Member Comments for the Article:

Busting the Top 4 Cardio Machine Myths

Don't Let These Myths Sabotage Your Success


    I don't really care about calories burned during a work out. I work out to get better body shape, stronger bones and muscles, better mood NOT to eat more. Why? A few years ago I was going to gym 3-4 times a week, doing cardio and strength training. I have photos of myself from that time and a time when I weighed the same, but without working out. The first photo set motivates me like nothing in this world. My body was amazing. And I wasn't counting calories burned. Just how many minutes I spent on doing my work out. - 9/4/2013 5:42:41 AM
  • NINA4D
    Great article!!! Been faithfully on my treadmill for 10 months M-F, 40-60 min. per day and have not lost weight and or inches. I do not eat my activity calories, but for once this makes total sense. I am going to step it up and rotate my exercising. Thank you again! - 7/20/2013 12:05:50 PM
  • heart monitor and my edge bike (yes, I use both) are usually in agreement for heart rate, though typically 100 cals different when it comes to expended effort...? - 7/13/2013 9:47:14 AM
  • Well I like walking and the treadmill. I can walk for sn hour or more and then still get on the treadmill. They are both good workout. - 6/28/2013 4:16:53 PM
  • I am a great fan of the treadmill I keep my weight off and keep my heart and lungs in shape power walking and running on the treadmill. I don't understand why you would put down the use of the treadmill over walking outside. I can't walk on pavement it's hard on my hips and the air because we live in a place of high elevation makes it difficult to breath easy when running or walking outside. The treadmill is the best piece of equipment to lose weight. I would recomend it to all you people who want to lose weight and keep it off its also very convient to have your own as oppose to going to the gym. I just bought my first elliptical my plan is a half hour on the elliptical and than 20 min to 30 on the treadmill some light weights three days a week. I am living proof of this routine, in the gym or at home. I love to eat and I do enjoy food . I am still slim at 55 yeras old. I bike outside during the summer if the weather allows me to. Happy friday to you all going for my run now. - 10/19/2012 12:29:03 PM
    Walk is best workout for losing weight. I do 40 to 50 minutes walk daily. These are best cardio machines and you have shared great myths. I will keep this information in my mind. - 7/20/2012 3:18:15 AM
    Years ago I challenged myself to lose weight right here at Spark people. So I increased my miles on the treadmill 2 miles to 5 miles 4-6 days a week. I started out power walking at 4.3 mph. I would set the speed up to about 5.3 and jog for about a half a mile stop, stretch, take drink of water and put the speed back up to find that 5.3 wasn't fast enough and cranked up to about 6 mph. After 4 months I was able run the mile around 7 minutes. I lost over 40 pounds and hope I never ever find it. I ate lots of fruits and vegetable and cut out the junk food. It was hard work but it paid off. Why some people make life harder than it has to be is a mistery - 4/21/2012 8:56:31 PM
    This is a lot to take in at once... :-/ - 4/19/2012 10:17:06 PM
    I can walk for an hour outside...but on the treadmill I'm doing my best to get 30 to 40 minutes in! I now only use the treadmill when I cannot get outside (due to weather...or whatever). If I can't get outside....then something is better than nothing. - 4/19/2012 5:15:31 AM
  • Great reminder about the intervals. My hrm always says I burn more than the machine says... could my hrm be wrong?! - 12/13/2011 8:18:58 PM
  • Gripping something can also affect your heart rate--another reason to beware the heart rate monitors on cardio equipment. - 12/13/2011 8:03:17 PM
  • Regarding running outside versus running on a treadmill: When I first started running, I used the treadmill and went at a fairly slow pace, about a 10 or 11 minute mile. When I went outside, the change from treadmill to ground was awful! I could hardly run at all!

    Then, before I went to boot camp, I decided that my goal was to run my incoming assessment in 12 minutes, or an 8-minute mile pace. It killed me on the treadmill, but when I took it to boot camp, I easily ran my first 1.5 mile assessment in 11:57, my second in 11:07, and my third in 11:00. My husband and I started running outside together because I was much quicker, and I got my time down to about 10:30.

    Then it came time for my assessment in late October in Newport, RI. I kept trying to run it on the treadmill, but a 7-minute mile pace was completely unsustainable. I couldn't do it! So I ran my assessment outside and though it was 42 degrees outside and windy, I still managed to finish in 10:42.

    I don't want wind to be a factor in my next assessment, so I'm slowly working on running on the treadmill as fast as I can run outside. The key difference is that my pace must stay the same on the treadmill; outside, I can slow down a little bit if I need to or speed up a little bit as my body desires, averaging out to a 7:00 pace.

    In regards to the calorie count, I just ignore it. I'm not even sure I trust the SP numbers, but they're the best estimate I have. If I need to drop some weight, I just watch my portions and toss in some more cardio.

    As long as I'm running, my weight is manageable. It's not my favorite form of cardio, but I get the best results, and I'm kinda good at it. - 12/13/2011 4:28:29 PM
  • The artical said:

    Treadmills allow you to run at a variety of paces and inclines while avoiding any nasty weather. However, if you're preparing for a running race or walking event, you need to know that the treadmill does not challenge you as much as doing the same activity outside. In fact, the motion of the treadmill belt actually slightly helps pull your feet back, thereby allowing you to shorten your running and walking stride and put forth less energy. Less energy means fewer calories burned. In addition, the treadmill is set at a totally flat or slight decline, which also makes your run or walk easier than it is in the great outdoors. Therefore, if you're used to running or walking on the treadmill, you'll be in for a big wake-up call when you head outside and find that you can't run as fast or as long without becoming winded.

    Does this mean I invested in a treadmill for nothing....I don't know about what the article said but walking outdoors even on hills and rough terrain does not make me sweat like the treadmill does....but would like some fresh air once in a while.

    Good Advice - 2/8/2011 11:47:35 PM
  • One other vital thing that the treadmill cannot simulate is changes in direction. When out running, it's good to choose a route with lots of changes in direction rather than just running in straight line.

    Even running in weaving manner as if following a big squiggly line does much more for all your muscles and core than just straight line running. Also weaving between a line of bollards.

    And for yet more variety, the occasional leap across a ditch or patch of long grass is very liberating. You feel like a wild animal rather than a gym clone!

    Having said all that, cardio machines have a valuable role if you use them imaginatively, example: vary the incline/speed on the treadmill every 2 minutes, or do fast/slow intervals.

    And on the elliptical, do 5 mins forwards, then 5 mins backwards, and so on. - 9/11/2010 11:08:35 AM
    You had me until almost the very end when you said to trust the SP numbers. When I compare the calories burned from the cardio machines at my gym with the SP values, the SP values are always higher, sometimes A LOT higher. When I started on the elliptical the difference was huge. Only now, after doing it for 8 months, are the numbers on the machine even close to the SP values. I am going to a women's gym and I know some of the machines are specifically for women, maybe that's the difference. - 9/11/2010 8:37:25 AM

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