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Treadmill Exercise Fitness Workout

Treadmill Workout

Flexible Indoor Exercise Machine

Treadmills offer an ideal way to burn calories, reduce weight, and strengthen the cardiovascular system. A typical treadmill permits a variety of walking, jogging or running workouts, and exercise intensity can be easily varied by adjusting speed or incline. Treadmill walking works the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and calf muscles, while jogging or power-walking also works the upper body. But how effective is a treadmill compared to other indoor exercise apparatus?

A Treadmill Workout Burns More Calories

According to research, a treadmill is the best type of gym exercise equipment for calorie burning. A treadmill fitness routine is more aerobic and more effective for fat loss than stationary bicycles, stair machines, rowing devices, and cross-country ski machines by a significant margin.

Treadmill Fitness Research

The study into treadmills and other fitness apparatus, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, involved eight men and five women who completed exercise tests on a treadmill, a stair stepper, a rowing ergometer, a cross country ski machine, a regular exercise bike, and a dual-action exercise bicycle equipped with moveable handlebars. Subjects were about 30 years old, fairly lean, and moderately fit (with average VO2max - oxygen intake - of about 50 ml/ kg.min).

Treadmill Walking/Jogging Provides Good Calorie-Burning

The test results indicated that running or walking on a treadmill offers a more effective cardiovascular and fat-burning workout than several other indoor exercise devices.

  • Exercising on the treadmill produced much higher rates of calorie burning. At high resistance levels, treadmill walking/running burned about 850 calories per hour, compared with around 700 calories/hour for the stair stepper, rowing ergometer, and dual-action bike. The cross country ski machine clocked 650 calories/hour, while the regular stationary bike averaged about 600 calories.
  • At 'reasonably hard' resistance levels, treadmill walking/jogging expended 700 calories per hour, while stair stepping averaged 627, rowing 606, skiing 595, dual-action cycling 509, and regular biking 498.
  • At 'fairly light' resistance levels, the treadmill workout used up 550 calories per hour, compared with 500 on the stair machine, rower, and ski device - and 350-380 on the two bikes.

Why Treadmills Offer More Effective Exercise Workouts

One reason why treadmill training is more effective, is because walking and jogging are very familiar types of exercise - more so than (say) stepping, cycling or skiing.

All the Exercise Equipment Helped to Burn Calories

Even though the treadmill came out on top, the exercise tests showed that all the gym machines offered significant levels of calorie expenditure, and consequent cardio benefits.

Energy Expenditure with Indoor Exercise Machines: Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 275(18), pp. 1424-1427, 1996).

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