Elliptical or Walking Which is Better?
- You burn more calories on an elliptical machine. An average (160 lb. person) someone exercising for an hour on an elliptical machine burns 365 calories compared to 314 calories burned while walking.
- An elliptical machine puts far less stress on the hips and knees joints. While walking, you generate forces equal to 110% of your body weight with each step, but only 75% of body weight forces are exerted while on the elliptical machine. This slighter jarring is an advantage for people with joint injury or limitations, but less so for those who hope that exercise will improve bone health according to a study published in The British Journal of Sports Medicine.
- Walking is better for those with back injuries. Elliptical training places a greater strain on the lower back than walking because of how the muscles fire, a legitimate concern for people with back problems.
- Walking is better for balance and preventing falls. Elliptical training results in greater activation of the buttocks; however, walking provides a much better workout for hamstrings, calves, and muscles around the ankles. These muscles are especially important for balance and preventing falls as people age.
So what’s right for you? Do what feels good to your joints and is enjoyable so that you can sustain your cardiovascular training for 20 minutes at least three times per week.