If you have never used an elliptical machine, it may be time to finally try it out. There are so many amazing benefits that it provides on top of the benefits of exercising in general. The upcoming four benefits are definitely worth mentioning as they bestow both short long-term advantages.
The elliptical machine offers optimal benefits with great results, which is why your heart, joints, and overall health will thank you. The next time you get the chance to try one out at your local health club or at home, consider these benefits that you can obtain just from one single machine.
What Is An Elliptical?
Elliptical machines have been increasingly popular both at home and at the gym. Whether you are a beginner looking for something new or whether you are already on your fitness journey, the elliptical is easy and almost mindless to use. This machine provides two moveable handles for your arms to utilize as well as two platforms for your feet to rest on. With every part of your body working together to create a hinging motion, your body is able to work together for a great workout.
It is important to remember that not all elliptical machines are built exactly the same, as each is made different by various companies and manufacturers to make them unique. Some elliptical machines have built-in heart rate monitors, while others may not have that feature. Other elliptical machines, such as the StreetStrider, are unique in that they provide a mobile feature that enables you to take the elliptical motion outdoors and make your workout fun!
Benefits Of Exercising
Before discussing the four amazing benefits that come with using an elliptical machine, it is important to understand the fundamental benefits from exercising in general.
Improving Your Overall Health And Wellness
Incorporating physical activity into your everyday routine is beneficial for your overall health and wellness. Exercising for at least 150 minutes per week can help improve your current health conditions and prevent other possible diseases from developing. Being physically active helps to keep your body functioning at an optimal level. For example, being active raises good cholesterol levels while also reducing the amount of bad cholesterol in your body.
Exercising promotes a healthy lifestyle and helps to improve the function of your heart, reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Your body uses various sources, such as carbohydrates, as fuel during your workout. This can help improve your blood sugar levels, which can be extremely beneficial for diabetic individuals. Regularly exercising can aid in enhancing your immune system, improving emotions of stress and anxiety, and can even help cease smoking habits.
During exercise, your body uses up different sources to provide enough energy to fuel the workout. These energy sources usually come from fragments of ingested carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Each of the previously mentioned sources contains a certain amount of calories per gram. For example, for every one gram of fat you consume, you are also consuming roughly nine calories. Because your body uses these sources for energy, it is also burning off the calories that come with it.
With every weight loss program, the emphasis is made on being able to offset your daily calorie intake. In other words, the main focus is based on a calorie deficit: fewer calories in and more calories (burned) out. But even if you are looking to stick to your weight, it is important to exercise to balance out the number of calories you consume versus the number of calories you are burning off throughout the day.
Promotes Mental Health
Exercising is known to be a source of natural energy. As you work out, your body is constantly working to provide you enough energy to thrive. The continuous blood flow and the natural chemicals that your body releases during exercise leaves you feeling good. Natural chemicals, such as dopamine and endorphins, are neurotransmitters that carry signals from our body to our brain. These neurotransmitters are known to impact the positive energy and relaxation experienced even after your workout.
Regularly exercising helps improve emotional wellness and can even promote a better night's sleep. It can help alleviate feelings of restlessness, stress, and tension felt throughout your body. Various classes and clubs are available to promote a healthy social environment while exercising as well.
Benefit #1: Full-Body Workout
We have discussed some of the benefits involved in physical activity. The best thing is, no matter what way you decide to engage in a workout, you will know that those benefits previously mentioned will consistently be there. Furthermore, there are even more benefits to add to the list when choosing an elliptical as your choice of exercise.
The first benefit worth mentioning is that with one machine, you can work both your upper and lower body. Why is this important? Well, there are many reasons. The primary reason is that you can get the most out of one workout session. Most machines tend to focus on one specific muscle group or just target the lower (or upper) body. With the elliptical, you could essentially stick to this one machine while getting the benefits as if you were using two.
A full-body workout enhances your body by using more muscle groups. This not only helps in toning those areas, but it also allows your body to burn more calories as it attends to all of those muscle groups. These muscle groups include areas like your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, biceps, triceps, chest, back, and shoulders.
Benefit #2: Low Joint Impact
Running, climbing, and jogging can be a great cardio workout, but many people find it too hard on their joints. As your feet hit the pavement ground or on the floor of the treadmill machine, your knees, hips, and ankles can get quite the shock. With the elliptical, you are still using the same motions as if you were running but without the harsh impact on your joints.
The elliptical also helps in saving your joints by ensuring proper posture throughout your workout. Utilizing the arm handles while in an upright position, your body tends to naturally straighten out your back. This saves your back from the pressure that you might be receiving while on a bike, for example. Most people tend to hunch their back while riding a bicycle, causing sharp angles along your vertebrae.
Benefit #3: Versatility
There are so many flexible aspects within the elliptical machine that you can take advantage of to personalize your workout specific to your goals. The versatility of the elliptical allows you to target more specific areas, change the slope of your workout to mimic more of a climbing motion, or adjust the intensity of your workout for more of a challenge.
The arm handles, and foot platforms are also adjustable as you can push your muscles in a more forward motion or backward motion. This change in position targets different muscles used to assist in a push or pull movement. As previously mentioned, elliptical machines come in various styles to offer unique features that can be beneficial. The StreetStrider offers a distinctive feature in that it can be used both stationary or mobile. When used outdoors, your core is engaged to keep it straight and also used to steer the machine. Your core is engaged much more than it would during a stationary workout.
Benefit #4: Rehabilitation
The elliptical machine is one of the most common machines used in physical rehabilitation centers. After an injury, like tearing your ACL, it is important to continue to exercise to slowly strengthen your muscles back up. Due to the low joint impact that the elliptical offers, it is safe to use for people in recovery or for people with underlying health conditions such as osteoarthritis.
When in recovery after an injury or surgery, the elliptical machine is recommended due to its efficiency and safety. It can also be beneficial not only to reintroduce exercise during recovery but even after as well. After going through a serious injury or surgery, your healthcare provider may not recommend you to go back full force running a marathon. Thankfully, you can use the versatility of the elliptical machine to increase the intensity and resistance to satisfy your needs.
In summary, the elliptical machine provides additional benefits on top of the ordinary benefits of exercising in general. With its ability to supply a full-body workout while saving your joints from the impact, plus its versatility and use for rehabilitation, the elliptical machine is an amazing way to ream an abundance of benefits through exercise. If you are still unsure whether this machine is the right fit for you, consider trying it out at your local health club. It is easy to use, and your body will thank you. You will be able to experience first hand how effective and efficient it can be as it tones and strengthens your body.