Treadmill vs bike: Which offers the best cardio workout

Treadmills and indoor bikes helped people stay fit at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. While both these equipments offer cardiovascular health benefits, which one provides the best value?
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The pandemic has made us lean towards new possibilities with its limitations worldwide. In other words, we have found substitutes. We have made many switches over time be it working from home/hill to working out from home. With the ongoing pandemic, the stress of working out at home has triggered all the gym junkies to adapt to home workouts which can be tricky.

The struggle boils down to getting the right equipment that hits an individual's fitness goals. Usually, the preference for a home workout narrows down to a treadmill or fitness bike because they are both fantastic for cardiovascular exercise. But the difficult question is which of the two is a better one?

This article will break down the two to make a rational and fit decision according to your fitness level and routine.

Treadmill vs. Bike

What is a treadmill?

The treadmill is fitness equipment that can help you run or walk indoors while giving you the freedom to do it at your own pace. Few types also allow you to incline the platform, which provides you with the exact feeling of climbing a hill. This way, you add more challenge to your routine and accomplish your cardio needs.

Pros:

Treadmills make for a convenient way of indoor running because there can be circumstances when the outdoor environment restricts you. This pandemic has contributed to limiting our movement indoors. So, to be running with the treadmills, you can get your goals achieved at home and at your own time.

Another advantage is that you can alter your speed on the treadmill, which means you can try to improve your pace while running, so in a way, you will challenge your speed and control.

If your treadmill has an incline feature, you can further toughen the exercise. And, if you can control both the speed and incline of the equipment, you will experience some intense magnitude of workouts.

Running on a treadmill also helps to improve your postures and balance since it does not strain your joints but gives you practical cardio and aerobic sessions.

They also help the runners train for marathons and other races better because you can change the workout settings and imitate different and difficult terrains and trails.

Cons:

Treadmills are relatively good for a cardio session, but they have limitations. Running outside the house boosts the balance and coordination of the body more than that of a treadmill run, and a run outside in the fresh air is another experience of its own, and you may miss out on that.

Another downfall of the treadmill running alone does not target all your muscles like hamstrings and glutes, so you will always have to juggle it with other forms of workout.

Treadmills also tend to be boring after a certain point in time. Despite all the digital content and powerful music that vibes well with a good run, it might demotivate you after a point of time, and you would look forward to other forms of training.

What is an Exercise Bike?

Riding a bike effectively reduces fat while strengthening your muscles and keeping your heart healthy. Again, it is a great way to shed the added loads and body toning without straining the joints.

Pros:

The fitness bike is a great way to burn down your calories and tone up your body. For people who fancy the home workout setting or feel cycling at home is safer, this option works for them because the benefit of this equipment is many.

Biking is a low-impact cardio workout that smoothens the movement without stressing your joints and muscles. This is why people of all ages can benefit from biking. Comparatively, if you are jumping, jogging, or indulging in other activities, you are more at risk when it comes to stressing your joints and muscles.

Regular biking can also improve your blood circulation and build up your immunity, which will impact your moods, keep you energetic, and lower your stress levels.

Also, since most of us are familiar with cycling and have done it at some point in our lives, it is easy to adapt to something we are aware of in our routine.

Cons:

Indoor biking is indeed a great workout buddy, but it has its disadvantages.

The bike training will undoubtedly help you shed some weight and fat. Still, it cannot replicate real-world biking experience. Even if the workout settings can be changed and are made more challenging it does not match the intensity and control of an outdoor ride.

Most people might believe that fitness bikes will help reduce a lot of weight. That holds true, but in comparison, you are bound to lose more weight when you opt for an outdoor bike and in the case of indoor bikes you require some extra patience and time to reach that level. So, in a way, you will put extra effort but not yield many results like that of outdoor biking.

Also, for people who enjoy outdoor riding, it becomes hard for them to do a home workout every day because it would get monotonous after a point of time despite the playlist, music and other benefits.

Which fitness equipment should you go for?

Your fitness equipment would depend on the fitness goal. So, if you are looking for more muscle training, you should go for a bike, and if you are looking for something that is purely cardio, then the treadmill can be your best friend.

If you suffer from ankle or joint pain, then a bike will help you solve your cardio training better without straining your joints.

So, it entirely depends on your goals as to which one would suit your fitness regime.

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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