Exercise bikes and treadmills are commonly used exercise machines designed to give you a cardiovascular workout in the comfort of the indoors. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity, such as a leisurely bike ride, or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity, such as running. You can meet these recommendations on an exercise bike or a treadmill.
The exercise bike is similar to a regular bike, except that you can go for a daily ride in your own home or gym. Unlike traditional bikes, exercise bikes enable you to turn up the resistance to simulate going uphill. This feature helps to make the ride more difficult and boosts overall calorie burn. The added resistance also has the added benefit of toning the leg muscles from the calves to the glutes.
Treadmills allow runners and walkers to get in their exercise regardless of the temperature outside. A treadmill also has the ability increase resistance by adjusting the incline, which simulates running or walking up a hill. Treadmills have a variety of speeds, which means you can go from walking to sprinting easily.
There are many benefits to using an exercise bike or treadmill. Exercise bikes are low-impact, making them a smart choice for those with knee or ankle problems. Treadmills can be used in a variety of ways from walking up steep inclines to sprinting, so they can fit almost anyone's exercise level. In terms of calorie expenditure, treadmills burn more calories because you are using your entire body, whereas on the bike you are simply using your legs.
Both the exercise bike and treadmill are excellent tools for cardiovascular workouts. Deciding on which machine is right for you depends on what your goals are for your fitness program. A treadmill is essential for anyone who is training for a race and has no problems with joints or injuries. An exercise bike is a comfortable, yet challenging way to burn calories for those who need a more low-impact method for getting a cardiovascular workout.
Kaitlin Condon is a holistic health coach and certified physical fitness/wellness specialist. She is a contributing health writer for the teen magazine "Miabella," as well as several online publications.