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Fitness Machine Comparative

If you are undecided about which type of fitness equipment
 may be the most effective, perhaps this information may help.

Reports show that the treadmill is the exercise equipment that is least likely to be abandoned. For treadmills expect to pay $300 - $700 (walkers only), $800 - $1,800 (walkers and occasional runners), $2,000 to $3,500 (serious runners). Ellipticals produce no impact, so you are less likely to injure joints than on a treadmill or running. They are also less noisy because there is no motor. For Ellipticals expect to pay $500 - $1,000 (flimsier feeling models), $1,100 - $2,500 (approaching gym club quality). Often refurbished club equipment can be found at very reasonable rates.


Calories per 30 minutes

140 lb person 200 lb person
Running 6 mph 318 455
Stair Climber 286 409
Step Aerobics 270 386
Outdoor Biking 254 364
Tennis (singles) 254 364
Swimming (laps) 254 364
Rowing Machine 223 318
Stationary Bike 223 318
Hiking (no pack) 191 273
Jazzercise 191 273
Golf (walking/carrying clubs) 143 205
Walking 3.5 mph 121 173
Walking 2.5 mph 95 136
Weight Lifting 95 136
Yoga 80 114

The chart below compares the calories consumed by men and women using 6 kinds of exercise machines. The figures come from a study published in August, 2001 in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Nineteen physically active men and women, all in their 20's, exercised in each type of machine while researchers tracked heart rate, breathing, and the exercisers' perceptions of how hard they were working. Using a metabolic gas analyzer, researchers compared calories burned on each machine at similar levels of exertion. Men on a treadmill, for example, burned an average of 200 calories in roughly 12 minutes at a high level of exertion.

Average minutes to burn 200 calories, times rounded to nearest minute

Type of Machine



Treadmill 12 min 14 min
17 min 22 min
Cross-Country / Ski Machine 12 min 16 min
16 min 23 min
Stair Climber 13 min 20 min
18 min 37 min
Rowing Machine 14 min 21 min
16 min 25 min
Exercise Rider 22 min 27 min
24 min 36 min
Exercise Bicycle 16 min 29 min
20 min 44 min
Men = blue       Women = pink

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