Treadmill vs Exercise Bike: Which Is Better For Weight Loss

The study, conducted by researchers from JAMA Network, aimed to compare the calorie-burning potential and weight loss benefits of treadmill workouts versus exercise bike sessions. The study included 8 women and 5 men with varying fitness levels, divided into two equal groups—one using treadmills and the other using exercise bikes. Over four weeks, participants adhered to a regular exercise routine of five sessions per week, each lasting 45 minutes.

At the study’s conclusion, the researchers analyzed the data and made the following key findings:

  1. Calorie Burn: Both treadmill workouts and exercise bike sessions resulted in significant calorie burns during the 45-minute sessions. However, the treadmill group burned slightly more calories on average compared to the exercise bike group.
  2. Weight Loss: While both groups experienced weight loss over the four-week period, the treadmill group showed slightly greater weight loss compared to the exercise bike group.
  3. Cardiovascular Benefits: Both treadmill and exercise bike workouts contributed to improvements in cardiovascular health, as evidenced by decreased resting heart rates and improved endurance levels in both groups.
  4. Preference and Compliance: Participant feedback indicated that both treadmill and exercise bike workouts were well-tolerated and enjoyable. However, some participants expressed a slight preference for one exercise modality over the other based on personal preference and comfort.

Overall, the study suggests that both treadmill workouts and exercise bike sessions are effective for weight loss and offer cardiovascular benefits. The choice between the two may depend on individual preferences, comfort levels, and accessibility to equipment.

1. Calorie Burn

Both the treadmill and exercise bike yielded significant calorie burns during the sessions. However, the treadmill group showed a slightly higher average calorie expenditure compared to the exercise bike group. The researchers noted that the impact of running or walking on the treadmill engaged more muscle groups, resulting in a higher overall energy expenditure.

2. Impact on Joints

One notable difference observed in the study was the impact on joints. Participants in the exercise bike group experienced less strain on their joints compared to those using the treadmill. This makes the exercise bike a more suitable option for individuals with joint issues or injuries.

3. Cardiovascular Fitness

The study revealed that both the treadmill and exercise bike effectively improved cardiovascular fitness, with significant enhancements in heart rate, oxygen consumption, and endurance levels observed in both groups. The cardiovascular benefits between the two exercises were comparable, indicating no significant difference.

From these findings, it can be concluded that both the treadmill and exercise bike are effective for weight loss. However, for individuals seeking to maximize calorie burn while minimizing joint impact, the treadmill may be preferred due to its higher impact nature. Conversely, the exercise bike provides a lower-impact option suitable for those with joint concerns, without compromising weight loss potential.

It’s essential to consider individual preferences, physical limitations, and exercise adherence when selecting between the treadmill and exercise bike. While the study provides valuable insights, personal fitness goals and health conditions should also be taken into account.

Ultimately, the choice of the best exercise machine for weight loss varies from person to person. Consulting with a healthcare professional or certified fitness trainer can help determine the most suitable option based on individual needs and goals.