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Exercise Bike vs. Treadmill – Which Should You Choose?

Exercise Bike vs. Treadmill – Which Should You Choose?

December 9, 2012 @ 5:17 am

So, Exercise Bike vs. Treadmill – Which is the Best?


Exercise Bike vs. Treadmill

Exercise Bike vs. Treadmill

Many people decide that home is the best and most convenient place in which to exercise.  While there are many different types of exercise equipment available for home workouts, the two that seem to be the most popular are exercise bikes and treadmills.

The things to consider before choosing are safety, sustainability and how effective the workouts from each are. These will differ according to your age and ability. But once you ‘ve done a little research on exercise bike vs treadmill you will soon see which one is best for you.  Here are some tips to help you.

Overcoming Boredom

The biggest obstacle to a home exercise routine is boredom. You don’t have to drive to a gym, so your home fitness equipment is more convenient. The problem is that other distractions are likely to intrude and take your time and attention away from your workout at home.

There are sure to be a zillion things you would rather do. The key is to make your routine fun. You need to look forward to that daily workout. Let’s be realistic; playing with the heart rate monitor or watching the calorie counter go up will only be fun the first couple of times.

Boredom Level of a Treadmill

Exercise Bike vs. Treadmill


On a treadmill, you walk. Walking isn’t that much fun for most people. You can vary the  speeds, but that doesn’t increase the fun level. If you get a treadmill that offers an incline, it will be a bit more interesting. Walking uphill isn’t exactly fun, but it’s different. It offers a challenge.

It is difficult to read on a treadmill because of the up and down movement. It is difficult to keep your eyes on the same sentence, and you usually end up with a headache.

Really, the only thing fun to do on a treadmill is watch television or movies or listen to music. If you are really into TV or movies and can locate the treadmill in front of a television, you can probably keep your treadmill workout from becoming too boring. Problems consist of commercials, the noise coming from the machine, and again, your bouncing movement.

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Boredom Level of Exercise Bikes

Many exercise bikes come programmed with various cycling routines. You simulate different courses that require you to sprint, pedal uphill, and perform at different levels within one workout without having to keep pressing buttons and changing everything. You can even select random programs so you don’t know what’s coming, which really keeps you on your toes.

Exercise Bike vs. Treadmill

Exercise bike

Some exercise bikes can even be plugged into televisions and video games to let you interactively pedal through visual courses.

Upright exercise bikes have the same problems as treadmills as far as reading is concerned. Recumbent bikes, however, allow your hands to be free to hold a book or magazine, video game controller, or phone.

Multi-tasking during an exercise bike workout keeps it from becoming boring and allows your workout to more easily fit into a busy schedule.

Defeating boredom to successfully keep up a long-term exercise routine is much easier with an exercise bike vs treadmill. When it comes to exercise bike vs. treadmill the former wins the boredom challenge. But there is more yet to consider.

The Calorie Factor

Nordic Track conducted a study of young, healthy people doing cardio workouts using various exercise machines . Although most felt they used the same intensity on all machines, the most calories burned were on treadmills and ski machines.

On average, most people burn about 750 calories per hour on a treadmill. The same people are likely to burn about 550 calories per hour on an exercise bike. So it’s a no-brainer, right? You should get a treadmill because they burn more calories.

Well, not exactly in this comparison of exercise bike vs treadmill.

You can’t get so caught up in which machine burns the most calories. You have to take a lot of other factors into consideration. For instance, how likely you are to sustain a treadmill routine as opposed to an exercise bike routine is really important.

Since exercise bikes are usually more fun than treadmills, you are much more likely to stick with it long-term. So even though you can burn more calories on a treadmill, you are also more likely to stop using it altogether.

The length of the workout session should also be taken into consideration. Most people find it easier to workout for 20 minutes on an exercise bike than 20 minutes on a treadmill. You have to think about that. If you’re likely to only do 10 minutes on a treadmill but can easily do 20 minutes on an exercise bike, you will burn more calories per session on an exercise bike.

So just going strictly by the numbers, treadmills burn more calories. But if you easily get bored or have tried and failed to stick with exercise routines in the past, you might want to consider burning less calories per hour in favor of a sustainable long-term exercise bike regimen.

Your Safety is a Factor

The biggest difference  in our look at exercise bike vs. treadmills is overall safety to your body.

Unfortunately you can fall off of a treadmill quite easily. But it’s very difficult to fall off of an exercise bike. In fact, you would probably have to try hard to fall when riding an exercise bike.

While you might be thinking you’d have to be pretty clumsy to fall while walking, it happens more than you’d think.

The thing is that the treadmill keeps going even if you stop walking – unless you press the right buttons. And people tend to get involved with watching television or the beat of music. One wrong step and you can seriously injure yourself. It’s also possible to spill water or sweat on the treadmill track, causing a safety hazard you mighn’t notice until after you’ve slipped.

Another safety hazard is injury from the activity itself. A treadmill puts quite a bit of stress on your joints, especially your knees and ankles. Even if you invest in a treadmill with some degree of shock absorption, when you eventually get to a jogging or running point, you can put severe orthopedic stress on your body, even up to three times your body weight.

People with existing conditions such as arthritis will find a treadmill painful at times due to this stress. Otherwise healthy individuals can sustain injury and possible long-term damage over time through the constant use of a treadmill.

One the other hand, exercise bikes put much less stress on your joints. A properly positioned exercise bike supports your weight and still allows you to receive the benefits of a higher impact cardio workout.

Exercise Bike vs. Treadmill

Mini exercise bike

Upright bikes can sometimes stress your back in the way you have to bend to reach the handlebars. Recumbent exercise bikes, however, can actually improve existing back pain by forcing proper posture and giving support as you exercise.

When an exercise bike is used properly, knees and ankles will not be stressed as they are on a treadmill.

The less you stress joints, the less likely you are to sustain an injury during your workout. You are also less likely to be sore afterwards.

Most importantly, a non-workout injury doesn’t always have to halt your exercise routine on an exercise bike. If you hurt your back or neck, you will find the support of a recumbent exercise bike will keep you from having to stop your exercise regimen altogether.

Let’s face it – if you have to stop, you are less likely to start again.

70th birthday (1) (291x340)Rusty sums up …

“So Exercise Bike vs. Treadmill? The Bike Wins!”

“It’s easy to see that even though both exercise bikes and treadmills have their own advantages, the former actually is better in that you’ re more likely to continue to use it.  And it will give you fewer problems when you do.

“My recommendation before you buy ANY exercise machine is to thoroughly check out all types, brands and models. You can see them all at AMAZON on  the Health, Fitness and Sport  Club site, LIFE FITNESS GEAR,  by clicking the link below.

“Included are the best and latest  Core & Abdominal Trainers, Elliptical Trainers, Exercise Bikes, Home Gyms, Rowing Machines, Step Machines, Treadmills, Vibration Platforms and many accessories.”







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  • April 26, 2013

    I am a little biased on this one because I absolutely love spin class so the exercise bike is my first choice over the treadmill. I find that an exercise bike takes away boredom and I feel like I get a better workout. My speed has increased and weight loss. Love this article!

  • September 19, 2013

    You’re so cool! I do not suppose I have read a single thing like this
    before. So good to discover someone with a few
    unique thoughts on this issue. Really.. thanks
    for starting this up. This site is something that’s needed on
    the web, someone with some originality!

  • Carolann
    October 20, 2013

    I have been a treadmill devotee for many, many years. Now, after a daily racewalk on the treadmill of 4 or 5 miles, I am experiencing complications due to arthritis. Neck, back and joints are effected. I am delighted to read your opinion about stationary bikes. Time to offload my once beloved treadmill and get a professional quality stationary bike! Many thanks.

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