There are some differences between treadmills and ellipticals. First of all, an elliptical is a low-impact machine that provides low impact aerobic activity while allowing the user to increase the intensity level. On the other hand, treadmills are high-impact aerobic machines that provide the same activity but at a higher rate of intensity. The question is which one is right for you?
There are some simple factors that determine whether a treadmill is the best choice or not. One such factor is the amount of calories that a treadmill can burn while it is in use. An elliptical actually burns more calories because it has a constant incline while the treadmill has a constant decline. This means that the treadmill is actually burning more calories throughout the course of a workout versus the elliptical which goes up and down while in use. Treadmills can burn more calories over a longer period of time but ellipticals can burn them off quickly and more consistently.
Another difference between treadmills and ellipticals is the level of incline that they offer. Ellipticals will generally be lower in the inclination as well as higher in the speed. This will cause the individual to burn more calories while using the machine overall since it will be harder to slow down an elliptical when going downhill. The treadmill on the other hand will be harder to slow down at certain levels so the individual will typically get a better workout overall.
Some people may also prefer home ellipticals over treadmills simply because they are easier to store. Ellipticals do not take up a lot of space and are fairly easy to stow away in a closet or under a bed. While this is true, treadmills can still take up quite a bit of space and are more difficult to move around. Some home models also have a large platform where the person can put their feet for a greater range of motion. This is not the case with most treadmills though.
The way that home ellipticals work is actually quite unique compared to treadmills. Most models will feature a flywheel that allows the user to change the incline. This is great because it adds an extra challenge to the workout, but it can also be very ineffective if the workout is not intense enough. An individual can increase or decrease the incline to change the burn out rate. Some home ellipticals also have programs pre-loaded into them that will let the user know exactly how much work should be done in a certain amount of time.
One of the advantages of low-impact treadmills is that they are easier to move around. Some individuals will need to purchase a portable stair lift to move these models around. Home low impact ellipticals are typically only about three feet long, so they are great for individuals who do not have to worry about maneuvering their models. The user simply places their feet under the foot rails and they can go about their daily routine without any additional assistance.
A major disadvantage of home treadmills is the lack of an incline. Most home treadmills are limited to a three-degree incline. They are also not designed to handle heavy weights. Most people will not be able to lift enough weight on a home treadmill to make it beneficial. There are also not many models that offer a heart monitor or other features that elliptical machine offers.
Ellipticals have several major advantages when compared to home treadmills. They are significantly more affordable, which makes them ideal for most consumers. They are also easier to use than home treadmills. Some models even come with an electronic display that shows how many calories have been burned during a workout. Ellipticals are much easier to move around than home treadmills, which means users can easily adjust their workout to fit their individual shape. Ellipticals also provide a full body workout without the large impact of a stair-stepper.