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Is it better to buy a treadmill or an exercising cycle?

Q: My mother-in-law has been suggested to exercise. Her age is 51. The place she lives has harsh weather (snow) so walking outside is not possible. We are thinking of buying a treadmill or exercising cycle. Orthopaedically, which of these two instruments has lesser injury risk over prolonged usage?

A:The treadmill is an excellent option for walking and has the benefits of variations that you might not find in the outdoors. Firstly it works just as well when you can not access the outdoors for reasons like the cold or pollution. Secondly , you can time your walk, use the motorised treadmill to increase your pace and keep a tab on the exact number of kilometres/miles you have walked. What it can not do, however, is give you the EXACT caloric loss (unless you have one where you can enter your weight). Having said that, the non-mototrised treadmill, though cheaper, does have as good benefits as the motorised one, without the above variations. I would recommend the one which is on a flat bed rather than on rollers. There are models that also have variations in the incline of the treadmill. As far as risk injuries are concerned, I would go for a treadmill over a cycle. While exercising on the cycle, if you are sitting incorrectly, there is a higher risk of injury to the knees. The duration and speed would depend on your present fitness level and your goal. For fitness benefits, even a small 10-20 minute walk on it can make a difference, but if you are looking to lose weight, you may want to spend more time on it. As long as you are comfortable on it and can slowly increase the speed over time, you are doing well and benefiting from the exercise you are getting. Please put on your walking shoes when you walk on the treadmill to give you enough support and traction. The effort involved with a covered foot will be less and the impact in the body felt will be drastically reduced. The impact going through the foot is partly what makes you feel the pain in the legs. Adjust the incline occasionally to see where the pain is felt the least. You must also make sure you warm up the whole body before going for a walk, whether outdoors on the treadmill.


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