17 May 2007

Treadmills Vs Elliptical Trainers

Treadmills have always been popular exercise machines all over the world used by every age group. People who use tread mills can be of any body type from atheletic to even obese ones or over weight people. Almost every one is familiar to treadmill which can be used for walking or running .

Now there is another exercise machine that is gaining popularity and will be even more effective than treadmills and that is an elliptical trainers. Now how do both these machines compare? Lets do elliptical vs treadmill


Treadmills

Treadmill machines are created for performing functions such as walking, jogging, or running, as well as simulated hill climbing. (Some treadmills are better suited for walking and are not made to support users over a certain weight limit.) Higher quality treadmills tend to be suitable for walking or running and can handle larger and heavier users. Commercial units that are found in gyms are generally capable of supporting more weight than most home units. However, high-end models of home treadmills can be quite sturdy and comparable to a commercial unit.

Exercising on a treadmill is good for cardio workouts, to burn calories and to increase your energy levels.

Treadmills can be automatic in which you have preset programs according to the intensity of the workout you want. Or you can manually adjust them for their height, incline levels and speed.

As in every exercise, a beginner should start from a low intensity workout and as he gains more strength and stamina he should increase the intensity for a good workout. Your body should feel a good exercise.

Running on a treadmill is better than running on hard surfaces like pavements in many ways . Nicely cushioned running surface provides less impact on the knees, shins, ankles, back, and joints. As a result, the runner who uses a treadmill is less likely to sustain a running injury than a runner who runs upon a harder surface. (Nonetheless, a runner's body will still experience impact when the foot lands on the belt. Up to 2 1/2 your body weight).

And You don't have to worry about road or trail hazards when exercising on a treadmill. You need only maintain your rhythm on the moving belt. You don’t have to worry about the weather as you do it indoors .

But some people, in fact quite a lot of them who are not used to it , find it a little tough to keep pace with the rotating belt. And they have to grab the hand rails until they are comfortable again. Holding handrails can restrict your motions and movements to lower body only, limiting the benefits.

Elliptical Trainers

Elliptical trainers are relatively new but they are gaining popularity very fast. Elliptical trainers allow the athlete to burn a similar number of calories as jogging...but without the risk of injury to the back, knees, hips, or ankles. Your feet never leave the pedals. As a result, this type of machine is quite low-impact and goes easy on the joints. In fact, whereas exercising on a treadmill requires your body to absorb the impact force of walking or running, exercising on an elliptical can be compared to running in midair.

Because ellipticals are so low-impact and easy on the joints, this type of exercise equipment may very well be one of the best choices for older people or for individuals who are recovering from a joint injury. Elliptical machines mimic the normal elliptical motion of the foot, the extension of the leg, and the rotation of the hip during walking or running. This motion uses all the leg muscles, giving you a total lower-body workout.

Unlike treadmills , elliptical trainers also give you a upper body workout. , the hands grip the moving handlebars, exercising the arms. The movement of the dual handlebars mimics cross-country skiing.

Because elliptical trainers DO work the upper and lower body simultaneously, the heart rate climbs more quickly. Thus, less time is required to achieve more results. The amount of energy expended is optimized. As the legs are being worked, the back, shoulders, chest, biceps, and triceps are also working ...making it possible to burn more calories in less time. (An optimal workout need only be about 20-30 minutes long.)

The foot pedals can be worked in a forward or reverse direction. When you change the direction of the pedals, you'll target your lower body in different ways. It is nice to be able to add versatility to your elliptical workouts, and such a change works to ensure optimal training of the leg muscles.

The intensity level can be adjusted on elliptical equipment to fit your personal level of fitness. Resistance may be added as desired to increase the workload on your legs throughout the forward or backward stride.

Additional benefits of elliptical training include its ability to build bone density and to inhibit the onset of osteoporosis. Everyone needs strong, healthy bones. This is especially a concern as we grow older, and our body's bone mass begins to deteriorate. Elliptical exercise can inhibit bone deterioration and actually improve bone thickness.

An elliptical device is safe to use (i.e. it stops when you stop). It uses very little electricity and is economical to operate. Because of its lesser impact, there is less wear and tear of the machine, making maintenance quite low. It has a small footprint, so it takes up less floor space than other fitness equipment. And, as with the treadmill, it allows you to exercise in a controlled environment for more comfort and convenience.

So in all they are more efficient machines than treadmills and you can loose fat and get in shape without being tough on your knees and joints.

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1 comments:

Goh Toh Lee said...

Great article!

Personally I prefer elliptical trainers over treadmills due to the fact that you can control the pace of your workout.

If you are using a treadmill you will have to always keep up with the pace as falling behind may be hazardous.

Elliptical trainer allows you to workout at your own pace without causing excessive damage to your joints or body.