Two of the most popular exercise machines on the market (both in homes and in gyms) are exercise bikes and treadmills.
Both of these machines provide effective cardio sessions and have a variety of resistance levels that you can work through during your training.
The aerobic exercise you get from both of these machines is highly rewarding and has even been proven to reduce pain. This is due to the fact that aerobic exercise releases endorphins, which are the “feel-good” hormones that inhibit pain signals. In addition, aerobic exercise has been proven to benefit individuals who are suffering from depression.
However, how do you determine which machine is best for you?
Choosing Your Machine
When it comes to deciding between a treadmill and an exercise bike, you need to first consider the advantages and disadvantages of both machines. Let’s take a look:
Below, we’ll consider the advantages and disadvantages of exercise bikes.
- Flexibility of ligaments/leg muscles is improved
- Good for those with balance issues
- You can multitask while you do your work out
- Variety of workout programs/plans
- Burns fewer calories
- Doesn’t effectively strengthen bones
In this section, we’ll look at the advantages and disadvantages of treadmills.
- Easier on joints than outdoor running
- More calories burned
- Variety of workout programs/plans
- Most equipped with safety shut-off
- Puts more pressure on lower back/joints
- Easier to fall
- Limited ability to multitask
So, as you can see, both the exercise bike and the treadmill have some advantages and some disadvantages.
Calorie Burning on Treadmill vs. Exercise Bike
In the list of advantages versus disadvantages of each machine, you can see that you burn more calories on a treadmill than an exercise bike. This is basically due to your positioning on the machine.
When you’re on an exercise bike, your weight is supported in the seat, but when you’re running, you’re carrying your weight. In addition, on an exercise bike, you don’t have as much movement of your upper body as you do when you’re running on a treadmill.
So, while it’s true that the treadmill is best for calorie-burning, you’re likely to spend more time on the exercise bike. There are a number of reasons for this – perhaps you can get a more varied workout or maybe it’s due to less pressure on your joints.
Therefore, if you’re spending more time on the bike, you burn more calories. This means that the argument between the two regarding calorie burning balances out.
Burning Belly Fat on Treadmill vs. Exercise Bike
The American College for Sports Medicine states that the most effective way to burn belly fat without burning muscle mass is with HIIT, or high-intensity interval training. You can do this on both machines. In fact, in many models, there is a HIIT program already built-in to guide you through the training.
Weight Loss on Treadmill Versus Exercise Bike
Both of these machines provide you with an excellent aerobic exercise, which is effective for helping you lose weight.
According to the CDC, losing just 5-10% of your body weight can provide you with some significant benefits. In addition, experts say that those who adopt healthier habits and gradually lose weight are much more likely to keep it off.
Therefore, when it comes to choosing a machine, you’ll want to choose the one that you think you’ll enjoy more. If you enjoy using it, you’ll spend more time on it.
Again, while it’s true that the treadmill will help you burn more calories during a comparable intensity session, you’ll find that if you spend more time on the bike, you will actually end up burning more calories on it than on the treadmill.
Other Types of Exercise Equipment
Of course, treadmills and exercise bikes are not your only options. There are other machines on the market as well.
An elliptical machine simulates running without putting strain on your joints, which means a longer, harder workout than you would get on a treadmill. However, a workout on an elliptical is not as varied and interesting.
A rowing machine provides a whole-body workout. They are a lot like an exercise bike in that the workout is low-impact.
However, a major disadvantage is that they take up so much room and are often noisy. Additionally, you need some skill for rowing, and improperly using the machine is more likely to result in injury than some of the other machines.
Of course, varying your workout is always a good thing, and if you can choose only one machine, try to choose one that has a variety of settings to keep you challenged and motivated. When you choose a machine that you enjoy, you’ll be more likely to use it and experience the short- and long-term benefits of a healthier lifestyle.