Choosing Between the Treadmill and the Elliptical

Choosing Between the Treadmill and the Elliptical

Both the treadmill and the elliptical are designed to provide a great cardio workout. They can be found at health facilities, indoor gymnasiums, and homes across the country.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the two is that treadmills have a motor and ellipticals use momentum. Treadmills have always been associated with fitness and weight loss, while ellipticals are a more recent workout option. Which one you choose depends on your body and fitness goals. Here are some factors to consider as you decide.

Calorie Burning

Treadmills and ellipticals will burn calories and improve the fat burning process. They are quality aerobic exercise machines that work to raise metabolism while generating more energy.

Elliptical trainers are excellent in delivering a total body workout, including the upper and lower body. Since there are so many models of treadmills, it is difficult to evaluate the extent of the workout on all of them in general. Although treadmills might seem to focus on the lower body, the movements they incorporate are based on walking, a form of exercise that definitely works the entire body with every step.

The bottom line is that if you are trying to lose weight, you cannot go wrong with either a treadmill or an elliptical. Instead, concentrate on your diet and your other activities. When deciding between a treadmill or elliptical that is going to be used mainly as a way to burn fat, it is recommended to try both of them.

Once you have tried them, select the machine that you think you will use the most consistently. It might be the one that you think is the most fun, or that your body feels like it is responding to better. Everyone is different and the best thing to do is to experience them firsthand.


Now that you understand how a treadmill and elliptical can help you lose weight, it is important to know your individual needs in an exercise machine. The elliptical has no impact on the ground and a very low overall impact, which means that it is easier on your joints. For people with injuries or joint pain, this becomes a major issue.

On the other hand, a treadmill has more impact and assists in the strengthening of bones. Its lower settings can still be used by people with joint problems. Also, the treadmill is the preferred option for runners who are training, or just want to run inside. Many of the surfaces on today’s popular treadmills feature a cushioned surface that lowers the impact significantly. Therefore, a treadmill gives you the added benefit of walking or running with less risk of injury.


The current models of treadmills and ellipticals are equipped with numerous options that the user can take advantage of to add variety to their workouts. Again, it is necessary to compare the actual models you are considering in order to find out which options apply to your situation. Be sure to talk with your doctor before starting any type of physical fitness program.


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