Treadmill vs Exercise Bike – Which is the Best?


If you are currently looking for exercise equipment, you will find out that there are many types of them that are available in online shops and sporting goods stores. However, two of the most popular types of exercise equipment are the treadmill and the exercise bike, also known as the stationary bike. These two pieces of exercise equipment are best-sellers because they are easy to use and are relatively smaller than most types of fitness equipment, which also makes them great space-savers if you have fairly limited space in your room or home. Once we understand which is superior the next question is how to find and buy the best folding treadmill and exercise bike.

Now, most people would probably buy both of them, but if you can only choose one, then picking the most suitable between the two can be quite difficult. However, by understanding the pros and cons for each of them, you may have a much easier time purchasing the best one for you. So, to help you make decisions faster, here are the details, pros, cons, and comparisons for the treadmill and the exercise bike.

What is a Treadmill?

A treadmill is a type of exercise equipment that has a wide and short belt at the bottom that moves and allows you to walk or run indoors. The treadmill basically emulates what you would do while jogging or running a few kilometers or miles outdoors. So, instead of exercising outdoors, which can sometimes be dangerous, you can just do your daily runs while on a treadmill.

There are currently two types of treadmills that are available on the market, and these types are the motorized treadmill and the non-motorized treadmill. As their names already suggest, the motorized treadmill features a motorized belt that moves on its own, while the non-motorized treadmill has a belt that can only move once you start walking or running on it. Certain motorized treadmills have adjustable belts, where you can increase the speed of the belt or adjust the angle of it to emulate running or jogging uphill.

What is an Exercise Bike?

treadmills at home

An exercise bike is the type of exercise equipment that can be used as a regular bike, wherein you have to step on the pedals for the wheels to move, but instead of moving, the exercise bike remains stationary, thus making it a great exercise machine for indoor use. Similar to the treadmill, the exercise bike allows you to perform activities biking that you would normally do outdoors (like biking) in the comfort of your home.

Furthermore, there are two different versions of the exercise bike, with one being motorized while the other is non-motorized. The motorized version of the exercise bike features pedals that move on their own and have adjustable weight, and the non-motorized bike is purely stationary and has pedals that only move when you step on them.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Treadmills

using an exercise bike

Of course, every piece of exercise equipment has its pros and cons, so you would need to find out about those features before you make a decision in buying a machine for exercise. For treadmills, they specialize in only one particular form of exercise, which is running or jogging, so it is inevitable that they have their advantages and disadvantages since they cannot do everything. To know more, here is a list of the pros and cons of treadmills.

Treadmill Advantages

  • You can jog or run while indoors
  • Have a safer environment while exercising
  • You can control the speed and angle of your runs
  • Can have a tracker that shows you important data, like heart rate and distance
  • The treadmill makes it very easy for you to adjust your gait and running form
  • You can do other activities while running (like watching TV or listening to music)

Treadmill Disadvantages

  • It prevents you from enjoying the scenery and beauty of the outdoors
  • It can be dangerous if you don’t control the speed of the belt
  • Treadmills can take more energy to utilize than simply running, as you will have to fight the force of the belt using your feet
  • It cannot emulate running on curved roads or sidewalks
  • Will not be able to emulate trail running (or running on uneven surfaces)

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Exercise Bikes

Since all exercise machines have advantages and disadvantages, exercise bikes are not exempted, as they also have pros and cons. Much like the treadmills, exercise bikes specialize in one form of exercise, which is cycling or biking. So, they are not really versatile when it comes to what you can do with them. Here is a short list of the cons and pros of using exercise bikes.

Exercise Bike Advantages

  • Reduces the risk of injury for your joint since you don’t feel the impact of wheels moving on concrete
  • It can help you improve or fix your gait and balance while biking
  • You can perform biking even during inclement or bad weather since you are indoors
  • Can have a tracker that provides necessary data, such as distance covered, speed, and heart rate.
  • Improves muscle strength by adding extra weight to the pedals

Exercise Bike Disadvantages

  • It may not be suitable for bikers that want to experience the outdoors
  • It does not build sufficient muscles for your legs since they don’t receive impact or high-intensity training that is naturally provided in outdoor biking
  • It may not be effective if there isn’t any weight added to the pedals

Which is the Best Out of the Two?

By comparing the features, advantages, and disadvantages of the treadmill and the exercise bike, it can be concluded that there isn’t a better one between them, as they have different functions and benefits for a person. But, you can choose the most suitable one for you by comparing the pros and cons of the two exercise machines and seeing which one suits your preferences.

For regular people, both of them are great exercise machines that provide a good workout. If you are a runner or a person that likes to participate in marathons, you can purchase a treadmill so that you can practice running indoors even if it is raining or hot outside. But, if you are an experienced cyclist, having an exercise bike is beneficial since you can hone your biking skills while at home.

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