Aero Pilates vs Treadmill for Weight Loss

Aero Pilates vs Treadmill for Weight Loss

You might think of Pilates as little more than a stretching routine that provides a bit of strength training, but the AeroPilates machine offers cardiovascular exercise with similar benefits to running on a treadmill. Both approaches to exercise can help you burn calories, and this can help you shed fat if you eat fewer calories than you burn. There's no "right" choice between the two options. Instead, just pick the one that suits your lifestyle and exercise preferences.

Understanding Caloric-Burn Promises
The number of calories you burn doing any activity is dependent on several factors. People who weigh more require more caloric energy to move their bodies, so they burn more calories doing the same activities as lighter people. Intensity also plays a role. If you do AeroPilates with intensity equal to running on a treadmill, you'll burn about the same number of calories.

Treadmill vs. AeroPilates: Weight Loss
The number of calories you burn on the treadmill depends on the activity you do. A 125-pound person who walks at 3.5 mph for 30 minutes will burn about 120 calories. If the same person increases her pace to a 5 mph run, she can burn 240 calories in 30 minutes. The AeroPilates machine is a new invention, so few studies are available on the number of calories it burns. One 2010 study -- which was sponsored by the machine's manufacturers -- found that the machine was more effective at helping achieve weight loss than traditional cardio, such as walking or running. The average study participant lost about 5 pounds in eight weeks by doing 20 repetitions on the machine an average of three times per week. This is the equivalent of burning about 2,000 calories per week. To burn this many calories by running 3.5 mph at 125 pounds, you'd need to run about eight hours per week.

Strength Training
AeroPilates combines cardio with a bit of strength training. As you adopt the positions and pull on the machine, the resistance you experience challenges your muscles. Consequently, your muscles strengthen as you use the machine. Because muscle burns more calories than fat, this can increase your metabolism and help you lose weight. While the treadmill doesn't provide the resistance training offered by AeroPilates, holding weights while you run or walk can offer you similar benefits to AeroPilates.

Risks of Each Strategy
No fitness routine comes without some risk. Running on a treadmill forces your joints to repeatedly bear the impact of your foot striking the ground. If you have arthritis or a history of joint injuries, you might want to stick to walking or abandon the treadmill altogether. AeroPilates requires you to pull weight against resistance, and this can be painful if you have injuries or back problems. It's also a bit more challenging than simply walking on a treadmill, so if you're a beginner, you might want to start with walking and then build up to AeroPilates.