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Losing weight requires being active. Diet and food choices absolutely do count for a lot, but sedentary people are never going to see the best weight loss gains. Diet alone does not improve cardiovascular conditioning and, honestly, dieting is not fun. Working out can be enjoyable and, yes, fun.

A number of different types of cardiovascular equipment are commonplace in the home and commercial gym fitness market. Two of the most popular are the treadmill and the elliptical machine.

Is one better than the other?

Calories and Concerns

Both a treadmill and an elliptical trainer will burn calories. Both have the potential to contribute to muscle development. The concern here is which one is going to be more efficient.

Maximizing the benefits of a workout session ensures the time invested in the session is spent on the right equipment. Yes, a number of things contribute to whether or not the session is beneficial. A simple thing like personal preference plays a huge role. Someone who finds a treadmill boring is not going to use one. If an elliptical trainer comes off as more engaging and fun, more time is going to be spent using one.

The empirical side of the coin needs to be put front and center, too. Anyone who is interested in purchasing exercise equipment for weight loss wants to attain the best possible results. Likely, the person wants to attain the results in quickest — yet still reasonable — amount of time.

A serious look at the weight loss potential of a treadmill vs. and elliptical trainer probably would be a good thing for anyone thinking about a purchase.

Tales of the Treadmill

The elliptical trainer debuted over two decades ago. The treadmill, amazingly, has been around for well over 100 years. A lot of work and tweaks have been performed on the treadmill over the years. A very refined piece of equipment is the end result of those many years of engineering.

The treadmill has never gone out of style. The treadmill is still a featured piece of equipment in gyms all over the world. Why would it be removed? The treadmill still works and is enormously efficient for burning calories.

Forward momentum contributes to the ability to burn up calories. Gravity factors into treadmill work. Walking, jogging, or running forward works against the resistance of gravity against the body. The body is not exactly light. The gravity-resistance combo assists in boosting calorie burning quite a bit. Calorie burning should lead to fat loss when the exercises are performed wisely. Beware — exercise can also burn muscle if done for too long or at too high of an intensity level.

Treadmills are packed with features that maximize the ability to get the right workout. Incline angles and speed can be altered to make the session higher or lower in intensity. Everything from a brisk walk to high-intensity interval training can be performed on a treadmill. (It goes without saying pushing oneself too hard is not advisable. Undergoing a medical check-up prior to starting an exercise program is a common bit of advice for a reason)

The stat readout on a quality treadmill can provide information on targeted heart rate, number of calories burned, distance, and more. Treadmills often come with pre-programmed workout options that allow for automatically changing up how the exercise session goes.

Tales of the Elliptical Trainer

Elliptical trainers do not present the potential to burn as many calories as a treadmill. Elliptical trainers lack the variety of different tweaks that a treadmill presents. Treadmills may be more beneficial for working out at higher intensities. This does not, however, mean an elliptical trainer is a poor choice for a weight loss program. Elliptical trainers do put forth two major benefits a treadmill lacks.

Walking, running, or jogging on a treadmill comes with a lot of bouncing. The design of a treadmill allows for smooth, consistent movement. Impact on the joints could be greatly reduced as a result. No one can predict whether or not the body will suffer wear and tear from any type of exercise program or equipment device, but some equipment systems are engineered for a lesser chance of problems.

Reducing or eliminating joint pain from exercise sessions brings forth a host of benefits. Quality of life is always going to be improved when living is a pain-free experience.

Elliptical trainers come with more than just foot pedals. Handlebars are integrated into the device and the arms move forwards and backward just as the feet and legs do when walking. This means the upper body is worked out just as the lower body. The arm, chest, and shoulder muscles are pulled into the workout along with the quads and calves. The more comprehensive results achieved from an elliptical workout are sure to be appreciated by those looking for appearance improvements.

Personal Experiences

Reading about the pros and cons of elliptical trainers and treadmills is not enough. Watching online videos detailing the same content isn’t enough, either.

A bit of time and effort spent working out on both a treadmill and an elliptical trainer allows someone to gain insight into which piece of equipment is the better one. Not everyone gets the same results from the same exercise equipment although specific devices are more likely to deliver a commonly established result.

The newly enthusiastic fitness participant still must figure out what particular device and workout program is best for him/her. Personal experience and maybe some trial and error are the way to discover sought after answers.

And who ever said changing up workout programs and exercise equipment was a banned practice? Switching up from treadmill to elliptical trainer on different days may lead to very good results since the body won’t get completely used to the workouts it is experiencing.

Questions surrounding treadmills vs. elliptical trainers are going to be asked time and time again. Generally, both are good and deliver results when good workout habits are followed.