Exercise Bike vs. Treadmill: What Will Help You to Fulfill Your Goals? (Summer 2022)

When it comes to exercise, bike or treadmill – which is better? We’ve taken a comparative look at the key differences between these two.
Last updatedLast updated: August 01, 2022
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If you’ve taken the important step to improve your fitness level, well done! The next step is to find the right exercise equipment for the task at hand. Two of the most common options to consider are a stationary exercise bike or a treadmill. While both are recommended for improving your cardio health, your fitness level and personal goals might make one a better option. When it comes to exercise, bike vs. treadmill – which is better? Read on for a detailed comparison.

How to choose?

Choosing the right piece of cardio equipment can be challenging because every brand and machine promises to meet your fitness goals in record time. Essentially, treadmills are designed for indoor cycling, whereas stationary bikes are meant for indoor cycling.

Types of treadmills

If you’re considering a treadmill, here are the types to review:

  • Manual treadmill: This type of treadmill uses belts and rollers, which you move with your own body effort.
  • Motorized treadmill: You can set your own pace with a motorized treadmill. It’s also possible to choose the degree of incline depending on the level of exercise you want to do.
  • Folding treadmill: If space is an issue in your home gym, then you can opt for a folding treadmill. The folding frame is strong enough to ensure that your workout remains uncompromised.
  • Commercial treadmill: These types of treadmills are designed for high-performance use at home or the gym. Ideally, a commercial model can be used for up to 12 hours per day.

Types of exercise bikes

It’s estimated that the home exercise bike market will grow by an estimated 8.7% by 2027 Trusted Source Home Exercise Bike Market Size, Share & Growth | Report Forecast 2027 Home exercise bikes are stationary workout equipment used to improve and maintain cardiovascular health. It is also used to cut down body fat. Unlike the gym variants, the home exercise bike is used to work out from home. It consists of subparts such as saddle, handlebars, pedals, and foot straps.  The machine usually do not require any form of training before use but, some variants of this equipment may require some technical know-how to operate effectively. www.alliedmarketresearch.com . If you’re reviewing options of exercise bike types to join this trend, there are three key options to consider:

  • Upright bike: This type of bike encourages you to sit in an upright position. You can, however, alternate your position between a sitting or standing position.
  • Indoor bike: If your fitness routine requires speed, then you’ll definitely want to consider an indoor bike. Also called spin bikes, these models are designed for fast pedaling, which in turn increases calorie burn.
  • Recumbent bike: For the most part, these bikes have wider seats and reclined positions offering additional support. Since they’re lower to the ground, it’s easier to get on and off.

Factors to consider

Exercise Bike vs. Treadmill: What Will Help You to Fulfill Your Goals? (Summer 2022)

Comparing your fitness needs with what each machine offers will assist you in making the right purchase decision.

When it comes to deciding between an exercise bike and treadmill, it’s crucial to consider factors such as mobility, ease of use, space for the machine as well as what you hope to achieve from the specific machine. Keep reading as we use these key factors to compare both machines.

Calorie burn

As you draw up your fitness goals, a top priority will most likely be burning as many calories as possible. A big advantage is that both the exercise bike and the treadmill work very well for burning maximum calories. Benefits of high calorie-burning exercise:

  • Keeps blood vessels healthy which lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Protects against the onset of diabetes and aids with control of an existing condition
  • Improves mood and lowers feelings of anxiety
  • Assists with weight loss

Exercise bike: Fitness experts suggest that you can burn between three to six calories per minute, depending on the chosen resistance and speed. If you’re doing an hour workout, you’ll lose an average of 400 to 500 calories while strengthening your heart!

Treadmill: There’s no denying that a treadmill allows you to burn more calories if used to maximum capacity. You’re looking at an average of 600 to 800 calories over an hour. However, you shouldn’t start at maximum capacity on your first day. Work your way up to it to prevent serious injury.

Experience level

As good as many exercise machines are advertised, the reality is that they’re not all beginner-friendly. Fortunately, both the exercise bike and the treadmill are easy to use. So, whether you’re hopping on for the first time or you’re a regular exerciser, you’ll experience the same level of ease. This will go a long way to keeping you motivated.

Exercise bike: Many fitness trainers recommend using an exercise bike to start increasing your cardio at the beginning of your fitness routine. Exercise bikes are also ideal for easing into an exercise program if you’re recovering from illness or injury. The convenience of doing your workout in a seated position can be very beneficial in this instance.

Treadmill: If you’ve done any type of running or jogging previously, you could potentially find the ease of a seated exercise not challenging enough. In this case, a treadmill is ideal. If you’re eager to lose a lot of calories in a shorter time, a treadmill will be more effective.

Your mobility

It makes no sense to invest in an exercise machine that you’re going to struggle to get onto or even use. Doing that will make you lose interest before any of your fitness goals have been achieved.

Exercise bike: Factors such as age and medical conditions such as knee arthritis Trusted Source Knee Arthritis | Johns Hopkins Medicine Knee arthritis occurs when the cushioning cartilage in the joint wears down, making the knee stiff and painful with certain movements. www.hopkinsmedicine.org , which are aggravated by weight-bearing activities, could make an exercise bike a better option.

Treadmill: Using a treadmill means you won’t have the benefit of sitting. You’ll require considerably more energy to have an effective workout. Only opt for a treadmill if you don’t suffer from knee or ankle weaknesses. Recent advancements in the treadmill industry have seen some models suitable for use under a wheelchair.

Some of these new models are small enough to fit under desks or standing workstations, allowing you to work and exercise at the same time!

Injury risk

No matter what your current fitness levels are, there’s always the possibility of injury. That’s why it’s always a good idea to assess the risk of injury before making your final decision.

Exercise bike: For the most part, bike exercise is considered a low-impact activity. This is large because your feet will be secured inside the pedals as you use the bike. With an exercise bike, it’s easy to do different levels of high-intensity workouts which train leg muscles without excessive pressure.

Treadmill: Since running on a treadmill is regarded as a high-impact exercise, there’s a greater risk of injury. Injuries you could be at risk to include the following:

  • Over-exercising
  • Stress on your joints from your feet repeatedly hitting the ground
  • Not standing on the treadmill correctly can cause back and knee injury

Your goals

Once you’ve decided to improve your health, it’s crucial to draw up goals that will get you to your desired fitness goals in a reasonable amount of time. It’s therefore important to consider what each machine is best suited to before making your purchase.

Exercise bike: Stationary bikes are better suited to exercises suited around calves, thighs, and glutes. Both traditional and technical models are excellent for assisting with weight loss, muscle toning as well as heart strengthening. Generally, though, exercise bikes aren’t great for any type of upper body exercise. An exercise bike also offers less impact on your knees and feet. Keep this in mind when opting for an exercise bike!

Treadmill: People who want to experience the benefits of running without hitting the streets will do well on a treadmill. Any training for marathons, triathlons, and other road races can easily be done on a treadmill. A big advantage of opting for a treadmill is that it allows you to get fit in the safety of your home. No running in the streets!

Cost

Deciding to improve your fitness levels is one thing. Finding a piece of equipment that agrees with your budget can be challenging. It’s therefore important to consider the initial cost of the machine as well as potential maintenance or part replacement as the unit ages.

Exercise bikes: Some more technical units require a monthly subscription to enable all the features on offer. Despite this, most stationary bikes tend to be cheaper than treadmills.

Treadmills: Aside from the higher cost, treadmills will at some point require additional servicing and maintenance. Unlike the bike, components such as the belt, motor, and incline could require replacement as the unit is used.

Exercise classes

The advantage of modern exercise equipment is that you can simply connect to an app and join a live-streaming exercise class. This makes exercise more engaging and keeps you accountable for your daily sessions. For both the exercise bike and treadmill, you can check online or with your local gym for available online classes.

Some tech-savvy models feature apps that you can access to join online classes. Alternatively, joining a live class at your local gym will allow you the opportunity to evaluate both machines. This will help you choose the right option for your goals.

Space at home

A key consideration is a space available in your home. Whether you have a dedicated room to use as a gym or simply hoping to squeeze your equipment in a corner, considering the size of each machine into consideration is important.

Exercise bike: Most exercise bikes are smaller than the average treadmill. For the most part, they weigh less and require less standing room. However, it’s not light enough to store in a cupboard, so you’re still going to need a specific area to place it.

Treadmill: It’s important to note that traditional treadmills are larger and heavier. Aside from needing a bigger space for it to stand, you need to ensure the weight won’t damage your floor. It might be necessary to place a rubber mat underneath.

Benefits of both options

Aside from the key factors we’ve already discussed, there are a few additional benefits to consider before making your choice.

Exercise bike

The most prominent benefits of an exercise bike include the following:

  • Safer than road cycling – since the bike is stationary, there’s minimal risk of falling off
  • Strengthens legs and lower body muscles
  • Provides you with a low-impact workout
  • Burns body fat and calories
  • Easy enough for beginners and people of different ages and mobility levels
  • Low-impact workout
  • Allows for interval training
  • Suitable for different fitness levels
  • Not dependent on good weather

Treadmill

Treadmill workouts also have several advantages, such as:

  • Reduces the impact that your legs will experience when running on road surfaces
  • You can control the level of workout with a touch of a button
  • Endorphin release Trusted Source Exercise and stress: Get moving to manage stress - Mayo Clinic  Physical activity may help bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Although this function is often referred to as a runner’s high, any aerobic activity, such as a rousing game of tennis or a nature hike, can contribute to this same feeling. www.mayoclinic.org boosts mental health
  • Treadmills simulate road running
  • Ideal for marathon or triathlon training
  • Smaller models can be used under workstations
  • Running increases blood circulation
  • Aids weight loss and burns calories
  • Increases muscle building

Tips to have a safe workout

Getting the maximum output from your exercise bike or treadmill is crucial to keeping yourself motivated to keep at it. It’s also essential to prevent injury. To have a successful and safe workout, consider these few tips.

  • Position your body correctly on the bike – Staying in the proper form prevents back injury
  • Pace yourself in the beginning stages of the workout – overdoing exercise can result in muscle injury
  • Both machines are great for interval training which means you can divide your workout into smaller increments making it easier to adjust to your routine
  • If you suffer from any blood pressure or heart-related issues, you should check with your doctor before choosing a machine
  • Draw up workout schedules and join an online class to keep motivation levels up
  • Stay hydrated Trusted Source Hydration for Athletes - familydoctor.org Getting the right amount of water before, during, and after exercise helps your body to function properly. A lack of hydration can cause serious problems. familydoctor.org during your workout

Final thoughts

When considering the options between an exercise bike vs treadmill, the good news is that both offer an easy-to-use cardio workout. Additionally, you’ll reap the benefits of weight loss and improved health. Choosing between the two depends on the factors we’ve discussed, and once you make a choice, you’ll be well on your way to a fitter, healthier version of your current self!

References

1.
Home Exercise Bike Market Size, Share & Growth | Report Forecast 2027
Home exercise bikes are stationary workout equipment used to improve and maintain cardiovascular health. It is also used to cut down body fat. Unlike the gym variants, the home exercise bike is used to work out from home. It consists of subparts such as saddle, handlebars, pedals, and foot straps.  The machine usually do not require any form of training before use but, some variants of this equipment may require some technical know-how to operate effectively.
2.
Knee Arthritis | Johns Hopkins Medicine
Knee arthritis occurs when the cushioning cartilage in the joint wears down, making the knee stiff and painful with certain movements.
3.
Exercise and stress: Get moving to manage stress - Mayo Clinic
 Physical activity may help bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Although this function is often referred to as a runner’s high, any aerobic activity, such as a rousing game of tennis or a nature hike, can contribute to this same feeling.
4.
Hydration for Athletes - familydoctor.org
Getting the right amount of water before, during, and after exercise helps your body to function properly. A lack of hydration can cause serious problems.
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