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Treadmill vs. Elliptical

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Old 12-25-2010, 05:22 PM   #1
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Default Treadmill vs. Elliptical

Okay so yes...I know I have to exercise more! Im a type 2 with insulin resistance. And I really wanna get kick this in the booty. So which is better? An elliptical machine or treadmill??? I would love your input! Thanks!
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Old 12-25-2010, 05:34 PM   #2
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I love my treadmill. It has so many programs and variable routines. I cant stand the unmovable, stationary feeling of an elliptical and since my ultimate goal is to marathon, working my way up to outside running while in the comfort of my own home was a very appealing idea for me.

So I suppose my answer would be it depends on your ultimate health goals.
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Old 12-25-2010, 05:38 PM   #3
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In my own personal opinion... If you can't really run yet, then the elliptical, but if you can, then the treadmill. If you're looking for short term results, then the elliptical is the way to go, but if you plan on exercising for the rest of your life, then you should plan on learning to run eventually. Once you can run, the treadmill is way better then the elliptical... But the learning curve for running is pretty steep.

Right now, I'm not a runner, so I burn way less calories on the treadmill than the elliptical. The elliptical gives me the best and hardest work out. But I'm trying to learn to be a runner, so even if I don't get as hard of a workout on the treadmill as I do the elliptical, I still opt for the treadmill because I know, ultimately, it'll outrank the elliptical.

But, everyone has different experiences and opinions. Some will say the elliptical is way better because it's a full body workout and is low impact thus safer, and others will say that nothing beats running when it comes to cardio exercises. Whatever works for you.
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Old 12-25-2010, 05:40 PM   #4
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I like to alternate between both, but my go-to preference is definitely the elliptical. It's less impact on the body and it burns more calories because it uses more muscle groups (upper body is incorporated)....I could be wrong, but that's what I've read. I think you win regardless of which one you chose, but it's important to surprise your body so variety is a huge benefit, in my opinion.
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Old 12-25-2010, 06:49 PM   #5
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thanks for you input. Nope can't run yet. I would like to eventually....I just need to get moving! And on the Elliptical I cant hang...I poop out in about 5 mins! And on the treadmill I can walk briskly for a good hour. I feel like that is still good exercise. I wonder if I could become a jogger/runner??!! Seems like a good goal!
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Old 12-25-2010, 07:45 PM   #6
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I've never really gotten into the elliptical. It just feels weird to me. I can't get the rhythm of it and it just isn't fun for me.

I run on the threadmil in the winter when it is freezing cold. I like it because you have lots of settings and control over speed, etc.
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Old 12-25-2010, 11:01 PM   #7
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I have both a treadmill and eliptical. I prefer my treadmill. Best BANG for my BUCK!!! Now that I run 4 days/week, when I do my eliptical, I'm on level 12 and it's still EASY (and I don't even hold on). Running IMHO works your core in a way that the eliptical just does not do in my personal experience.

That said, either will give you a pretty good cardio workout...so whatever you like, is what you should do. I like the treadmill for it's versatility. You can start off walking, then increase to walk/run, etc., etc.
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Old 12-26-2010, 09:38 AM   #8
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I used to have a treadmill and currently have an elliptical. I prefer the elliptical. I am not in good shape right now and I can have success on the elliptical. I agree that the treadmill is a good choice if you are already able to run. I am able to use my elliptical, use my Wii or pop in a Leslie Sansone video. I also walk my dog outside for exercise (and really good therapy time just being with him).
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Old 12-26-2010, 04:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt_H View Post
I've never really gotten into the elliptical. It just feels weird to me. I can't get the rhythm of it and it just isn't fun for me.

I run on the threadmil in the winter when it is freezing cold. I like it because you have lots of settings and control over speed, etc.
The elliptical might feel weird to you because of your height, Matt. The units at the gym feel weird to me, too, and I'm 3" shorter than you. The ones at my gym are not really made for tall people. I bought my own elliptical a couple of years ago and made sure to buy one with a long stride and it has made a big difference.

I like the elliptical. I can walk forever on a treadmill and not break a sweat, but a few minutes on the elliptical gets my heart rate up and I am getting a workout! I still kinda wish I also had a treadmill, though, because I can't run for 4-5 months of the year here because of snow, ice and dark.
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Old 12-26-2010, 05:23 PM   #10
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If I had a gym quality elliptical, I'd say go for the elliptical. Otherwise I vote the treadmill. I don't think a good quality elliptical is very affordable but you can get a decent treadmill for cheap.

I alternate between them. If you have plans to run one day, you can start now with running intervals and increasing your time.
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Old 12-26-2010, 06:34 PM   #11
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Are you running or walking? If you're walking then you'll get way more calorie burn from the elliptical unless you're going to power walk and do hills.

If you're running, well not much can burn more than running.
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:12 AM   #12
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Are you running or walking? If you're walking then you'll get way more calorie burn from the elliptical unless you're going to power walk and do hills.

If you're running, well not much can burn more than running.
I second this. If you're running, you should continue running, but if you're a walker, the elliptical will give you more bang for your buck.

Unfortunately, we got a foot of snow here last night so I can't run outside and I'm housesitting at a place that only has an elliptical, so I hopped on the elliptical last night. Actually, I guess it is fortunate because I don't have an elliptical or treadmill at my house, lol! I regularly run 3 miles about 3-4 times/week, so I'm not a marathoner or anything like that, but I was totally unable to get my heart rate up on the elliptical. I was on the "hill" program and going pretty fast, but it did not compare at all to running. The machine said I burned 650 calories, but I don't believe it because it didn't feel like a workout at all - I barely broke a sweat and I was able to read a novel while doing it! If you have bad knees or are a walker, it's probably a great way to get your workout in though. In the meantime, I'll stare out the window and hope that this snow melts soon
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:46 AM   #13
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In my experience, after trying about seven different brands of ellipticals in multiple gyms & hotels & resort complexes, the brand you're on & the maintenance it has received matters a LOT MORE to the quality of your workouts than it does to your average treadmill.

Regularly maintained, high-end ellipticals can exhaust you completely if you put the resistance on high enough.

But setting Brand A on resistance of 8 gives you a different workout than setting Brand X on 10 or even 12.

Treadmills use measurements that are pretty universal, so you can pick up where you left off no matter what brand you get on. (Not completely, of course, cause the "feel" of strange equipment or cheaper-than-your-usual equipment is always going to put you off-stride.)

Ellipticals, heck, what is interval? What is hill? What is "cardio"? What is resistance? How much arm work can you get? What about the ones with nothing but a handle for you to grab & no arm work at all?

Still, I'm in the elliptical camp because it's been better for my lousy feet. (Over time, I can't deal with the direct pounding of running. Just on occasion.) It's been good for my butt, too. But it took spinning class to really build up my quads.

Give me a new Precor elliptical over a four-year-old Life Fitness elliptical any day, though.
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Old 12-28-2010, 07:14 PM   #14
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I prefer the treadmill. Running (and to a lesser extent walking) helps build strong bones because of the pounding and weight. Women need to put put weight on our bones to help prevent osteoporosis. However if you have knee or feet problems (like arthritis) you might be better off with with an elliptical - it's much more gentle on your joints.
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Old 12-29-2010, 02:33 PM   #15
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Treadmill. Great burn and tons of variety if you're creative.

If you can't jog/run then incline train. Elliptical is good when you need to be low impact due to joint problems and what-not
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