Exercise Bike vs Treadmill

If there’s one thing we know about you, our readers, it’s that you want to be healthy and look good. You’ve asked us many times about burning calories, about the benefits of running, of standing and you’ve even asked us about alcohol and pot.

The most recent questions we’ve gotten about health and fitness were about exercise bike vs treadmill activity. You wanted to know which was better for weight loss and burning calories.

We want you to feel good and look good, too! Keep reading to find out more!

Exercise Bike vs Treadmill

It would be kind of stupid to go into a long explanation of what treadmills are, and what exercise bikes look like. You already know that, or you wouldn’t be asking. There are, though, several different kinds of each equipment.

Let’s assume for a moment that you’re asking about the exercise bike vs treadmills because you’re thinking of buying some fitness equipment. If that’s the case, you’ve got a lot to choose from.

Exercise bikes come in two styles – recumbent and upright. There are three main differences between recumbent and stationary bikes.

1. Recumbent bikes have a larger seat.
2. Recumbent bikes offer a reclined position.
3. Upright bikes’ pedals are positioned below your body, while recumbent bikes’ pedals are positioned in front of your body.

We’ll look at the difference between recumbent and upright bikes in just a minute.

Treadmills can be very simple, or they can come with what some would call a “metric shit-ton” of features. There are even treadmills which integrate with your television. You can run with the bulls or speed through the Andes, right from the comfort of your living room.

There are treadmills with preprogrammed fitness courses, and with incline adjustment. You will feel like you are literally climbing the Andes. Some treadmills have sound systems. Other treadmills are nothing more than a moving belt.

Before we go on to address the exercise bike vs treadmill question, let’s peek at the differences between recumbent and upright bikes.

Recumbent vs Upright Bikes

Recumbent Bike vs Treadmill

There are pros and cons to both upright and recumbent bikes. Upright bikes are definitely harder on the knees and lower back than their recumbent counterparts. This is bad for those with joint problems, like arthritis. It’s also harder for the senior crowd to get a good workout on an upright bike. Also, the smaller seat of an upright bike offers less stability to the user.

Upright bikes, however, are as close as it gets to a real bike. You’ll be working the same muscles as you do outside, without all that nasty rain. They’re also much smaller than recumbent bikes. That makes them better for use in your home.

Recumbent and upright bikes will both use your glutes (your bottom), your hamstrings (the back of your thighs), your calves and a little muscle called the tibilais anterior. The tibilais anterior runs criss-cross across the front of your leg. But the upright bikes will also use your tummy muscles and your arms.

If you belong to a gym, you can try out both and see which you like better. The style you choose is ultimately up to your preferences.

Exercise Bike vs Treadmill: Which Burns More Calories

The number of calories you burn on a treadmill is dependent on a few factors. First of all, your weight. Overweight or obese people will burn more calories per hour than those in a healthy weight range.

For example, the average 160 pound person will burn about 300 calories per hour walking on a treadmill. A person with a weight of 185 will burn around 360.

The speed and intensity at which you use the treadmill counts, too. Walking won’t burn as many calories as jogging or running. And setting the treadmill to Andes will burn more calories than the Chilean Salt Flats setting.

For a person of average weight and health, the exercise bike vs treadmill benefits are clear. A treadmill user will burn around 750 calories per hour running on a treadmill. That same person will burn around 550 calories using an exercise bike at the same intensity.

Treadmills will provide better full body cardio benefits. You’re using your arms when you walk or run on a treadmill, and using your muscles to propel yourself forward. This allows for more calories to be burned.

Exercise Bike vs Treadmill: Cost Comparison

If you belong to a gym, it doesn’t really matter to you how much exercise bikes and treadmills cost. You can feel free to skip ahead to see the winner. For those of you who dream of building a home gym, though, let’s peek at what the two pieces of equipment cost.

You can get a very basic exercise bike for under $200. These bikes won’t come with any features, though, and it’s likely you’ll get bored with them. Some also don’t offer great stability. They’re made from lightweight materials, and can be dangerous.

The higher-end exercise bikes will cost upwards of $500. They’re made by brands like Schwinn and NordicTrack and have more settings than you can shake a stick at.

Treadmills are much the same. You can get the “cheap” treadmills, and they’re friendly to your wallet at around $150. They even come in pink(!). A lot of these are fold up treadmills, which may be good if you’re in an apartment. But they’re very simplistic, and may not work for long term use.

Bowflex and Nautilus are two of the biggest names in the treadmill world, and their treadmills will cost anywhere up to $1,500. Do you need all of the included features? Probably not. But they’re fun to have.

Exercise Bike vs Treadmill: The Winner

Actually, neither. It just depends on who you are. An exercise bike is great for those who want to keep stress off their joints. They offer the safety of a solid seat, and bike users are less prone to falling.

Treadmills will burn more calories, but they can cause undue stress on those with arthritis or other joint problems. It’s also possible to fall off a treadmill. For those working out at home, a stationary bike might be the safest option.

Look for safety features, and choose which best fits your budget. In the end, as long as you’re moving, you’re doing a great thing for your body.

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