Elliptical trainers are ideal for getting in shape and losing weight. When you workout on an elliptical trainer there are two important benefits:
- Low-Impact Exercise
- Upper and Lower Body Workout
It is for those reasons that elliptical trainers are growing in popularity. Treadmills sell more in total numbers, but elliptical sales are growing at a faster pace. They are particularly appealing to the baby boomer generation that is looking for an alternative form of exercise and workout that lessens the impact on aging joints.
The two most popular forms of exercise are walking and running. But the facts are running, and to a lesser extent walking, cause stress to your body through continual impact. In fact, runners can apply as much as 2.5 times their body weight to their joints with each stride. This is why runners and walkers often suffer from ankle, knee, hip and back injuries. Especially if they workout outdoors on concrete or asphalt. With every step there is a degree of shock absorption. This shock can be felt throughout your entire body.
Elliptical trainers reduce impact through their elliptical motion. Your feet never leave the foot pedals. There is no reverse action, or significant impact. Consequently there is virtually no shock absorption to your joints. The motion of an elliptical trainer simulates the natural path of the ankle, knee and hip joints during walking, jogging or running. And yet you still get a weight bearing workout, which builds bone density, and inhibits the onset of osteoporosis.
With a treadmill you are constantly lifting your feet and impacting the treadbelt with every stride. Treadmills are designed to absorb some of the impact, but there is still that constant jolt to your joints.
Upper and Lower Body Workout
In addition to the low impact exercise, elliptical trainers workout both the upper and lower body simultaneously. By exercising several muscle groups at once you are able to optimize your workout. By involving more muscle mass in your aerobic workout you increase the efficiency of your workout.
When you exercise both the upper and lower body on an elliptical trainer, you utilize the quadriceps, glutes, chest, back, hamstrings, triceps and biceps. By exercising more muscle mass you attain the following benefits:
- Improved fat mobilization
- Build muscle endurance
- Burn more calories and fat in less time
- Reduced perceived rate of exertion
Regarding the reduced perceived rate of exertion, studies have shown that an elliptical trainer workout will often be perceived as less strenuous due to the combined upper and lower body exercise. The perception is that you get more results with less effort.
The benefits of an elliptical trainer workout have resulted in increased sales for both residential and commercial use. They are gaining in popularity at health clubs, and where several years ago you may have seen one or two, you now see rows of ellipticals.
If you haven’t used an elliptical you need to give one a try. If you are thinking about home fitness equipment, seriously consider an elliptical trainer. The benefits surpass those you receive from a treadmill, and you will be doing your body a favor.