Treadmills Vs. Elliptical Fitness Machines

As an arthritis sufferer and avid outdoors-man I'v long since come to terms with the pain my arthritis stricken knees will suffer.  That is why I have long since been trying to exercise smarter rather than harder.  It has encouraged a bit of a passion in me for low impact exercise machines like elliptical running machines and also recumbent bicycles.

Size

Though treadmills have gotten significantly smaller and generally more compact in the past decade or so elliptical machines are still vastly smaller in that they are often narrower by a foot or so.

Comfort

Personally I find running on a treadmill is far more comfortable.  But, only the familiarity of it.  Elliptical machines ‘ask’ you to move your legs in a way that we just are not used to.  Over time one quickly becomes comfortable with the smooth flowing motion of elliptical machines.

Physical

The physical benefits outweigh the others for arthritis suffers, but extend to everyone alike.  Running though healthy for your body in almost all aspects is very strenuous on the joints and bones.  Every foot fall is compacting your body with much higher force than it is used to handling.  That is the advantage to low impact elliptical machines.  The muscles are worked in much the same way as in normal running but with one exception.  The runners feet never leave the running surface.

Safety Issues

I’ve personally never run across it, but we all know things go wrong.  I figure one has about as much chance of falling into the clutter of moving bars and pedals of the elliptical as you do of stepping onto a treadmill and falling because it is moving too fast.  But, we have all seen the videos of people falling on treadmills and I’ve yet to see the elliptical version so who is to say they are dangerous as such.

Repair/Maintenance

I’ve worked with my cousin doing elliptical and treadmill repair and maintenance. (It is the experience where I find I have the expertise to tackle this topic in the first place.)  From my experience both have very easy maintenance.  Perhaps more is require in the case of the treadmill, but still few and far between.  Even so both can easily be done by the equipment owner as much of it comes down to keeping it clean INSIDE and out.

Price

Note: I am inclined to say that I’m more guessing on this than anything else.

I would think, and perhaps am partly recollecting this from past shopping experiences, that elliptical machines would be more expensive than the more traditional treadmill.  This is only a guess but I would think you would pay $100-200 more for the elliptical.  Price shop around and look for features that appeal to you.

Most importantly I would say is to shop for what makes you most comfortable and  is most likely to encourage use.  Buying one vs. the other has no difference if they go without of use.

Thanks for reading and remember if you exercise in the morning it is a natural way to increase happiness and energy throughout the entire day.

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