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Question
Posted by: curious | 2007/02/19

treadmill vs exercise bike

hi there

my mother (63 yrs old) needs to lose weight and wants to buy a treadmill or bike.Today she said that she wants to buy the bike as its easier on the joints. my question is, isnt the treadmill more efficient in losing weight though?i always see cycling as bulking the quads and hamstrings.....which is not too flattering.....anyway, thats besides the point. i want to know whether she is making a wise decision....thanks!

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Our expert says:
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Hi Curious

I think that in her case, you have to use sense rather than numbers. You are correct, the treadmill is more effective simply because running burns more energy than cycling does, in general (this is not always true, but more often than not it is the case). However, my questions are this: Firstly, is she going to be running? It's highly unlikely. Secondly, which does she want to do? Because the main thing that is going to determine whether or not she succeeds is how much she enjoys the training. If she wants to cycle, then that's what it must be because she is going to have to do this for at least 6 months, and often - 4 times a week as a minimum. So rather choose what is enjoyable.

Finally, also remember that at the age of 63, the joints and bones are not as strong as they were at the age of 23, and that means that running, which is certainly more risky, is an immediate red flag, and cycling is probably the wiser option. So while you correct in theory, weight loss happens in practice! And that's why I would also go with the cycling!

Good luck

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