Exercise Bike vs. Treadmill Advantages and Disadvantages

If you are comparing the exercise bike vs. the treadmill, you will find they both provide excellent means for cardio exercise. Since your aim is to get fit and lose weight, then it is helpful to know a few advantages and disadvantages of each.

Pros and Cons of the Treadmill

The advantages of walking or running indoors on a treadmill are obvious: there’s no traffic or bad weather, etc., to deal with. Treadmills have long been considered to be the king of cardio conditioning; a weight-bearing exercise that strengthens muscles, improves bone density, and much more.

In fact, the main advantage of the exercise bike vs. treadmill is that jogging or running can burn up to 50% more calories in an hour than riding a stationary bike since it requires you to use more stabilizer and core muscles.

But the opposite also applies: a weight-bearing workout can be a drawback since it is not something everyone is capable of doing. Some seniors with balance issues, overweight individuals, and people with rehabilitative injuries can’t walk on a treadmill because of the inherit dangers of a potential fall.

Another disadvantage to a treadmill is its physical size and mechanics. It has a larger footprint in a room than a bike, and can easily weigh over 250 pounds, making it difficult to move into or out of the house, or from room to room.

Also, since it will have a drive motor, incline motor, electronic display, and computer motherboard, there are many expensive parts to replace if they burn out. The exercise bike is far less expensive to buy and maintain; its chain or belt drive system offers easy replacement and repairs if necessary.

Pros and Cons of the Exercise Bike

One of the major advantages of the exercise bike vs. a treadmill is in the cost. You can buy a very reliable bike for as little as $500 to $700. To buy a comparable treadmill will cost at least $1000.

While the exercise bike is not a weight-bearing exercise, something that is beneficial to building strong bones to prevent osteoporosis, it is a great way to strengthen muscles in the lower body using low impact exercise.

This seated exercise is a welcome alternative for users who can’t stand up on a treadmill. For those who do not like the upright bike, a recumbent bike offers a padded seat and lumbar support for the back, making it the best choice for many non-fit users.

The stationary bike can be used for hour-long workouts and even short interval training sessions using combinations of adjustable resistance on the belt and varying the cadence of pedaling speed. You may not burn as many calories as you could running on a treadmill, but you can get your heart rate up to your max VO2 zone.

Another advantage to riding a bike over walking on a treadmill is that you can read a book or magazine comfortable while pedaling, and the nearly silent flywheel is ideal for when you want to watch TV.

Which is Better for You?

If you are young and fit and looking forward to entering some 5K races next spring, then the treadmill makes more sense. But if you want an affordable, silent, lightweight to move, low-impact, and non-weight bearing machine – then the exercise bike wins easily.

Ideally, if you had the budget and the room in your home, you don’t have to debate an exercise bike vs. a treadmill – getting both and doing workouts on alternate days would give you a variety of good cardio and combat boredom while exercising.

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