Happy Saturday everyone!
I've fallen in love recently. We haven't known each other for very long, but I really see this relationship taking me places that are nothing but positive. I feel great when I'm with them and we seem to be spending more and more time together... wanna meet them? Allow me to introduce you: Ellie (or Elliot!)BAHAHAHA- sorry, I couldn't resist! :)
But for real, I love me some Elliptical! This was always one of those machines that I never thought were "for me" at the gym. Most of the time the people that had used them at other gyms I have gone to in the past were the skinny minnies and I didn't even want to know what it would look like with my bum up there. However, since my gym is amazing and has a WIDE variety of people working out there, at any given time I'll see a really fit chick and a grandma getting their ellipitical on side by side! So because of this I had the courage to try it fairly early on when I started going to the gym and like I've shared before, I remember the first time I hopped on I could only do 5 minutes before I felt like my face was going to explode! But I've slowly gained more and more endurance till I was able to hit my last month's goal of doing 15 minutes which was a great feeling!
Well this morning I was feeling super energized so I broke my longest time elliptical record and did it for 22 minutes- woot woot! That really is a huge change for me and the best part is, I really enjoy being on the elliptical- I've been frequenting the treadmill and upright (or hybrid) bikes so much that my workouts have begun feeling a bit teadious lately so this is a nice change of pace.
And while I'm really enjoying this machine more and more, I realized that I still had a lot of questions about it- so I've done some research and I thought we'de to a little Ellitical 101 and answer some of the questions that I (and most likely some of you) have about this rockin new friend of mine!
Question #1) What are the benefits of working out on an elliptical compared to a treadmill? Let's just preface this response with "any movement is better than no movement at all"- Mr. T has been a good friend to me, but there's no point in ignoring some obvious differences.
-Because your feet never actually hit the ground when doing the elliptical, your body absorbs literally no shock, as when you run or walk on a treadmill or the pavement, your joints and bones have to absorb the shock of hitting the ground. Hence, this being an ideal exercise for someone who is recovering from a joint injury, an older person, or someone who carries an abundance of excess weight (*hand raised!*).
- Using the elliptical gives you a total body workout becausae it not only involves utilizing your legs, but your arms and core as well. Studies show that using your arms while on the elliptical can help you lose 30% more calories in the same amount of time than just walking alone.
- Because we use our arms, core, and legs when doing the elliptical, which is more difficult, our heart rate rises much quicker than when we just walk so we end up burning more calories in a shorter amount of time. Um hello- who doesn't like that deal!??
Question #2: How long should you stay on the elliptical to get a good workout?
- Like any other piece of gym equipment, you get in what you put out- there are no miracle machines, but the elliptical comes pretty close!
- Because our heart rate rises quick when using an elliptical, we dont' have to stay on more than 20-30 minutes to get an optimum, full body workout.
- Trainers suggest that people start out doing 20-30 minutes two times a week and slowly increase it to 5 times a week. Resistance may also be added (via levels) in order to increase difficulty.
Question #3: How does running on an elliptical compare to regular running?
- The answers that I found to this were pretty inconclusive but I did peruse some forums just to get some real life feedback from runners and most of them said that it differs in the following ways:
- When transferring from elliptical to pavement running it takes a while for your body to get used to absorbing the shock of your feet hitting the ground.
- Using an elliptical does help to build your endurance and create the mindset that it takes to run long distances.
So there you have it folks! I'm excited that as my time and stamina increases on the elliptical and I begin my C25K training very soon (eeeek!) to compare the two- I'll be sure to share!
Finally, I wanted to leave you all with a few tips that I've come up with to help me out when I'm on the elliptical:
1- If I don't keep my mind occupied while I'm on any cardio machine, I find myself looking at the time and wanting to get off; so on the ellipical I always make sure that I have a magazine to read or that I'm near a tv- this seriously works like a charm!
2- I will break the time up into segments; for example, today I broke the time up into 4, 5 minute segments so that I can just keep asking myself, "Can you do 5 more minutes?" instead of saying "can you do 15 more minutes?"
3- I also will do something at the end of every 5 minutes like take a drink of water or stretch my arms or neck- this just helps me feel like time is going by I guess! lol
4- I cover up the time with my magazine usually and will only periodically look when I feel like a 5 minute mark is coming up!
5- I picture a goal that I have and rememeber how being on the elliptical is helping me reach that goal (*cough*my 5k*cough).
And here is picture proof that Ellie and I have been getting along just fine :)You may not be able to tell but I was *covered* in sweat- isn't that a fabulous feeling?
Alright, time for me to get going on some errands- tomorrow is weigh in day and I'm hoping for a certain # but I'm not sure I'll be seeing it due to the fact that my monthly visitor has arrived...ah oh well!
Have a great day! :)