G aining extra pounds is so easy today since we are using our brains more than our bodies. And the brain is like a spoiled princess, sitting on its chair and demanding more chocolate bars, more fries, more greasy Chinese food, and so on. It doesn’t consume it all, of course, and the extra goes on our hips, belly, and butt. The fight to stay healthy can be fierce for some, while others are able to shake off the fat with just some light exercise.
Well, for those who are ready to get up and make a change, the gym industry has produced two great machines that are both fun to use and efficient. The only dilemma that needs to be solved is if the best cross trainer is worthier than the most appreciated indoor bike when it comes to burning calories or if things go exactly the other way around. Below, we compare the two machines to see which can provide the most noticeable results.
Indoor biking is one of the most popular gym activities and a lot of people who decide to add a cardio training machine to their exercise corner for the first time go with the bike. The reason? It is extremely easy to use, and it doesn’t seem to demand that you do a terrible effort when working out. Plus, contrasted to a real bike, you don’t even need to learn how to ride it.
The fact that it comes with a seat makes it a better choice for individuals who suffer from joint pain or are recovering after surgery. It is the main reason physicians prefer it for recovery programs since the pressure on the joints is almost non-existent.
Although it may take a while, it isn’t impossible to reduce the fat percentage around your waist and even change your body composition. The results are not as good as when you are using an elliptical, but you can boost them by doing high-intensity interval workouts. Recent studies have proven that by dividing your session into 20-second training to 40-second break intervals, you can get your body to burn a lot of fat (even in your abdominal area) and continue to consume calories even when the workout is over. The secret is to use those 20 seconds to give your best, and by this, we mean to push yourself to the edge. You can then recover over the 40 seconds of break.
The elliptical is described as a low-impact machine as well (compared to the treadmill), but since it doesn’t come with a seat, you will still be propping some of your weight on your joints. Depending on the type of product you select, you can get either full-body lower-body exercise. The most efficient models are those that come with synchronized handles, as they allow you to move your arms in the same rhythm with your legs.
Although both methods are thought to have a low impact on the knees, the bike is the safest when it comes to protecting the joints and reducing pain. Due to the presence of the seat, all the pressure is assigned to the buttocks area, so the exercise feels like you are walking in a low-gravity environment. An alternative to the traditional stationary bike is the recumbent bike, which doesn’t only take the pressure from the knees but from the hips as well. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that the elliptical should be completely abandoned. The literature in the field recommends using any type of low-impact machine to fight joint pain, and the cross trainer isn’t as harsh as other options. Moreover, it provides better effects when it comes to calorie burn, so if the joint problem isn’t too drastic, it can be an excellent alternative to running.
The number of calories you burn can be different depending on how much you weigh and how hard you are eager to work out. Nevertheless, in general, an average person training on a stationary bike will consume around 260 calories in half an hour, while an average person training on an elliptical at the same intensity will burn between 270 and 380 calories. It is easy to see that the elliptical is more efficient in helping with weight loss.
Yet, there is still one factor be considered, which may tip the balance. Think about how long you will be able to last on an elliptical. Maybe 20 minutes are enough to let you out of breath while you can keep pedaling on a bike for up to 40-50 minutes. If you have the stamina to resist 30 to 40 minutes on a cross-trainer, then go for it. But if you are overweight or don’t have good cardio fitness, you may be getting better results by using a bike.
Moreover, if losing weight is just a secondary element to your health program, and you are more interested in becoming healthy, you will obtain excellent results with both machines, according this study published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, which has shown that it is enough to get regular training to reduce the risk of developing a heart disease, even when weight loss is attained in a very low proportion (under 2 pounds).