Treadmill Vs. Elliptical Weight Loss

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Two of the most well known pieces of gym equipment on the market are the treadmill and the elliptical machine. Both are staples in any public gym and are widely used. People use the elliptical and the treadmill in order to lose weight and remain in shape. But which machine is best for weight loss?

Significance

  • According to the National Institutes of Health, an estimated 133.6 million Americans are either overweight or obese. To lose weight, you typically need a combination of diet changes and exercise. The treadmill, a longtime gym staple, allows you to walk or run in place. An elliptical machine is a relatively new machine, best described as a cross between a stair-climbing machine and the treadmill. Users glide as they move its pedals back and forth. These two machines are popular with those trying to lose weight because they're easy to use.

Features

  • Both of these machines are electronic and include a computer that provides data such as the number of calories burned, the distance traveled, and the user's heart rate. ThatsFit.com and the Topeka Capital-Journal report that many newer models of both machines have the ability to retain your information, which lets you better track your weight loss and fitness level. Treadmills and elliptical machines also offer varying workout levels.

Time Required

  • The Mayo Clinic recommends trying to lose roughly two pounds per week. That lets your body gradually adapt to the weight loss. A 150-lb. person will burn roughly 300 calories in a 30-minute workout on an elliptical machine. Calorie counts can vary, especially if you vary the intensity of the workout on the elliptical. If the elliptical machine's computer is set for a more strenuous workout, you'll burn more calories. A 150-lb. person using a treadmill set at a 5-degree angle will burn roughly 250 calories in 30 minutes. A treadmill can be set to various speeds and inclines, which affect how many calories are burned.

Considerations

  • Both of these machines are recommended for weight loss, with the elliptical favored by people with joint problems or difficulty walking and the treadmill by those who can withstand a workout. The elliptical burns more calories due to the movement of more muscles in the legs and in the arms. However, the treadmill can be a more grueling workout because of greater impact on the legs and higher speeds and inclines, if you choose to use them. Before using either machine to start a weight-loss regimen, consult with your doctor.

Benefits

  • Both these machines can help improve fitness and burn fat. An elliptical can help the severely overweight with joint problems lose fat without injuring themselves in the process. It also will help build muscle to the upper body, depending on the settings used. A treadmill allows a wide variety of programs, so you can progress from walking a flat surface to tackling simulated hills, and from walking to jogging or running. Using a treadmill or elliptical machine allows you to become more fit over an extended period of time and both are widely recommended for weight loss by the Mayo Clinic.

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