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Treadmills Versus Exercise Bikes


Its no secret that the key to a long life is a combination of a good diet and regular exercise. Gym memberships are commonly being supplemented or replaced with home gym fitness equipmen. Having a home gym overcomes any lack of convenience of public gyms and allows exercise in the privacy of ones own home or office.

It is often difficult to decide exactly what equipment to select for the aerobic part of your program - stationary bikes, treadmills, elliptical cycles, stairmasters and rowing machines all provide a good workout.

The most popular are treadmills and exercise bikes. Coupled to a TV set or video game to overcome boredom, this home exercise equipment is evolving into joint exercise and entertainment centers.

Recumbent bikes also free up the hands to use a phone or read the newspaper, magazine or book.

The choice then is - Exercise Bike or Treadmill? So lets look at a few key things you should consider:

  • Calorie Burn
  • Body Impact
  • Safety
  • Accomodation


Calorie Burn

On average a treadmill will burn more calories per hour than an exercise bike. A study by NordicTrack using different types of exercise equipment found that at the same intensity the treadmill and ski machine burned more calories per hour than any other piece of equipment.

Body Impact

If losing weight is your primary goal, a treadmill is the best option. A healthy individual with no joint or health problems can expect to burn about 750 calories per hour on a treadmill compared to 550 calories on a bike. Treadmills support a more vigorous workout. However, the cost of this is on the joints. Treadmills also submit the joints to greater shock. So if you are already having problems with ankles, knees or hips - the bike is a better option. Just work out a little longer, or consider an elliptical cycle.

The other area of impact is the lower back. An upright exercise bike may stress your back if the ergonomics are not adjusted to your body size. Just reaching the handle bars can mean the back is placed under excessive stress. It is important therefore that whatever exercise equipment you use - get professional help in adjusting it to suit your body, and proper training in its use.

Recumbent bikes are often used instead of upright bikes with those prone to back strain - in some cases, people have found that they improve existing back problems by forcing proper posture and giving you support while exercising.


Safety considerations change with age or with any current injuries.

Body - As stated, the exercise bike is easier on the body than the treadmill.

Mistep - A mistep or an external interference with the smooth running of a treadmill can have serious consequences. In spite of built in safety triggers to shut down the machine, such an abrupt stop can jarr joints and pull tendons.


In general, a treadmill will take up more floor space than an upright stationary exercise bike. If you have a generous home gym space, accomodation may not be an issue. But for many, such fitness equipment is incorporated into bedrooms, studys and other living areas.


Both exercise bikes and treadmills are great options to improve and maintain health and weight.

The choice of fitness equipment depends on the combination of your goals and your body. Taking professional advice from a fitness instructor will help ensure your investment pays dividends


Exercise Equipment Resources

Fitness Measures & Tests - Track your fitness progress using this comprehensive set of fitness tests.

Antiaging Fitness Program - A fitness program specially designed to maintain muscle mass and joint flexibility

Golf Fitness - Perfect your golf swing using advanced biomechanical golf fitness program

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