It’s no secret that the advent of binge-watching Netflix and endlessly scrolling through Instagram feeds has caused Americans to become more and more sedentary.With screen time becoming a prevalent part of our daily lives, the average American sits for roughly one more hour per day than they did a decade ago — according to a recent study by The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Chances are, you’ve been spending more time indoors these days, and with being cooped up comes more lounging and major screen time. Now, more than ever, is the perfect time to energize your daily routine and get your body moving with some cardio.
How much cardio should I do?
The second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recommends that the average adult engage in 150 to 300 minutes, or 2.5 to 5 hours, of vigorous aerobic activity per week.
Ideally, plan 30 to 60-minute cardio workouts, 4 to 5 days a week, to jump-start your healthy lifestyle.
Treadmill vs. Elliptical Machine: Which burns more calories?
So, you're ready to use cardio to electrify your daily home fitness routine. You know that both treadmills and elliptical machines are a convenient way to get your sweat on at home — but which burns more calories?
In a study published by Harvard Health, 30 minutes on an elliptical machine burns 335 calories for the average 155-pound human. For comparison, the same 155-pound person can burn 372 calories by running on a treadmill at a 10-minute mile pace for 30 minutes.
The treadmill inches out the elliptical in calories burned per minute, but the amount of firepower in your workout is ultimately determined by its speed, intensity, and duration.
So, how can I burn more calories?
On most ellipticals and treadmills, users have the ability to adjust elevation or incline, as well as speed. Both will significantly amp up the intensity of your workout and increase the amount of calories burned.
Incorporate HIIT, high-intensity interval training, to launch your living room workout to new heights. HIIT alternates bursts of intense cardiovascular exercise or sprints with periods of recovery to push your calorie-burning potential into overdrive.
Which machine is right for me, treadmill or elliptical?
Treadmills pack slightly more calorie-kindling power because the runner must fully support their own weight. In contrast, an elliptical provides a low-impact cardio experience. This makes treadmills an excellent choice for athletes with a base level of fitness looking for a classic jogging or running experience.
Because of their low impact qualities and versatility, elliptical machines allow you to build up your intensity quickly without putting pressure on your joints and back. Additionally, ellipticals enable you to easily shift between stair-climbing or a swinging “ski” motion — perfect for regularly switching up your stay-at-home sweat sessions. This makes the elliptical machine a great place to start if you’re stepping into a new fitness routine.
Ultimately, both treadmills and elliptical machines are powerful calorie-torching tools. The right choice is the one that best suits your fitness needs and motivates you to stop scrolling and get moving!