1) Built and design of the machine and your body type
While a treadmill can be used by people with different weights and sizes, a stationary bike usually has a rather stringent measurement requirement and may cater to users to a particular size limit. Similarly, both fitness machines have a weight limit.
But a recumbent bike, in particular, may not accommodate or prove to be comfortable for larger users. Most stationary bikes are built in a way that requires users to bend their knees close to 90 degrees for workouts. People with joint pains or knee conditions may not be able to make full use of the stationary bike then.
2) Engagement of body parts
Treadmills require users to walk on flat or inclines surface, which initially puts impact or force into the spine through the legs. Users who have back pains or special spine conditions may not be able to do fine on treadmills and will be more comfortable working out on a bike.
A stationary bike is an ideal choice for people with lower extremities and special spine condition, as the bike reduces the impact on knees, ankles, hips, and back. The seated posture sustains a relatively non-impact position, ideal for arthritis and back patients. Stationary bikes are also good for people dealing with upper extremity conditions because they do not have to engage the upper body parts in the workout here.
3) How many calories are your burning?
It is a fitness fact that people are liable to burn off more calories on a treadmill than on a stationary bike.
Treadmills are weight bearing workouts that engage pretty much your whole torso and arms, which promotes good muscle activation and help you burn off more calories. However, on recumbent bikes, a person’s upper body tends to be inactive throughout the workout.
Upright bikes are equipped with moving arm handles which render a full-body workout but still do not match the full weight-bearing workouts a treadmill gives. This does not mean that you won’t be able to burn off more calories on a stationary bike, but you will probably have to work out with more intensity on the bike.
4) Wait, does that fit your budget?
Of course, your budget has a major role in deciding whether you want a bike or a treadmill. Both fitness equipment can be purchased at reasonable prices but by contrast treadmills cost a bit more. Other considerations can be space issues. So if you are someone who has a two-roomed apartment or just have a smaller living space, treadmills will occupy a considerable amount of space. They are also quite heavy to move about and store, and may cause you a lot of inconveniences.
But if you someone who is looking for a fitness equipment which will help you lose weight, choose a treadmill instead of a stationary bike for your workout regimes. A treadmill will help you burn off more calories faster as compared to a stationary bike. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, a treadmill engages more muscles and is a good weight-bearing form of exercise than cycling which is a non-weight bearing exercise. When working on same intensity levels, a weight-bearing exercise will help people lose more calories.
5) Aerobic Exercise
Stationary bikes are relatively safer and render an effective aerobic workout. Cycling gives phenomenal results to strengthen quadriceps, hamstrings, calf muscles and other lower body muscles.
Additionally, users can further boost the workout’s intensity by working on the pedaling resistance.
Stationary bikes are also equipped with electronic workout programs ideal for hill climbing, interval training and keep track of time, speed, distance, and calories burned.
Although American College of Sports Medicine concludes that biking does not render whole body workouts. But you can still enjoy the low impact muscles and joints.
6) Full Body Workouts
A treadmill is an excellent option for cardiovascular workouts. Many treadmills are equipped with built-in electronic walking and running which help stimulate a variety of other workouts. You can also keep track of and record calories, time, distance and more.
On a treadmill, the body is constantly in motion when working out, which tend to burn more calories, improve bone mass and also reduce the chances of osteoporosis. If you are up for a high intensity and more challenging workout, you can amp the treadmill’s sped or grape.
The higher the speed the higher the incline levels, thus you are more likely to be exposed to the risk of any injury to your feet, ankles, spine, and knees.
7) Injuries and Precautions
Among the most common injuries occurring from exercise equipment is the fall off from a treadmill. While running for a prolonged period on the treadmill people may get distracted and experience a fall.
Even users with no balance problems can lose their footing once in a while. Nearly all treadmills come with a safety clip to turn off the machine if ones get too far away from the front, but don’t count too much on it to prevent any falls.
Additionally, working out on treadmill lands a lot of weight on the spine and legs, if users aren’t careful it can result in back pains and injuries.
8) Enjoying your workouts!
Working out and exercising isn’t all about how many calories you can burn off, it actually about enjoying yourself.
So before you buy either a bike or a treadmill, take into account your personal preferences, align your fitness goals, physical ability, and your health condition. These will help you actually enjoy your workout regimes.
ACSM concluded that the more an individual enjoys their workouts, the more regularly they will workout.
9) Health Benefits
Although a treadmill is calibrated to help you lose faster than a stationary bike, both equipment contributes to good health benefits. Working on a treadmill or a stationary bike, or both reduces heart diseases, help you maintain healthy muscles and promotes a healthfulness.