Stationary bikes and treadmills are the go-to exercising equipment of many fitness fanatics. This is because both machines do not require a lot of training and just about anyone can use them to get moving. It begs the question: Which is better, the treadmill or the bike?
If you think about it, both machines are very useful. They encourage you to keep moving and to stay active, but the answer to the question above is simple: It depends on what your fitness goals and capabilities are.
One reason why people opt for the stationary bike rather than the treadmill is because they want to avoid straining their joints too much. Although using a stationary bike for working out gives you fantastic aerobic exercise, it only focuses and strengthens the lower body muscles.
The target areas of stationary bikes are the quadriceps, calf muscles, and the hamstrings, but no work is done on the upper body. Experts from the American College of Sports Medicine say that using a stationary bike causes less trauma to muscles and joints, but it does not work out the entire body.
Another problem with using a stationary bike is the lack of intensity you need to exert to move. People, especially newbies, think that just because they are moving it is already exercise.
They forget that for a workout session to be considered effective, you have to increase the intensity and really push yourself. This rarely happens when people use bikes, and do not adjust the settings to make it more challenging.
Although, if you have joint and muscle problems, are recovering from a recent injury, are new to the gym, or would simply like to develop your lower body more than your upper body, a stationary bike would be the right choice of exercising equipment for you.
If your goal is to lose weight and burn more calories, the treadmill is the machine you should look into. This is mainly because walking and running burns more energy because these are considered weight-bearing exercises that engage the muscles more than non-weight-bearing exercises like biking.
Using a treadmill is one of the most popular exercises people turn to if their goal is to shed the extra pounds because when the same intensity is applied during a jogging session as that in a cycling session, your whole body will be fully engaged, which will burn more calories in the process.
While many stationary bikes have adjustable settings to help increase your stamina, modern treadmills also come with a variety built-in programs to help you exercise better.
There are even treadmills have up to 30 different built-in programs to give you a variety of choices to keep you interested in working out; so there’s no worry about you getting bored or feeling like running is no longer a challenge.
These built-in programs found in treadmills are an advantage over jogging outdoors and stationary cycling because they make running more challenging and interesting. This is an important factor to keep you motivated and to entice you to make jogging a part of your daily routine.
The question of treadmill vs. bike cannot be answered with full confidence. There is no one device that will cater to everyone’s fitness routine and have the same desired effects. The most important factor in exercising is your motivation to make working out a part of your healthy habits and committing to it.
In the long run, if you choose a device that comes highly recommended, but do not enjoy what you are doing, you will most likely leave that machine to gather dust.
The secret to reaching your fitness goals is enjoying your workout. Having fun is the best way to keep you interested in staying because working out becomes less of a chore and more of a hobby. Another tip to inspire you to continue exercising is to keep challenging yourself.
When running at a certain speed becomes too easy, up the speed and see how far you can reach. Mix it up a little in your home gym, and have fun running or cycling. After all, an investment in your health today is also an investment in your future.