Make a more applicable choice next time you step into the gym and choose an exercise machine.
Treadmills and steppers are two machines you can find at most gyms; their mechanics differ more than you might think. When used regularly, they both have a positive impact on your overall health. The treadmill provides a high impact, aerobic workout while the stepper offers a low impact aerobic workout. Acknowledging what your overall goal is will help you decipher whether a treadmill or stepper is optimal for you.
Boost Heart Health
Walking and running on the treadmill are beneficial to heart health because the heart is steadily distributing blood, supplying it to the muscles that need it. Completing 20 to 40 minutes of a daily cardiovascular treadmill workout is sufficient in attaining this benefit. This machine is ideal for those that are purely seeking improved heart health. An advantage of this machine is that it offers slow walking speeds and quick running speeds, allowing it to cater to any individual's fitness level. For a bigger challenge, raise the elevation of your treadmill to increase the resistance.
Strengthen with a Stepper
Just as running stairs is a more taxing chore on the body than running on flat ground at the same speed, the stepper targets and isolates the legs more directly than the treadmill; this is similar to weight training. And the added resistance can help strengthen your leg and buttocks muscles. When used for at least 20 minutes, steppers also help elevate your heart rate and improve your cardiovascular endurance. Some steppers allow your feet to stay in contact with the step throughout the entire motion, making it a low impact exercise machine.
Choose the Treadmill
If you are looking for simple daily calorie burning, heart health benefits, an immunity boost and stress relief, the treadmill is the right choice for your goals. A daily treadmill workout might decrease your chances of developing cold-like symptoms, according to "Yoga Journal," because of its cardio benefits possibly boosting the circulation of white blood cells. Note that treadmills are a higher impact machine because your legs and feet are constantly treading and contacting the treadmill surface. Choose a treadmill with a flexible, less-jarring surface to minimize the impact.
Choose the Stepper
If you are most interested in losing weight, becoming leaner, dropping excess fat and jump starting your metabolism, then the stepper is the machine you should implement into your routine. The repetitive leg-driving motion that the stepper calls for initiates your hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes to kick into high gear. Though the treadmill is effective in helping you burn fat and calories, steppers can be more efficient at this because they demand more of these leg and buttock muscles. Using this machine at least three days a week, along with managing your calories will expedite your weight loss.