Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I am in love (well not really, but sort of) with the elliptical trainer. It's amazing. It has been one of the main keys to my success in losing 34 lbs. and in gaining a new level of fitness. As I was right in the middle of my normal 30 min. routine today, a friend walked into the gym and hopped onto the elliptical right beside of me. We got to chatting and I mentioned how I really like the elliptical and I'm so glad that I determined in my mind and pushed myself those few months ago to get off of the treadmill and onto the elliptical. As I mentioned before, it took me a little while. I did it by adding one minute at a time. It wasn't easy, but it was so worth it. She agreed with me and said something kind of funny. She told me that since she's been exercising on the elliptical she no longer has 4 butt cheeks, she only has 2 now! How funny! But it's so true. Of all the areas I've been working diligently on, my buns are lookin mighty fine if I do say so myself. Seriously, I have no flab there. I haven't tried it, but I really think you could bounce a quarter off my tushy now! And with my new cute undies on, I think I look hot! And most importantly, my honey likes the results too! I have caught him looking at me from across the room, admiring my new look.
If you haven't tried the elliptical before, you really should. I wanted to share some information with you about the elliptical that I found on a website. Maybe this will give you more of an idea what it can really do for you.....
Elliptical trainers are relatively new to the family of fitness equipment, as compared to treadmills. They have increased in popularity during the last few years. And, perhaps at the rate they are going, these fitness machines will someday surpass the treadmill in popularity! But, do they deliver what they promise?
Elliptical trainers allow the athlete to burn a similar number of calories as jogging...but without the risk of injury to the back, knees, hips, or ankles. Your feet never leave the pedals. As a result, this type of machine is quite low-impact and goes easy on the joints. In fact, whereas exercising on a treadmill requires your body to absorb the impact force of walking or running, exercising on an elliptical can be compared to running in midair.
Because ellipticals are so low-impact and easy on the joints, this type of exercise equipment may very well be one of the best choices for older people or for individuals who are recovering from a joint injury.
Elliptical machines mimic the normal elliptical motion of the foot, the extension of the leg, and the rotation of the hip during walking or running. This motion uses all the leg muscles, giving you a total lower-body workout.
But, WAIT! There's more! Elliptical motion machines ALSO simultaneously work the upper body (unlike the treadmill, which works only the lower body)! As the feet go through their elliptical motion, the hands grip the moving handlebars, exercising the arms. The movement of the dual handlebars mimics cross-country skiing. Now, this particular type of workout may not necessarily pump you up to look like a bodybuilder. However, because you are including the upper 30% of your body in your workouts, the results will be more efficient. (And, those arms will be toned in no time!)
Because elliptical trainers DO work the upper and lower body simultaneously, the heart rate climbs more quickly. Thus, less time is required to achieve more results. The amount of energy expended is optimized. As the legs are being worked, the back, shoulders, chest, biceps, and triceps are also working ...making it possible to burn more calories in less time. (An optimal workout need only be about 20-30 minutes long.)
Some elliptical devices offer the option of shutting down the handlebars and working only the lower body. Even when this option is available, it evidently is not used very often ...likely because individuals appreciate being able to work the entire body at one time.
The foot pedals can be worked in a forward or reverse direction. When you change the direction of the pedals, you'll target your lower body in different ways. It is nice to be able to add versatility to your elliptical workouts, and such a change works to ensure optimal training of the leg muscles.
The intensity level can be adjusted on elliptical equipment to fit your personal level of fitness. Resistance may be added as desired to increase the workload on your legs throughout the forward or backward stride. With such an efficient workout, you can say 'goodbye' to flabby thighs and derrieres!
Previous studies have shown that working out on an elliptical unit can trick the body into believing it is working easier than it actually is. Therefore, as you're burning more calories in less time on an elliptical trainer, your body feels as though it doesn't have to work as hard to achieve its goals. This phenomenon is known as the "Rate of Perceived Exertion."
Additional benefits of elliptical training include its ability to build bone density and to inhibit the onset of osteoporosis. Everyone needs strong, healthy bones. This is especially a concern as we grow older, and our body's bone mass begins to deteriorate. Elliptical exercise can inhibit bone deterioration and actually improve bone thickness.
An elliptical device is safe to use (i.e. it stops when you stop). It uses very little electricity and is economical to operate. Because of its lesser impact, there is less wear and tear of the machine, making maintenance quite low. It has a small footprint, so it takes up less floor space than other fitness equipment. And, as with the treadmill, it allows you to exercise in a controlled environment for more comfort and convenience.
With all the benefits and the practicality of elliptical training machines, they just might end up exceeding the treadmill in popularity!
No matter what type of exercise or fitness equipment you may prefer, remember to always consult with your health professional before beginning any exercise program!
In addition to sharing this information with you, I wanted to also show you my new exercise program that I've been using for the past few weeks. However, it's in my husband's weightlifting notebook which he has with him at work tonight, so it will have to wait until tomorrow. It is always a good idea to change things up every so often, so this will be my last week using this particular program and my husband is working on a new one for me to begin next week. When that is complete, I'll share that as well. Until tomorrow.....