Here’s the situation: You’re at the gym, standing between the elliptical machine and the treadmill. You have 45 minutes till you have to leave and you want to get the best workout possible. Which do you choose?
Both forms of exercise are good. The best way to answer this question is by determining what you want out of your workout.
If you’re not competitive and you’re just looking to burn calories and stay in shape, then you can pick either one of these and be set to go. The elliptical has a number of advantages over the treadmill if you’re just trying to stay in shape. For starters, an elliptical machine ensures that you’re getting an arm workout as well as a leg workout. The elliptical is also good because it reduces impact on the joints. If you’re trying to take better care of your knees and feet, you can do so by using the elliptical because it’s much better on your joints. It’s also great if you’re recovering from an injury because it’s not as hard on your lower body.
You can get a great workout on the elliptical machine, but if you’re training for a race or a long distance run, then the treadmill will be much better at simulating a real life situation. An elliptical machine is not going to prepare you for a run in the woods or a race in the city. If you have an event that you want to participate in, the best way to train is by doing whatever’s going to be most similar to that event.
For more information on the impact of running on your joints, visit http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-241-285–12232-0,00.html
K.G. Gauntt, DPM