Treadmill vs Exercise Bike

I have always liked the idea of an exercise bike. In fact, last December when my wife was talking about buying one over a treadmill I told her to go for it. I assumed since I run so much outside in all kinds of weather why would I choose to run inside and not really moving? I mean, I like to explore the outdoors in all seasons. Snow, Ice, Ran, wicked winds all of those don't deter me if I am planning on running or want to run. Even in smog-filled cities or cities, I don't even know where I am going I prefer to run outside than on the treadmill. So easy enough a bike for indoors makes sense then... Or does it...

Over the past year, I have used the exercise bike 4 times, yep only 4, and one of them was in the first couple of days trying it out and the most recent time was today 😁. Don't get me wrong it isn't like the bike is buried away somewhere in the house so it is out of sight out of mind. In fact quite the opposite, since I have been working from home since March, it is in the same room as me so I can't really say I forgot about it 😁.

After some reflection and conversation with friends, I realized I would have been better off with a treadmill. It wouldn't have taken the place of my running, well maybe once or twice but ultimately I could have been walking on it while on phone calls or watching TV. The times when I can't leave the house for a run but could move at a moderate clip to get some exercise in.

Now you might be thinking you could do the same with an exercise bike Eric! And yes, that is true but the difference is the key...

You have to keep moving or you will fall on the treadmill vs exercise bike you can slow to a stop and not give the same movement or output.

That right there is my answer. On a treadmill, you have to just let your subconscious take over to keep your legs moving at the pace you set. If not well it might not end well...

On the bike, however, I have to monitor the pace and use brainpower to have my legs move at the speed I want because the bike will not keep moving and pushing me forward. That right there gives me too much room to fail.

It isn't that I am not determined in my workouts or exercise routines. It is just I am smart about it, I know my body and sometimes I need to trick it or force its hand. A couple of weeks back I was thinking I should run further but wasn't sure I really wanted to. So what did I do? I ran more or less a loop that requires me to run the whole thing in order to get back. No short cuts or stopping early. The distance was going to be the distance so I might as well run it.

So for me, Treadmills > Exercise Bikes when it comes to a mindless activity to get your body moving.

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Eric Walker @ericmwalk