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Incorporating an Elliptical Machine into Your Workout

Monday, April 19th

Incorporating an Elliptical Machine into Your Workout

The Elliptical machine is a great total body workout. If used properly you can achieve great upper and lower body strengthening and cardiovascular workout, all in a much shorter amount of time, then if you worked each of the areas individually. You can receive all these benefits, while protecting your body with the low-impact workout the elliptical machine offers.

Whether you are a beginner or have years of experience exercising, make sure to begin and end your workout with a warm-up and cool down. This will help loosen muscles. You will want to use your elliptical machine 3 to 5 times per week. A great idea is to use your elliptical every other day and use the "off" days for other types of workouts to maximize results.

To maximize your total body workout, we would also recommend including some strength training (free weights, machines, your own body weight, etc) into your workout to help increase tone and fat-burning muscle.

Elliptical machines are preloaded with a variety of challenging exercise programs. Many are also equipped with wireless heart rate controls, allowing you to optimize your workout by using your heart rate to stay in the best resistance level for your desired out come whether it be weight loss or cardiovascular workout. Preprogrammed workouts often include fat burning, cross-country, hill climbs, target training zone, resistance training and more. Naturally you might have a favorite program, but it is suggested to do all the programs at least once a month, to provide variety and mix it up for your body. Make sure you also spend at least 30 minutes at a time on the machine.

A simple fact to remember in incorporating an elliptical machine in your workout program, is that if you want to lose weight, you must not only exercise more (the elliptical is a great option) but you also must adjust your food intake and diet. There are many great resources available to help you with food intake, showing foods to avoid, great foods to consume, ways to track your intake and more. The great thing about elliptical machines is the ability to track the amount of calories you burned during your workout. This is helpful if you are counting calories as part of your health plan.

To get the best results using the elliptical machine make sure you use the machine properly, utilize the variety of programs, use the machine for at least 30 minutes at a time for 3-5 days a week, incorporate strength training and watch your food intake. These tips will all help you be on the right track to get the most from your elliptical machine.

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Elliptical Machine FAQ

An elliptical machine is a low-impact stationary cardio trainer that combines an upper and lower body workout. The user stands on the pedals, holding onto the handles with both arms outstretched, and moves his or her feet along the track in an oval-like (or "elliptical" ) path.
Some ellipticals are more expensive than others depending on their features - such as whether or not they include a touch screen, workout programs or tracking capabilities - and how long they are built to last. The most inexpensive ellipticals out there are priced around $350, but for a quality trainer that will last you for years, expect to pay at least $500-$1,000.
Ellipticals are predominantly cardio machines. Increasing the resistance and using the handlebars of your elliptical will engage, strengthen and tone nearly every muscle group, but if you're looking to build real bulk, you should probably look elsewhere.
Scientists have debunked spot-reduction weight loss. Only by creating a caloric deficit can you lose weight, and that weight loss will be distributed across your entire body. That being said, elliptical workouts are a fantastic way to create a caloric deficit and tone up at the same time.
In flywheel ellipticals, resistance is created by friction. The heavier the flywheel, the stronger the resistance and the smoother the movement. Magnetic resistance ellipticals are able to increase resistance levels with more accuracy and require less maintenance than their friction-dependent flywheel counterparts. Magnetic resistance ellipticals are quieter than flywheel ellipticals, but they are also typically more expensive.
Elliptical training cannot improve your running form or posture, but it can help you prepare to transition to running outdoors or on a treadmill. When done regularly and with enough intensity, elliptical training can increase your strength and stamina.
When compared to a high impact exercise like running, yes, elliptical training is much gentler on knees and joints. However, many elliptical users still report feeling pain or discomfort in their knees and feet as a result of pushing themselves too hard or having poor form.
As with any piece of fitness machinery, regular maintenance is necessary to prevent injury and to keep your machine functioning properly. Depending on how frequently your elliptical is used, you should have your elliptical serviced every 3-6 months. Check your user manual for more information.
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