Exercise bikes and treadmills are two of the most popular workout equipment for both at-home and gym use. They both offer an effective way for cardio workouts with various resistance levels to progress through your training. You may be wondering what are the benefits of exercise bikes versus treadmills.
Exercise bikes and treadmills are hugely beneficial. Both exercise bikes and treadmills can keep you physically active, which will help improve your overall health, reduce various chronic diseases and anxiety, and make you feel better, function better, and sleep better, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Living an active lifestyle is one of the most rewarding gifts you can give yourself and your loved ones, as being physically active daily increases your length and quality of life.
If you are trying to lose weight, choose a treadmill because you will burn more calories, according to Harvard Health Publishing. Walking and running are weight-bearing exercises involving more muscle mass than non-weight-bearing exercises such as riding an exercise bike.
However, choosing the best fitness equipment isn’t always easy, so I analyzed the benefits of exercise bike versus treadmill to help you determine which one is best for you and will help you quickly reach your 2021 fitness goals.
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What Are The Benefits of Exercise Bike Versus Treadmill?
Let’s explore the benefits of exercise bikes versus treadmills to help you decide which is better to reach your health and fitness goals.
A treadmill burns loads of calories and gives intense workouts; however, it puts you at a high risk of injury in many cases. On the other hand, a stationary bike doesn’t burn as many calories but gives you greater strengthening advantages and is a “safer” option. It has a lower impact on your bones and joints, reducing the overall chance of any overuse injuries.
Besides, you may find working out on an exercise bike more enjoyable. Now, let’s start with the pros and cons of treadmills.
Pros and Cons of Treadmill
- A treadmill is the optimal indoor exercise machine for increasing energy expenditure, reported a study.
- A treadmill may also be better than an exercise bike in tests on hypertensive male subjects, a study showed.
- The treadmill exercise may be the perfect exercise machine in addition to medication and an appropriate diet in glycemic control, another study found.
- A treadmill is the perfect exercise machine if you are trying to lose weight and shed more calories. The treadmills are among the best cardio machines for at-home workouts, especially if your goal is to lose weight; no cardio exercise can burn more calories than a treadmill.
- If you are new to exercise, walking on a treadmill is a great way to get started, as it is a weight-bearing activity that can strengthen muscles and bones. It is relatively low-impact in nature.
- With a treadmill, you can enjoy all the benefits of running. Generally, running and walking impact your bones and joints more than stationary bikes; most high-end treadmills come with surfaces that help absorb impact and pounding, which provides a significant advantage over outdoor workouts on the road or concrete.
- Most treadmills also have electronic features and settings that allow you to customize your exercises to meet your specific fitness needs. Almost every model possesses speed and incline settings. You can set your individual calorie-burning, speed, and mileage goals, mimicking hill run, toning your legs, and building leg muscles.
- Treadmills also offer all the advantages of an outdoor walk or run in the comfort of your own home, without the hassles of obstacles or the environment. If you enjoy walking or running, treadmills may be an excellent option, particularly during cold weather when outdoor activity is impossible.
- Treadmills offer the apparent advantage of more movement during your workout compared to exercise bikes.
- With a treadmill, you can run, walk or jog, which helps you burn more calories than riding an exercise bike. The reason is that you use more of your core muscles with a treadmill.
- Treadmills can also help you achieve maximum fitness results in the shortest amount of time.
You can make your treadmill exercise more challenging by increasing the treadmill’s speed or grade reports American Council on Exercise. However, the higher speed and incline levels also raise the risk of injury to your feet, ankles, knees, and back.
Pros and Cons of Exercise Bike
- Exercise bikes help you increase your heart rates without substantial stress on your knees, ankles, feet, or hips. Both recumbent and upright stationary bikes place less stress on the joints than treadmills.
- Exercise bikes are relatively comfortable once you have become accustomed to sitting in the saddle for an extended period.
- In particular, recumbent bikes are an excellent option for those with low back pain and those new to cycling, as it has added support for the back.
- Recently, exercise bikes regained popularity primarily because of the popularity of spinning programs that allow individuals to simulate and enjoy outdoor cycling in the comfort of their homes or a group classroom setting.
- Exercise bikes are low impact that helps you increase your heart rates without substantial stress on knees, ankles, feet, or hips.
- Built-in resistance features enable you to tailor your exercise to your specific goals by simulating hills, flat ground, and rolling terrain.
- With stationary bikes, you can generally perform any workout regardless of your fitness level or even age.
- Exercise bike works exceptionally well to strengthen your muscles in the lower body while simultaneously reducing osteoporosis risks.
- Low-impact exercise most comfortable on the body and joints
- Offer three different options: Upright, Recumbent, or Dual.
- Suitable to everyone regardless of age and fitness level, whether you are an experienced biker looking to improve your peddle stroke or a busy working mum simply looking to break a sweat.
- Burn less calorie burn per hour compared with a treadmill
If you prefer low-impact workouts and dislike performing weight-bearing exercises, then an exercise bike may be the right choice.
Benefits of Exercise Bike Versus Treadmill
|– Helps burn more calories faster than stationary bikes
– Provide high-intensity workouts
– Far more effective for Weight Loss
– Customize exercise with Decline / Incline features
|– Treadmills have a higher risk of injury.
– Treadmills are more expensive compared to exercise bikes
– Treadmills are very bulky and heavier and not always an easy fit in a smaller living space.
|– Provide low-intensity workouts and high performance
– Exercise bike takes up the least space
– Exercise bike has a lower risk of injury
– Stationary bikes are cheaper than treadmills.
– Stationary bike is a “safer” option and has a lower impact on your bones and joints, reducing the overall chance of any overuse injuries.
– Exercise bikes help you increase your heart rates without substantial stress on your knees, ankles, feet, or hips.
|– Don’t burn as many calories as the treadmill does
Cycling or Treadmill Which One Is Better for Weight Loss
Weight loss is almost totally driven by your food choices (what and how much you consume). To successfully lose weight or burn fat, you must have a calorie deficit.
Without proper nutrition, any cardio, treadmill, or cycling attempts will be ineffective. Always remember that you cannot outperform bad nutrition.
If you are looking for a healthy way to lose weight, I wrote a whole article that I encourage you to read: 32 Foods That Burn Belly Fat Fast – Based on Science.
Even a modest weight loss of about 1 to 2 pounds (0.46 to 0.91kg) per week can significantly benefit you, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In other words, people who lose weight gradually and steadily are more successful at keeping the weight off.
If your goal is to lose weight, you will want to hop onto a treadmill, not rest your backside on the saddle of an exercise bike.
Treadmills help burn more calories, which leads to losing weight faster. You will burn more calories during a workout on a treadmill than an exercise of the same intensity and duration.
However, I recommend you choose an exercise machine you will enjoy and use more often and for longer per session. Running on a treadmill may burn more calories; however, if you enjoy working out using an exercise bike, which gives longer workouts, you will be more likely to burn more calories using a stationary bike.
On a stationary bike, you comfortably sit weight, while on a treadmill, you run, carrying your whole weight and propelling it forward. Moreover, you will also have less upper body movement when working out on an exercise bike.
Running, walking, and jogging on a treadmill can help you burn extra calories and improve your heart and lungs’ strength and health.
Even though you may burn more calories faster on a treadmill, you are more likely to work out longer on an exercise bike. Therefore, longer working out on the exercise bike will burn more calories than you would on a treadmill.
Choosing the type of exercise you enjoy more will help you maintain a healthier lifestyle and reach both short-term and long-term weight loss goals.
However, no treadmill or exercise bike will help you lose weight without a clean diet. I would suggest you perform strength training alongside getting proper nutrition.
Treadmill or Exercise Bike for Belly Fat
Treadmill or exercise bike for belly fat? It doesn’t matter. What really matters is how you exercise. Both exercise bikes and treadmills provide you with an excellent, vigorous aerobic workout and, therefore, can be highly efficient at helping you lose belly fat.
Whether you choose a treadmill or bike, exercise as often as possible and follow HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training).
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) helps you burn 25–30% more calories than the other forms of exercise, a study found. HIIT stimulates your muscles to burn more energy, which will lead to fat burning.
If you are dedicated and consistent, then it will pay off. I would recommend HIIT training on a treadmill; however, exercise bikes are much friendlier on your knees because it is not weight-bearing
Performing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the best ways to burn abdominal fat and build muscle mass, as reported by the American Council on Exercise. And both an exercise bike and a treadmill are great for performing HIIT.
Cycling or Treadmill Which is Better For People With Bad Knees?
Running on a treadmill or outside means a jarring motion on your knees with every step you take. However, you will find that running on a treadmill is slightly easier on your joints than running outside, as a treadmill’s belt has more cushions.
For optimal results, walk with steep inclinations on a treadmill, which mimics staircase climbing in a slow phase. Staircase climbing burns more calories as it requires more effort in a short period compared to cycling and a flat treadmill.
However, riding a stationary bike is a low-impact exercise that does not strain your joints but still gives an excellent workout for toning your legs.
The treadmill and exercise bike offers good aerobic training, which may help inhibit pain signals and help you feel good by causing your body to release endorphins.
Aerobic exercise improved patients’ symptoms with depressive disorders, reported in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Exercise Bike Vs. Treadmill for Toning Legs
Treadmills give you a full-body workout, not just for your legs.
Stationary bikes are safer than the treadmill and provide an effective form of aerobic workout. Riding an exercise bike helps strengthen your lower body muscles, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calf muscles. Also, you can increase the exercise’s intensity by raising the pedaling resistance.
When you run, you work out almost every muscle in your body, including your legs. Studies showed that running helps build abdominal and back muscles.
If you are younger and have healthy joints, a treadmill may be your best option. However, if your joints are weak, then an exercise bike may be best for you.
Treadmills Versus Bikes – Which Is Right for You?
Besides the number of calories you can burn, there are other factors you should consider when choosing which workout machines to use, including personal preferences, fitness goals, physical ability, health status, and the price of cost of equipment.
One of the most important factors to consider is enjoyment.
The essential factor is performing an exercise you enjoy. The more you enjoy a workout, the more likely you will continue to do it regularly.
If your main goal is to lose weight, the best way is to jump on the treadmill, get your whole body moving, and burn those extra calories. Walking or running on a treadmill are workout forms that virtually anyone can do.
But, some people are more likely to exercise longer on a stationary bike because it places less pressure on their joints.
If your goal is to lose weight, just remember: the fundamental key to weight loss is finding and keeping a consistent intensity level of exercise and following a specific schedule of five to six workouts a week for at least 30 minutes each, according to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.
How to Decide If An Exercise Bike or a Treadmill Works Best for You
Prioritize the most important features of your fitness goal – is weight loss a priority, and safety more important? Is being physically active and healthy higher on your list, or what price?
Consistency and enjoyment are vital; whichever you choose, be consistent, and you will see great results in your fitness journey. Your cardio workout’s effectiveness truly boils down to how hard you work and how consistent you are in your training.
While working out on a treadmill will burn more calories than riding a stationary bike, both forms of exercise produce health-related benefits, such as reducing disease risk, developing and maintaining healthy muscles, and improving feelings of well-being.
Think also about fitness equipment you see yourself enthusiastically and regularly using. If you know you won’t use a treadmill as much as you would an exercise bike and then go with an exercise bike.
While the treadmill is “the fitness equipment king,” however, it will not do you any good at all if you don’t use it regularly. You need to choose the most comfortable, enjoyable, and convenient device to use at home.
Treadmills are excellent if you are fit, young, and can handle high-intensity workouts. However, if you have a more restricted budget and space and prefer low-impact and non-weight-bearing workouts, go with exercise bikes.
Above all, ask yourself this: which machine do I see myself using five to six times a week for at least 30 minutes?
The benefits of exercise bikes versus treadmills are tremendous. Both exercise bikes and treadmills are great at keeping you physically active, improving your overall health, reducing various chronic diseases, reducing anxiety, and making you feel better, function better, and sleep better.
When choosing between treadmills and exercise, the key factors to consider are consistency and enjoyment.
You can increase your level of consistency and enjoyment by mixing up your cardio workouts with some fun activities, such as yoga, hiking, swimming, or dancing, or considering integrating technology into your indoor cardio sessions by listening to music or using a heart rate monitor or fitness tracker to track your progress.