There’s no denying that cardio performed on both treadmills and exercise bikes is extremely popular. It makes sense though as they allow you to get a solid fat burning workout in either from the gym or even the comfort of your own home with ease.
But when it comes to burning that stubborn and hard-to-get-rid-of belly fat, which option is better? Unsurprisingly, both have their own unique pros and cons when it comes to taking the inches off your waistline.
If you’ve been on the fence trying to decide whether to go with a treadmill or an exercise bike to help you achieve your fat loss goals, then this guide is for you.
Before we dive right in and compare the two, it’s important to understand that for the purposes of this article, we will only be looking at which of the two is most effective for helping with belly fat. Factors like which is better for burning calories specifically or other considerations will be left for another discussion.
With that out of the way, let’s get into the nitty gritty!
Many people automatically assume that since it’s possible to burn more calories using a treadmill when compared to an exercise bike for the same amount of time, then it would also mean they’re better for targeting belly fat specifically as well. That’s not necessarily true for reasons that we’ll discuss in just a moment, but it’s safe to say that treadmills are indeed highly effective nonetheless.
Many treadmills feature built-in high-intensity interval training (HIIT) programs. Numerous studies have found that HIIT training is incredibly effective for helping athletes to burn body fat while maintaining muscle mass. That’s a key consideration to keep in mind when it comes to belly fat in particular.
On the flip side, even though treadmills are far easier on your joints and lower back than running on paved surfaces is, they still do place a fair amount of stress on them.
The good news for those of you who are leaning more towards purchasing an exercise bike is that many models these days come equipped with programmable HIIT training programs just as treadmills do. It makes setting up a customized program to match your own training needs incredibly simple.
Another benefit that exercise bikes have over treadmills is the fact they don’t place any stress on your joints and lower back. They actually have quite the opposite effect by helping to improve the flexibility of your leg muscles and ligaments.
Running vs. Cycling: Which Do YOU Prefer?
Considering that HIIT training has been found to be more effective than steady-state cardio (the type of cardio performed at the same intensity for a longer duration) and both treadmills and exercise bikes come equipped with HIIT modes, the choice of which is better will largely come down to personal preference.
Do you prefer to go running or cycling? Do you already experience aches and pains in your joints or lower back?
True long-term weight and fat loss comes from any type of exercise program that you can remain consistent with. If you happen to prefer cycling, then you’ll be far likelier to stick with a weight loss program using an exercise bike than if you had gone with a treadmill.
Other Important Considerations
While we’ve established that personal preference will most likely play a large role in helping you to decide between a treadmill or an exercise bike, when it comes to losing belly fat, there are a couple of other key considerations to keep in mind.
The first is that all of the cardio in the world won’t help you to lose belly fat if your diet is out of whack. You simply can’t outrun a poor diet. If you focus on eating a healthy, balanced diet that contains plenty of lean protein, fresh fruits and veggies, and healthy fats like nuts and oils, then you’ll be able to lose fat far quicker than someone who eats a diet full of refined carbs and junk food.
The second consideration is one we briefly mentioned above, and it’s the be-all, end-all factor that will determine whether or not you succeed with your goals – consistency. So long as you stick with your exercise program and don’t slack on the healthy eating, you WILL achieve your goals. However, if you decide to exercise only one or two days per week while stuffing your face with junk food the rest of the time, don’t be surprised if you find that your waistline isn’t even budging an inch.
It’s definitely possible to lose belly fat using either a treadmill or an exercise bike. In the end, what will matter more when it comes to long lasting fat loss is a combination of factors that includes following a proper training program, a sound diet plan, and above all else, being consistent.
So long as you have all of those very important factors dialed in, then you’ll be well on your way towards achieving a slimmer waistline in no time!