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Tidbits and Fit-Bytes: Elliptical vs. Treadmill

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By Mary Van De Velde

Typical crappy Chicago weather is cramping my running style these days, so it’s been a choice between boring and more boring exercise equipment. I mean, I love my kids, but how much longer can I stare at the two wedding pictures in front of me while I do the elliptical? I need to get back outside! I wish I could set it up in front of the TV to I can binge-watch, but there’s no room in the den, unless I get rid of some furniture.

I’ve been reading up lately on the debate between the treadmill and the elliptical since those are two of my available torture machines. Both obviously raise your heart rate and can burn calories, but which is the better work-out? After checking out numerous articles the blue ribbon goes to – BOTH! Here’s why…

TREADMILL –
Has more options – speed, incline
Burns slightly more calories and faster
Gives you bone strength

ELLIPTICAL –
Builds upper and lower body strength
Can go backwards to work on quads
Less impact on joints

To put it in perspective, pick your pleasure, or abuse in this case! If you’re prone to injuries, overweight, have arthritis, want bigger quads, or you’re really tired, I would go with the ELLIPTICAL. If you like hill work-outs, want to burn a few more calories and faster, have good balance, and don’t need a knee replacement, I’d go with the TREADMILL. Or better yet, alternate between the two!

Personally, I’m hoping for better weather so I can get back outside and breathe some fresh air. I also LOVE being chased by dogs, dodging the snow and ice where people don’t shovel, and pounding real pavement. It’s keeps me awake and then I don’t need my nap in the car!

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