If you are currently lamenting the fact that your gym is closed to the public, you’re not alone. If you're like me, you're probably missing working out on an elliptical machine. As one of the most popular cardio machines in commercial gyms, an elliptical is also the number one choice in home exercise equipment.
Known as a low-impact machine, an elliptical can provide a ton of health benefits that will aid you on your fitness journey. If you’re thinking of purchasing an elliptical machine for your home gym or hitting it at the gym once it's safe to do so, here are some of the health advantages you can gain.
To keep your fitness levels in check, it’s important that you follow a balanced exercise routine. Aerobic exercise (otherwise known as cardio) keeps your lungs and heart working harder, which provides your muscles with more blood and oxygen. Working out on an elliptical is a great cardio exercise and will get your heat rate up. It strengthens your muscles, lungs, and heart, which also builds your endurance and stamina.
Burn Lots of Calories
If you are wanting to crush your calorie burn in a short time, jumping on the elliptical is the way to go. Depending on how much you weigh, using an elliptical machine can see you burn between 270-400 calories in 30 minutes. If you want to see fast results and burn tons of calories, investing in an elliptical may be worth considering.
Get a Full Body Workout
An elliptical equipped with handles is one of the few cardio machines that give you a full-body workout. Both your upper and lower body can benefit from working out on an elliptical. The key is to distribute your resistance and weight evenly. When performed correctly, the elliptical can target your chest, back, glutes, hamstrings, and core muscles.
Less Stress on Joints
When ellipticals first hit the market back in the 1990s, runners who suffered from injuries and achy joints rejoiced at the prospect of being able to train their cardiovascular system while providing relief to some pressure on their joints. When doing high impact cardio like running, your knees, hips, ankles, and other joints can take a severe beating. Since your feet never move from the pedals when using an elliptical, this machine provides a low-impact cardio workout.
Burn Body Fat
In addition to burning tons of calories, working out on an elliptical will help you lose body fat too, and tone up your muscles in a shorter period. To get the most out of the machine, add interval training into your elliptical workouts. Just like sports and activities like swimming, cycling, and walking, using an elliptical once a day can burn body fat.
Target Specific Leg Muscles
When using an elliptical machine, you can alter both the incline and resistance of the foot pedals. When doing this, you will be able to target several muscles in your lower body, such as your hamstrings, quads, and glutes.
Increase the incline will target the back side of your lower body. If you lower the foot pedals, you may notice your quads working harder. The foot pedals on an elliptical machine go in reverse too, meaning you can change the direction of your stride and use your muscles in a different way.
While weight-bearing exercises are known to help strengthen your muscles, you may not realize that they can improve balance too. If you stand up straight and don't use the handles on the elliptical, you will target your core muscles and improve your balance. Make sure that the incline and resistance are set at a manageable level so you can do this safely.
Maintain Fitness After an injury
If you are dealing with an injury and unable to partake in your regular physical activity, you may struggle with the idea of sitting around all day. Exercising on an elliptical can be a great way to maintain your fitness while you are recovering. Since using an elliptical is a low-impact exercise, there will be far less stress put on your joints than a high-impact workout like jogging and running.
Widely used in commercial gyms and at home, ellipticals provide the benefit of a low-impact cardio workout while exercising both your lower and upper body. When it comes to choosing the best elliptical machine, you should get some expert advice to help you figure out how much to spend and which specifications you need. There’s a handful of elliptical reviews and guides available online to help point you in the right direction.
If you don’t have time to commit to a gym membership or you want to exercise safely at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, investing in an elliptical machine can provide numerous health benefits.
Are you stuck at home with no workout equipment?
Read our article 7 At-Home Workouts You Can Do Right Now for your daily dose of #fitspo!