Cardio is ridiculously important and underutilized.
It’s the key to longevity, heart health, endurance, and a balanced body that always stays in the right weight range.
When you actually get into cardio as a form of exercise, it becomes apparent that there are too many different machines and activities you could try out. It gets a bit mind-boggling.
Two of the best possible cardio machines you could use are the treadmill, and the exercise bike.
We’re here to pit them against each other, display the benefits and drawbacks of each one, and have a little treadmill vs exercise bike showdown.
- Exercise Bikes
- It’s All About How You Exercise
Ease of Use
What’s so difficult about stepping on a moving tread, right?
Treadmills have the lowest threshold for fitness-based skill to get started with, because all of us already know how to walk.
I would say that treadmills are easily the most convenient cardio machines ever made, which is why you only ever see manufacturers making improved models instead of trying to completely reinvent them.
They work, and when you realize how many calories you can burn with them, it’s pretty insane.
Next time you go to the gym, take a look at the enormous wall of treadmills that they have.
Those are there for newer members to have an easier time getting started, and that’s why they take up a good amount of available machine space.
Treadmills are one of the best cardio machines, and they’re also one of the most expensive.
You have to think that 99% of all treadmills made today are motorized, and it’s not cheap to get motors that are powerful enough to move a tread with hundreds of pounds on top of them.
Not only that, but many treadmills now come with bluetooth connectivity for apps and data tracking.
I would say that a good treadmill is going to cost you north of $300, on average.
This isn’t the case with every good treadmill, but since it’s a big piece of machinery, you would want to invest in a quality model over getting whatever is cheapest.
Trust me, you don’t want to physically move treadmills more than a couple times in your life.
Treadmills offer a quick way to get started with your workout.
Because there aren’t many dynamic movements, you could just step onto one in your standard, day-to-day clothes if you really wanted to.
The convenience is excellent.
Chief among the list of the best calorie-burning workout machines is treadmills.
You work up a sweat, shed those pounds, and you can see total body transformation just using this single piece of machinery.
Using a treadmill is the safest form of in-home cardio. To have an accident or major injury on a treadmill, you’d have to be intentionally trying to get hurt.
Treadmills can be fairly high intensity, depending on the speed you select and the user weight.
They’re not going to be too forgiving on your knees or joints, because when your feet hit that tread, there are no shocks or absorption that pull that stress away from you.
You’re also going to pay a pretty penny for a quality treadmill. It’s one of the most expensive cardio machines, beneath water tank rowing machines, and maintenance costs can be very expensive.
Part of the price comes from the screen/input methods and apps that manufacturers try to push on you, because they know that many people lose interest while on their treadmills.
At the end of the day, treadmills are going to work best for those that have a weight loss goal in mind.
While they can be high impact, they’re one of the safest things you could do to work out, and you can get off of it at any time.
Treadmills are often used for popular health trends, such as the Couch to 5K method that a lot of people have adopted in recent years.
I would also say that treadmills are great for anyone who wants to work out and get physically fit, but have anxiety around going to the gym.
A lot of us have it, so getting a treadmill in your own home can help curb most of that fear and uncertainty.
Ease of Use
While treadmills are easier to use, most of us know how to ride a bike.
While it’s not going to feel the exact same as taking a racing cycle down the lane, they’re easy enough to use.
I would say that exercise bikes are among the top 5 most-used cardio machines in the world, and that’s because they’re extremely low impact compared to treadmills, making them easier to use for plenty of riders.
Exercise bikes generally run a bit lower than treadmills, and come with far more subdivisions than just stationery bikes.
You can get magnetic resistance bikes, spin bikes, recumbents, and others that will all impact the price, so you’re going to have to see which types are specifically designed for your needs.
It all depends on which bike type you choose, because the variables are everywhere, so it’s not easy to pin down a specific price, but they are usually less expensive to obtain than treadmills.
Spin bikes not only help you burn calories, but they help you track your distance, much like a treadmill does.
Since there are only so many metrics that you can track when you’re on an exercise bike, distance is going to be huge.
On top of that, exercise bikes in general tend to take up less space while still giving you a quality workout, so you can store them a lot easier than a treadmill.
If you have a cramped space, most exercise bikes can be moved and stored in a closet, and recumbents can be tilted to stand upright and fit into narrow spaces.
Overall, the main benefits come down to size and cost.
However, one of the most impactful differences here is that cycling is extremely low impact, so you won’t run the same risk of damaging your joints or knees in the process like you would with a treadmill.
Treadmills often have much better user interfaces and more data tracking, so you can actually see a trend report of your progress and how far you’ve come.
However, most exercise bikes have such low-grade screens that they actually market them with photographs of people riding with their phone or tablet blocking the entire screen.
Because you’re not going anywhere, many people see exercise bikes to be boring compared to treadmills, where you at least move around a little bit.
Exercise bikes can feel less engaging, depending on what type you get, and make it harder for some people to keep their head in the game.
I would say that while it’s less expensive to do so, it’s harder to get started with an exercise bike than a treadmill.
Because these are both cardio machines, exercise bikes are good for those trying to lose weight, as well as anyone that wants to increase their endurance and lung capacity.
Exercise bikes allow you to shed a lot of calories from moderate intensity, making them ultra efficient.
If you’re someone who doesn’t like to spend a lot of time exercising, this is one of the best ways to do something for your health without it taking too long.
Exercise bikes also tend to be fairly quiet, so if you’re working out in your home, in the early morning, and you don’t want to wake your SO and your kids, these will help you exercise without inconveniencing anyone else.
It’s All About How You Exercise
Depending on what you find entertaining and enjoyable, and what you will stick with, that’s what you should choose.
At the end of the day, using a treadmill or using an exercise bike will yield many of the same benefits.
Cardio is often thrown to the side by plenty of people who are in the mindset that strength and resistance training is the only way to go.
In truth, it’s a critical part of your overall health, so whichever one you choose, you’re doing yourself a service.