My second favorite form of cardio exercise is using an elliptical trainer (First is mountain biking). Elliptical trainers make your weight loss cardio program quiet, low impact, and challenging.
Elliptical trainers are kind of a combination of rowing, cross country skiing, and bicycling. You move all major muscle groups in a very fluid, low impact way. A high quality elliptical trainer is very solid, (No jerky motions) quiet, and usually comes with a display that will let you know the amount of time you have been riding, calories burned, mileage, etc.
I prefer using an elliptical trainer because of the full body workout plus the fact I can watch TV, listen to music, or even read while I am riding. The sound of a high quality elliptical trainer will not disturb others in your home. The fact that your whole body is involved makes it less likely that you will get bored or experience discomfort while on your elliptical machine. It is easy to track progress and easy to fit into your schedule. Even the busiest people I know watch at least a half hour of TV per day, now you can combine your exercise, weight loss routine with your TV time!
When it comes to elliptical trainers – Quality Counts! Do not get a loose, squeaky, cheap variety; it will end up being a clothes hanger in your family room! Cheap elliptical trainers do not provide a fluid motion and can sometimes feel jerky. A high quality elliptical machine will have a “natural” feel while you are riding. High quality elliptical trainers can be found at reputable web sites and some exercise equipment stores, but I have yet to find one I liked at a department store. Look for trial periods, satisfaction guarantees, and warranties.
How can you incorporate riding an elliptical machine into your weight loss program? Let me give you a few suggestions but remember to check with your doctor and realize your limits. First off theoretically speaking, 3500 calories represents one pound of fat. If you eat 3500 more calories than your body needs it will be stored as a pound of fat, if you consume 3500 less calories than your body needs it will burn 1 pound of stored energy resulting in fat loss. Perhaps you are saying: “Wait a minute! Why are you talking about consuming fewer calories? I thought this was an article about elliptical machines and weight loss!”
The key here is; “consuming fewer calories than your body needs”. Rather than focusing on how to consume fewer calories we are going to think of our elliptical workouts as a way to cause our bodies to need more calories.
Let’s say you are someone who is relatively stable in your consumes/needs bank; You are consuming a few more calories than you are burning and perhaps have been slowly gaining weight over the years. Set a goal to eat as you normally do and ride the elliptical trainer for 3500 calories over a week’s time. Do this consistently week after week and you will achieve weight loss.
Let’s say you are someone who is not so stable in your consumes/needs bank. You are consuming many more calories than you are burning. If this is the case you will obviously need to make some better food decisions. Read some of our other articles for ideas on how to cut some calories from your diet. Start with a goal to ride the elliptical machine for 3500 calories per week and soon you will be on the positive side of the consumes/needs bank and you will start to drop those pounds.
Ride your elliptical trainer consistently and do your best to make it a ritual that you enjoy. Listen to music, watch TV, read…make it something you look forward to every day. The rewards will be a healthier body, less fat, and a better feeling you.
I wish for you the best of health!