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Which is best, treadmill or recumbent bike?

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I am going to buy one piece of exercise equipment in the very near future. It is not practical to go to the Y because one trip uses 2 gallons of gas and an hour of driving time.


Good treadmills cost a more than exercise bikes do. I do not want to waste money if a recumbent exercise bike would serve the same purpose. I do not want to buy used equipment that can work fine today and will need expensive repairs tomorrow.


The treadmill I am thinking about getting costs $1,000. I have done a lot of research, and this is pretty much what a basic, reliable treadmill costs. By reliable, I mean the thing will work for a long time without breaking down and the manufacturer has a reputation for good customer service.


I have sciatica, disk problems, cardiovascular disease, and peripheral artery disease. I cannot exercise outside (walking or biking) because of the weather in the winter, and because there are too many hills.


Right now, I can barely walk a few steps without a lot of pain, but I am undergoing testing to find out the cause, and I intend to be able to walk normally pretty darned soon. I am not going to buy anything until I can use it.


Will a recumbent exercise bike be as beneficial as a treadmill?


Thank you for your advice!


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We have a really nice recumbent bike. The seat is a full seat and can hold anyone. If you can, try them out at the store. It has lots of settings (hills, flat, cardio, etc.) and my kids use it. I prefer the exercise bike to the treadmill, but that's just a personal preference. Would your doctor give you a recommendation?

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I don't like treadmills because I have to consciously make sure I go the same speed they do. Also, they hurt my back because I have to hang on (just in case I go the wrong speed).


But I don't like bikes because my feet fall asleep and I can only do them for a short period of time.


I find an elliptical is a much better work out than either bike or treadmill. My feet still fall asleep, but I can stay on the elliptical for much longer than the bike and get my heart rate up higher during that time.


But the bike is nice if I want to go slow because I can read a book more easily than on a treadmill or elliptical.


The nicer the equipment is, the more useful it is. I could never stay on cheap machines for long.

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I have disc problems in my neck/upper back, and I find that the recumbent bike allows me to maintain correct posture. When I use a treadmill (or elliptical), I tend to lean forward, chin thrust, and put pressure on my neck. I can't speak to workout quality, but at this stage of life, injury prevention tends to be high on my list.

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Have you spent time on a treadmill? The reason I ask is because I had always wanted one and finally was given one. It made me so dizzy! I love to walk and thought this would be such a great thing for cold, snowy days. I was fine as long as I was walking on it, but when I stopped, ugh! It would be 1/2 an hour before I felt like I was off the roller-coaster ride. Very disappointing.


I have talked to many people since who have had the same experience. I guess our heads know we are moving and can't figure out why nothing else is! :)



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