When you walk into a gym, where do your eyes go first? Which machine tempts you the most? Most people would head straight to the treadmills or stationary bikes. But very few people actually know the benefits of an elliptical machine, which is also known as a cross trainer. This is not surprising considering that most people primarily subscribe to a gym for weight loss, not for building muscles. Elliptical cross trainers are the perfect machines to enhance stamina and increase endurance. With a healthy diet and proper exercise, you might lose the appropriate amount of weight. But if you want to have a lean and fit body, you’ll need to reap all the benefits off from a top-quality elliptical trainer. Elliptical machines are easy to use, which is why it is suggested to beginners and senior citizens. You can also use one at your home.
Training on an Elliptical: Benefits and Drawbacks
Elliptical machines are very user-friendly – you just get onto the pedals and start running or walking. They are very quiet, impact-free and provide a full-body workout, making them a perfect home gym accessory. One of the most important functions of an elliptical trainer is to focus on stressing the cardiovascular system. These machines can monitor your heart rate and control the workout intensity. Key muscles that are targeted in elliptical workouts are the cardiac muscles, quads, hamstrings and glutes. Calves are also affected but to a lesser degree. Pushing and pulling the handlebars can make way for a good upper body workout. They are also good at targeting the problem areas like thighs, tummy and back.
It is recommended that every week there should be 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 70 minutes of vigorous exercise. Regular elliptical workouts can help lower stress and the risk of obesity issues, and improve your immune system as well as your mood. This means you can monitor your health and fitness with an elliptical trainer right in the comfort of your home without having to drive to the gym to check on your progress.
Although elliptical benefits are immense, they come with a few drawbacks. Some users have complained about numbness around the ankles and foot after using these machines. Some aged users have also mentioned about getting confused with the motion of these machines since it takes some time to get used to the movement. Also, avoiding the risk of overtraining is of utmost importance. Training excessively leads to lack of sleep and irritability, along with increased chances of injury. To stop this from happening, give yourself one day of rest per week. Bear in mind that elliptical machines are larger than treadmills, so you’ll need to think of space available before you get one.
Amazing Benefits of Elliptical Machine Workouts
Elliptical workouts are immensely useful as they hit some of the major muscle groups on our body but in a low-impact manner. Treadmill exercises have more workout intensities, so elliptical machines are relatively easier on the body. Here are a few reasons that will easily convince you to hop onto your elliptical machine on a regular basis.
- It helps to work on your inner core and balance: Your body will regain better control and mobility, especially in the hip region. This is why many hospitals recommend the use of elliptical trainers after surgery. Depending on your health condition you will be provided with a workout routine suitable for you.
- You are able to get your whole body moving with an elliptical cross trainer: Both upper and lower body muscles are worked up during the workouts simultaneously. This is very helpful for bone formation and strength. You can select the level of resistance you want. The more resistance you provide, the more calories you burn in a shorter time span.
- You can try multitasking: You see in TVs how celebrities listen to music and exercise at the same time and you want to do that too. With an elliptical trainer it’s not that hard! You can read your favorite novel, watch your much-awaited episodes of Game of Thrones and even listen to music while using an elliptical machine. Some even come with built-in speakers so that the music is loud. This will help kickstart and energize your workout.
- It gives you the perfect weight bearing workout: While using an elliptical machine, you are literally going up against the gravity using your feet, knees and upper body. This is a good form of weight-bearing exercise, which will help your bones to strengthen. This also helps reduce the chances of early-onset osteoporosis, a condition where the bones become brittle even with little pressure.
- Elliptical machines are great for building cardio capacity: Just use your machine for 25 minutes 3 to 4 days per week and you’ll see how much endurance and stamina you have garnered. You will also feel active and refreshed throughout the whole day.
- You can reverse the direction: You can do a walking motion both forward and backward with this machine. So you have a chance to have an attractive back as well!
- Cross trainers last a long time: They require very little maintenance and are relatively affordable when compared to treadmills. Since they can last a long time without maintenance or damage, you can continue using without any fear of injuring yourself or breaking the machine. In a matter of weeks, you will get a beautiful body that attracts everybody.
Why Not Use Treadmills Instead?
Often people compare between treadmills and ellipticals since both are used for cardio exercises. What they don’t know is that although both machines aim towards the same goal, their effects are different. Treadmills put a lot more stress on joints, along with knees, ankles, spine and hips. It could be more painful if you do not warm up beforehand.
Also, ellipticals are more convenient to use, making them suitable for people of all ages. They provide low impact stress, so there’s no need to warm up. All you have to do is track your progress and increase resistance over time. Treadmills also have certain safety issues that you need to be aware of. If you keep running but your foot slips, you could seriously injure yourself. But a cross trainer is relatively much safer because you never have to leave your feet while walking or running.
People have also complained about issues with their posture and balance when using treadmills. But this is not a problem faced by elliptical machine users. Some of these machines can be used while seated as well, making them even more comfortable to use. User studies suggest that most people find treadmills to be much harder for cardio when compared to elliptical machines.
Since elliptical trainers are easy on the body but equally good for cardio workouts as treadmills, they are perfect for beginners who have just started working out and for people with joint pain. Often senior citizens are advised to use elliptical machines at home because they are really convenient to use and require little routine maintenance.
However, just exercising will not give you your desired body. You have to maintain a balanced diet and drink a lot of water every day. To maintain a healthy cognitive function you should sleep well and take all your necessary medications and supplements. Never take your body for granted if you really want to achieve progress in fitness. In an attempt to look attractive, do not sacrifice food or indulge in crash diets. Your body has a natural way of working, so you should allow it to work exactly that way. Reduce alcohol consumption and stop smoking if you do so the chances of diseases remain low. Stay fit and live healthy!