Elliptical vs Walking

To get a well-rounded workout program, strength training is vital. However, you may need to simply burn off some calories. There are many options but the two most popular are the elliptical and walking outside. Here is a little help in determining which might be best for you.


Elliptical Pros

  • There is a greater activator of buttocks and thighs.
  • Less weight bearing than walking (tendons and ligaments have less strain)
  • 73 percent of body weight impact. (better for people with joint problems)
  • A workout program on the elliptical feels easier (even though it is not)

Elliptical Cons

  • Lower back pressure (People with lower back pain should avoid extended use)
  • There is restrictive use on the elliptical, it can’t be done anywhere.
  • 73 percent of body weight impact (Not as beneficial to people that require increase bone density)

Walking Pros

  • There is more muscle activation in calves while walking.
  • More flexibility in training (You can walk almost anywhere)
  • 112 percent of body weight impact (Better for people that require increase in bone density)
  • Better on the lower back

Walking Cons

  • 112 percent of body weight impact. Walking may be problematic in those with lower body joint problems.
  • Not as effective in toning buttocks and thighs
  • More strain on the joints

Both the elliptical and walking have their pros and cons. If you are trying to decide on either, use the above list to help you decide. Note that there is no benefit in terms of calorie burn nor workout intensity. That is because the difference is negligible. Choose whichever suits your needs and your workout program the best! Remember, the intensity is something that can be varied on either exercise and that will be the biggest determining factor when improving your health.

David McIlhenney MS