You’ve probably heard that the elliptical is ideal as a mode of cross-training or low-impact exercise—which is true. But a treadmill with good cushioning is also a low-impact running machine. Which is better? This is a bit tricky, and it is especially true if you have arthritic knees.
Is the elliptical better for your knees than running on a treadmill? As opposed to an elliptical trainer, a treadmill might place greater stress on your knees when jogging or running. However, walking on a treadmill has the same effect on the knees as using an elliptical machine. Treadmills are more user-friendly and simple to operate for newcomers. They may also be more effective in increasing bone density.
The treadmill and the elliptical trainer both imitate the movements of walking or running. You run or walk in place on a treadmill as a belt rotates beneath you. On an elliptical trainer, you place each foot on a platform that you move in an oval-shaped motion.
Both machines have advantages and disadvantages. Testing each piece of equipment and seeing how your body reacts is the best way to choose.
How Are Treadmill and Elliptical Workouts Good for Your Knees?
According to a new study, people who conducted mild exercise for less than two hours a day more than three days a week had much better knee cartilage than those who did not exercise at all. Your arthritic knees can benefit from a low-impact aerobic activity in the following ways:
- Increases blood flow and providing nutrients to the cartilage to maintain it healthy.
- Strengthening the muscles surrounding the knee, which relieves strain on the joint and decreases cartilage wear and tear.
- It encourages you to lose weight, which relieves tension on your knees.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Treadmill?
Effective Weight Loss
Weight reduction is one of the most significant advantages of treadmill training. Yes, exercising on the treadmill may help you lose weight and get rid of that tummy fat quickly.
For example, a 175-pound (79 kg) adult may burn up to 405 calories by running on a treadmill for 30 minutes at a pace of 6 mph (9.6 km/h).
By utilizing the treadmill’s slope, you may take things a step further and be even more efficient when it comes to calorie burn. You can burn 484 calories by running at the same 6 mph speed but adding a 5% incline.
Using the inclination to get more out of your exercises without spending more time on the machine or raising the speed is a good way to do it.
Excellent Cardio Exercise
Regular exercise is critical for lowering the risk of heart disease. The sort of aerobic activity that may do wonders for your cardiovascular health is running or walking on the treadmill.
It can enhance blood circulation and strengthen your heart if done regularly.
Medical studies have indicated that 30 minutes of aerobic exercise performed most days of the week can decrease blood pressure and avoid heart disease.
In addition, according to another research study, running can help us increase our HDL cholesterol level, which is called good cholesterol.
Build Muscles and Bone Density
Working out on the treadmill is good for your heart and for losing weight, but it’s also good for building and toning your muscles.
Running on the treadmill will not only help you lose weight but will also tone your calves, glutes, hamstrings, and arm muscles.
Consider using interval training or increasing the gradient while sprinting to put your legs to the test to get the best results.
The treadmill will help you enhance your bone density, which is the number of minerals present in bone tissue, in addition to growing muscles.
The number of minerals in your bones will grow if you exercise regularly.
Your bones will get stronger over time as you consume more minerals. This will assist you in combating painful illnesses such as osteoporosis.
Reduce Body Stress
The reduced impact on your body is one of the most important advantages of utilizing a treadmill.
Running on concrete, one of the hardest surfaces regularly, can have long-term detrimental repercussions since it puts a lot of strain on your joints, bones, and muscles.
Treadmills, on the other hand, have a cushioned, much softer surface that is less taxing to the body.
Jogging on the treadmill ensures that you are running on a level surface. This implies there’s less of a chance of stumbling and falling.
Running outside, however, may be a hazardous exercise. Rocks, potholes, and uneven parts of the track can all result in catastrophic injury.
Keep Diabetes Under Control
Getting at least five days of cardiovascular activity each week, such as walking or jogging, can help you manage your type 2 diabetes.
Exercise can successfully help you control your blood sugar levels, according to a study performed by The American College of Sports Medicine and the American Diabetes Association.
When you exercise, your muscle tissues pull available glucose from your bloodstream for energy, maintaining a healthy blood sugar level.
Scientists have also shown that regular exercise can increase insulin sensitivity in adults, with the favorable impact lasting up to 72 hours after the activity is over.
Get a Good Mood
So far, we’ve enumerated a slew of advantages that the treadmill may provide to our bodies. However, it’s crucial to remember that running on the treadmill has mental advantages as well.
Aerobic exercise can cause a greater release of endorphins than usual.
Endorphins, sometimes known as “feel-good chemicals,” are hormones generated by our bodies to help us cope with pain and enhance our mood.
You’ll be able to release more endorphins the more you workout. You will feel better if you release more endorphins.
Simultaneously, moderate running will allow you to lower your stress hormones levels, such as cortisol and adrenaline.
Benefits of Using Elliptical for Your Knees
Elliptical workouts are a less taxing type of cardio for the knees, hips, and back. Because of the reduced impact of striking the treadmill or ground, they may be used as an alternative to running or jogging.
In general, elliptical machines (or even these top sellers) are easier on the knees and other weight-bearing joints.
The elliptical has a low-to-no effect on the knees. This is referred to as a ‘closed chain’ movement, similar to bicycling in that the feet are attached to the pedals. This exercise is less taxing on the knees. It needs minimal joint stability and has the least amount of effect.
Maintain Your Knees Health
Low-impact cardio workouts, such as those done on elliptical machines or these, have been shown in studies to improve blood flow to knee cartilage and strengthen the muscles around the knee. This is beneficial to your knee joints, especially if you have arthritic knees.
Because the machine has a lesser effect on joints, the person may train by allocating pressure to glutes when driving through heels with strides/rotations.
Elliptical workouts also help to strengthen your quads, hamstrings, and ankles. All of this helps to keep your knees in good shape.
Your joints are protected from twisting since your feet are continuously pressing onto the pedals. It also helps you maintain your body’s alignment and enhances your balance.
Unlike the treadmill, which has a repetitive impact, your feet never leave the footpads.
The Elliptical Machine Can Aid With Injury Recovery
If you’ve obtained authorization to work out from your doctor or physical therapist, using an elliptical might be an excellent method to ease back into exercise after an injury.
If you like to run, elliptical exercises can help you stay motivated and prevent problems like stress fractures and minor meniscus tears.
Depending on the individual, ailment, and rehabilitation stage, elliptical workouts can be useful for people healing from knee problems.
If you have knee pain when exercising on an elliptical machine, you should stop rather than continue.
And make sure you’re utilizing the elliptical correctly. Adjust your hand placement, foot positioning, and inclination to your height and body type.
Consult a healthcare practitioner if you continue to feel discomfort while using the elliptical appropriately as the elliptical should not be causing discomfort to a healthy knee.