Which is better: walking or using an elliptical?

Which is better: walking or using an elliptical?

The variety of machines at the gym can quickly become overwhelming when looking for an effective cardiovascular workout. It can be difficult to determine which machine will provide the best results and assist you in reaching your objectives. Do you use the treadmill, the elliptical, or simply go for a walk outside? And which workout will be the most effective? There are a few differences to consider between regular walking, whether outside or on a treadmill, and the elliptical trainer that can easily help you make up your mind and get you started on the fast track to getting healthy.

Elliptical Machine

The elliptical trainer is a machine that simulates jogging but does not produce the same perceived intensity. You work harder, but without the strain or struggle that comes with jogging. This means you burn more calories than if you just walked in a less intense workout, allowing you to work out for longer and more efficiently. The elliptical machine is also gentler on your joints. Because your feet never leave the pedals, there is no jarring of your knee and hip joints, which can often keep you from working out. The arm handles on some elliptical machines also move back and forth as you step up and down. Much like the elliptical, walking is easy on your knees because you are only lifting your foot off the ground slightly, without jarring the knees when you place it back down.


Walking, whether on or off the treadmill, has numerous health benefits. Walking raises your heart rate, burns calories, and sculpts your legs. When walking on a treadmill or in a hilly area, the incline changes will help you to vary your intensity levels and keep your heart rate up. As you walk, you will be able to sculpt more muscles and tighten your thighs and bottom. Walking, as opposed to the elliptical, has weight bearing properties, which means it helps to support your bones, build muscle, and prevent injury as you age. Walking, like the elliptical, is gentle on the knees because you are only lifting your foot off the ground slightly, without jarring it.

The Decision: Elliptical or Walking?

Working out on the elliptical or going for a vigorous walk will both help you achieve your fitness goals and improve your overall health. Walking and the elliptical are both low-impact exercises that will get your heart rate up for a cardiovascular workout. The elliptical machine is your best bet for burning calories and toning your arms. Walking will help you achieve your goals of changing your incline, toning your lower body, and building bone strength.

The elliptical provides a high-intensity workout that burns more calories without strain or struggle. Walking will help you shape and tone your body while also protecting your knees and bones. Both will succeed.