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Stationary bikes vs. Treadmills

You have decided that you want to exercise at home. There are hundreds of home cardiovascular equipment available. The most popular are treadmills and exercise bikes. When deciding between the two, you need to compare long-term sustainability, training effectiveness, and safety.

Overcome boredom

The biggest obstacle to a home exercise routine is sticking with it. You don’t need to drive to a gym, making your home fitness equipment more convenient. The problem is that other distractions are just as convenient at home. The key is to make your routine fun. You want to wait for your daily training. You have to be realistic. Playing with the heart rate monitor or watching the calorie counter go up will only be fun the first few times you exercise.

o Treadmill vs. Boredom

We have a treadmill, walk. Walking is not that fun. You can walk at different speeds, but that’s not much more fun. If you get a treadmill that offers an incline, that keeps it a little more interesting. Walking uphill isn’t exactly fun, but it is different. Present a challenge.

You can’t really read on a treadmill because you are jumping up and down. You can’t keep your eyes fixed on the same sentence and you usually end up with a headache. Basically the only fun thing to do on a treadmill is watching TV or movies. If you really like TV or movies and can put your treadmill in front of a TV, you can probably keep your treadmill workout from getting too boring. The problems consist of commercials, noise coming from the machine, and, again, bouncing.

o Stationary bikes vs. Boredom

Stationary bikes are unique in that many of them come programmed with various cycling routines. You simulate different rides that require you to run, pedal uphill, and perform at different levels within a workout without having to keep pressing buttons and changing everything. You can even select random shows so you don’t know what’s coming, which is really keeping you on your toes. Some exercise bikes can even be connected to televisions and video games to allow you to pedal interactively through visual tours.

On upright exercise bikes, you run into some of the same problems as treadmills when it comes to reading. However, recumbent bikes allow your hands to be free to hold a book or magazine, a video game controller, or a phone. Multitasking during an exercise bike workout keeps you from getting boring and allows your workout to more easily fit into a busy schedule.

Defeating boredom to successfully maintain a long-term exercise routine is much easier with a stationary bike than with a treadmill.

The calorie factor

In a study by Nordic Track, young, healthy people used various exercise machines and did cardiovascular workouts. Although they felt they used the same intensity on all machines, they burned the most calories on treadmills and ski machines.

On average, most people burn about 750 calories per hour on a treadmill. The same people are likely to burn about 550 calories per hour on a stationary bike. So it’s a no-brainer, right? You should buy a treadmill because they burn more calories.

Well not exactly. You can’t get so caught up in which machine burns the most calories. You have to take into account many other factors. How likely are you to stick to a treadmill routine instead of a stationary bike routine?

Because exercise bikes are often more fun than treadmills, you are much more likely to stick with them in the long run. This means that while you can burn more calories on a treadmill, you are also more likely to stop using it altogether.

You may also find it difficult to use it long enough per training session to reap the full benefits. Most people find it easier to exercise for 20 minutes on a stationary bike than for 20 minutes on a treadmill. You have to think about that. If you will likely only do 10 minutes on a treadmill, but can easily do 20 minutes on an exercise bike, you will burn more calories per session on an exercise bike.

So by strictly following the numbers, treadmills burn more calories. If you get bored easily or have tried and failed to follow exercise routines in the past, you may want to consider burning fewer calories per hour in favor of a long-term, sustainable stationary bike regimen.

Your safety

The biggest difference between exercise bikes and treadmills is the overall safety for your body.

The first security case is the most basic. You can fall off a treadmill. However, it is very difficult to fall off an exercise bike. In fact, you probably have to try to fall when riding a stationary bike. While you might think that you would have to be pretty clumsy to fall while walking, it happens more than you think. People get involved with watching television or with the rhythm of music. One wrong step and you can seriously injure yourself. It is also possible to spill water or sweat on the treadmill, creating a safety hazard that you may not notice until after you have slipped.

Another safety hazard is injuries from the activity itself. A treadmill puts a lot of pressure on the joints, especially the knees and ankles. Even if you invest in a treadmill with some degree of shock absorption, when you finally reach a jogging or running point, it can put severe orthopedic stress on your body, even up to three times your body weight. People with existing conditions, such as arthritis, will find a treadmill painful at times due to this stress. Otherwise, healthy people can suffer injuries and possible long-term damage over time.

Stationary bikes put much less stress on the joints. A properly positioned stationary bike supports your weight and still allows you to receive the benefits of a higher impact cardio workout. Upright bikes can sometimes stress your back in the way you have to bend to reach the handlebars. However, recumbent exercise bikes can improve existing back pain by forcing proper posture and providing support while you exercise. On any stationary bike that is used correctly, your knees and ankles don’t get stressed like on a treadmill.

The less stress on your joints, the less likely you are to be injured during your workout. You are also less likely to feel pain afterward. Most importantly, a non-exercise-related injury doesn’t always have to interrupt your exercise routine on a stationary bike. If you hurt your back or neck, you will find that the support of a recumbent stationary bike will prevent you from having to interrupt your exercise regimen altogether. Let’s face it: if you have to stop, you’re less likely to start over.

An exercise bike is better for your health than a treadmill

As you can see, both home fitness equipment have advantages. While the treadmill remains the most popular piece of home fitness equipment, most people are more likely to use an exercise bike faithfully. This means that you are more likely to have to dust off a treadmill until you receive the garage sale sticker.

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