There’s nothing like a good run to get the heart pumping and the endorphins flowing.
But when it comes to tracking your workout, is an Apple Watch or a treadmill more accurate?
We put both to the test to find out!
Here’s what we discovered about distance, calories, speed, and more.
How accurate is the Apple Watch vs Treadmill
Deciding between the Apple Watch and a treadmill for tracking your distance, calories burned, speed, and other measurements can be tough.
Treadmills are the tried-and-true fitness staple that has been delivering our personal fitness data since cardio machines hit the market years ago.
However, the newest technology in wearable computing – namely, the Apple Watch – is proving to be a reliable tool for tracking physical activity as well.
If accuracy is what you’re looking for, tests have found that both tools are within a 5% margin of each other when it comes to various measurements like distance or calories burned.
So while they may not be equally as exciting to use – after all, walking on an outdoor trail is much more fun than running on a treadmill – it looks like you can trust both devices with confidence for your fitness goals!
Apple Watch vs Treadmill: Pros and Cons for Runners
When it comes to tracking your progress as a runner, both the Apple Watch and treadmills have their own unique features and benefits. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of each device when it comes to distance tracking, calories burned, speed, heart rate measurements, and other important factors for runners.
Apple Watch Pros:
- GPS tracking: The Apple Watch uses GPS to track your distance, making it an accurate choice for outdoor runs.
- Advanced features: The Apple Watch offers a range of advanced features such as heart rate monitoring, activity tracking, and more, providing a comprehensive view of your fitness progress.
- Convenience: The Apple Watch is a wearable device that can be worn all day, making it easy to track your progress and stay connected with notifications and calls.
- Heart rate monitoring: The Apple Watch has a built-in heart rate monitor that can track your heart rate during exercise, helping you to gauge your intensity level and monitor your progress over time.
Apple Watch Cons:
- Weak GPS signal: In some areas, the GPS signal can be weak or disrupted, leading to incorrect distance readings.
- Battery life: The Apple Watch has a limited battery life and needs to be charged regularly, which can be inconvenient for long runs or workouts.
- Cost: The Apple Watch can be a relatively expensive option compared to other fitness trackers.
Check out the best Apple Watch for accuracy here.
- Consistent measurement: Treadmills use the speed of the belt to track distance, providing a consistent measurement as long as the belt is functioning properly.
- Accurate calorie tracking: Treadmills use a combination of your heart rate, weight, and activity level to estimate the number of calories you’ve burned, providing a more accurate estimate compared to wrist-based sensors.
- Heart rate monitoring: Many treadmills come equipped with built-in heart rate monitors, allowing you to track your heart rate during exercise.
- No need for GPS: Treadmills don’t rely on GPS signals, making them a reliable choice for indoor use.
- Limited use: Treadmills can only be used indoors and aren’t as convenient as a wearable device for outdoor runs.
- Maintenance: Treadmills require regular maintenance and calibration to ensure accurate readings.
- Space: Treadmills take up more space and can be difficult to store.
- Cost: Treadmills can be a relatively expensive option, especially when compared to other fitness trackers or devices.
In conclusion, both the Apple Watch and treadmills have their own unique benefits and drawbacks for runners. The choice between the two will depend on your individual needs and preferences, such as whether you prefer to run indoors or outdoors, how important convenience and battery life are to you, and whether you’re looking for a comprehensive fitness tracking device or just a distance tracker. Consider your priorities and choose the device that works best for you.
Learn more about treadmills here.
Why is it important to know the accuracy of the Apple Watch to a treadmill
Knowing the accuracy of an Apple Watch compared to a treadmill is important for fitness tracking and hitting your goals, which can include having accuracy with your PRs (Personal Records).
Treadmills are considered the “gold standard” when it comes to counting steps and measuring distance and speed, but the Apple Watch aims to give you these benefits in a compact package wherever you go.
So it’s understandable that many people want to know if they can trust their Apple Watch as much as they would trust a treadmill.
After all, when it comes to physical activity, accuracy counts!
It’s important to check accuracy against already established performance indicators like treadmills so that you can make sure your progress toward your health goals is tracked with precision.
The benefits of using an Apple Watch over a treadmill
When it comes to fitness tracking, the Apple Watch is definitely a step up from the treadmill.
Not only will an Apple Watch give you more accurate heart rate and activity readings, but it also offers you more data insights and analysis.
Furthermore, with its sophisticated GPS-enabled technology, an Apple Watch can map your workouts and help you better visualize your progress.
Last but not least, this watch is also packed with lots of helpful health features like emergency SOS, blood oxygen levels, and fall detection that no treadmill can offer!
So if you’re looking for a reliable way to monitor your workouts and stay on top of your health goals, investing in an Apple Watch just might be the smarter choice.
The drawbacks of using an Apple Watch over a treadmill
While the Apple Watch is a great tool for tracking activity and health, there are still some drawbacks to using one over a treadmill if you value accuracy.
The Apple Watch relies on an optoelectronic sensor that tracks your body movements as you take each step, and as such can give inaccurate readings regarding the distance you traveled and calories burned.
Treadmills, on the other hand, measure your steps directly and can tell you about any incline or decline in terrain – which often isn’t factored into the readings of an Apple Watch – so can be more reliable when it comes to calculating accurate distances and speed.
So if accuracy matters most when it comes to logging your exercise progress, then maybe a treadmill is the way to go!
Which one is more accurate with Distance, Calories, Speed, and other Metrics?
So which is more accurate in measuring distance, calories, speed, and other metrics? To answer this question, we need to take a closer look at the technology behind each.
Both the Apple Watch and treadmills have sensors that measure movement, which they use to calculate distance.
The Apple Watch uses an accelerometer and a GPS sensor to track distance, while treadmills use sensors to track the movement of the belt and translate it into distance covered.
In terms of accuracy, it can be said that both have their strengths and weaknesses. GPS-enabled devices like the Apple Watch are able to track distance accurately when used outdoors, but the accuracy can be impacted by the availability and quality of GPS signals.
On the other hand, treadmills provide a controlled environment for running or walking, which can result in more accurate distance tracking, but the accuracy can be impacted by the accuracy of the sensors on the treadmill.
Distance tracking is an essential feature for runners, and both the Apple Watch and treadmills offer this functionality. But which one is the best choice for you? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each.
When it comes to tracking calories burned, both the Apple Watch and treadmills use various factors, including heart rate, movement, and other metrics, to make an estimate.
However, the accuracy of these estimates can vary based on factors like body composition, age, weight, and fitness level.
The Apple Watch uses its heart rate sensors and movement sensors to estimate calories burned, while treadmills typically use heart rate sensors and the speed and incline of the belt to estimate calories burned.
Again, the accuracy of these estimates can vary, but the treadmill has the advantage of a controlled environment, which can result in more accurate calorie estimates.
Both the Apple Watch and treadmills are capable of tracking speed, but the technology behind this tracking can be quite different.
The Apple Watch uses its GPS sensors and accelerometer to track speed, while treadmills use sensors to track the speed of the belt.
In terms of accuracy, it can be said that both have their strengths and weaknesses.
GPS-enabled devices like the Apple Watch are able to track speed accurately when used outdoors, but the accuracy can be impacted by the availability and quality of GPS signals.
Treadmills provide a controlled environment for running or walking, which can result in more accurate speed tracking, but the accuracy can be impacted by the accuracy of the sensors on the treadmill.
Both the Apple Watch and treadmills can track a variety of other metrics, such as heart rate, steps, and active minutes.
The Apple Watch uses its heart rate sensors and movement sensors to track these metrics, while treadmills typically use heart rate sensors and the speed and incline of the belt to track these metrics.
In terms of accuracy, it can be said that both have their strengths and weaknesses. The Apple Watch has the advantage of being able to track metrics continuously throughout the day, while treadmills provide a controlled environment for running or walking, which can result in more accurate tracking of metrics like heart rate and steps.
The Apple Watch is a great tool to use if you want to improve your fitness and monitor your progress, but it is not as accurate as a treadmill. If you are looking for the most accurate results for your running, you should use a treadmill.
However, if you want a convenient way to track your progress and see how far you have come, the Apple Watch is a good choice.
Best Treadmill App for Apple Watch
If you still want to use your Apple Watch while working out, you need to be prepared. Your Apple Watch workout app is not capable of recognizing and adjusting inclines and declines; instead, the measurement it shows is based on your arm swings. Therefore, you will need a treadmill app to help you out instead.
Most smartwatches and running apps are designed to be used for an outdoor walk or outdoor run and not treadmill workouts.
Therefore, what you really need is a treadmill app that will work perfectly with your Apple Watch. Here are some of the best apps that you should consider for a treadmill run;
Nike Run Club
Nike Run Club is a popular running app that allows you to track your treadmill sessions. You can download it on your Apple Watch easily and use it to track your running and walking workouts. This app also comes with global and custom challenges. It offers personalized coaching plans as well as audio-guided runs. The app is extremely helpful for staying fit and helps keep you motivated.
Runkeeper is another app known for being one of the best fitness trackers to run on a treadmill with. This app is great for use on the treadmill because you can easily track your runs with it. The app comes with the Apple Watch, which means you no longer need to keep your phone on hand.
Aaptiv is considered to be one of the best apps for your treadmill. This app offers you tons of features, including trainer-led workout sessions. Apart from that, it offers other features for your treadmill workouts. You can easily set the peak speed and incline and the estimated distance and music style that will help make your workout sessions a lot more enjoyable.
Treadmill Calories vs. Apple Watch
When working out, you might want to know how many calories you’ve burned. You can use your Apple Watch to do so. However, you will first need to reset your calibration data on your smartwatch for the treadmill to accurately measure the calories burned. Here are the steps you need to follow if you want to calibrate your Apple Watch.
- The first step is to go to the settings of your iPhone.
- Then scroll down to the “Privacy” option of the My Watch tab and tap on it.
- Then tap on the “Location Services” option.
- Now tap “System Services” and go to the “Motion Calibration & Distance” option. Turn it on.
Once that is done, you just have to get onto your treadmill and open your workout app. Before you start, click on the three horizontal dots. Select your mode of workout; for a running session, select indoor run and for a walking session, select treadmill or indoor walk. After that, you can start your session. Make sure you work out for 20 minutes, as this will allow your watch to gather enough data. This data will act as reference data for all of your other workouts. Your Apple Watch will be calibrated after you’ve worked out for these 20 minutes, and you can start using it.
However, remember that the readings on your Apple Watch won’t be accurate. Therefore, if you want to know the exact number of calories you have burned, then you should opt for the Foot Pod instead. This device measures readings far more accurately than the Apple Watch. It also provides precise data of when you’re running on the treadmill.
You must understand that although the Apple Watch is an accurate smartwatch, it does not give accurate readings on a treadmill. While these tips can help improve the accuracy, the data still won’t be precise.
Something To Consider
In order to have the highest chances for accuracy, using both the treadmill and your apple watch can be helpful at times.
Once your workout is complete, you’ll be able to compare the differences in distance, elevation, calories, and even heart rate.
You can decide which one seems most accurate or just calculate the average of the two results.
Regardless of what you decide, make sure to set goals for yourself and stay consistent with your workouts so you can continue to strive for being the healthiest and fittest version of yourself.