Elliptical Machine Benefits

By Rebecca Burt

  • Overview

    The treadmill may soon take a backseat to the elliptical machine in the world of fitness. You may wonder why this newer machine is getting so much attention. Here are some of the benefits of the elliptical machine that are causing people to say, "out with the old, in with the new."
  • Low Impact

    When using elliptical machines, stress on joints is minimal, since it is a low impact exercise. While exercising on an elliptical machine, your feet do not leave the pedals. Therefore, there is no impact force for your body to absorb. It feels like you are walking on air. Compare this with using a treadmill, during which your body must absorb the force of impact while walking or running. Therefore, the elliptical machine is a better option for people with joint, hip, knee and back problems. You can burn the same amount of calories as you would if you were jogging, but without risk of injury. The elliptical machine is an especially prudent exercise option for elderly people.
  • Natural Motion

    The elliptical machine mimics the motion of human walking. This motion requires the use of every leg muscle, meaning that your entire lower body gets a workout. This smooth, fluid motion is not only good news for your joints. You may find that you enjoy the exercise more, because you will not feel like your body is working as hard as it is.


  • Total Body Exercise

    Using an elliptical machine can save you time, by giving you a total body workout in one exercise. Elliptical machines provide dual action, since they involve both your upper body and lower body. Most of these machines have handlebars that move at the same time as the pedals. The movement provided by these handlebars is similar to that in cross-country skiing. Since you are using your whole body when exercising on the elliptical machine, you burn more calories in a shorter amount of time.
  • Build Bone Density

    The elliptical machine provides exercise that requires weight bearing, without putting stress on your joints. This is beneficial because it helps in the prevention of osteoporosis. The exercise can help to stop bone deterioration, and it can even help to improve your bone density. This is a benefit that the elliptical trainer has over other fitness machines, like stationary bikes.
  • Variety and Challenge

    The foot pedals of the elliptical machine can move forward and backward. This allows for the muscles of your lower body to be used in a different way. This challenge will provide for complete training of your leg muscles. Elliptical machines also have a variety of programs to choose from, varying in intensity. The programs provide the same kind of challenge that you would get through interval or hill training. Many elliptical machines have heart rate monitors. This is advantageous in providing you with a workout that is specifically tailored to your body's needs. Overall, the variety and challenge offered by these machines is beneficial, because it can keep you motivated to continue exercising.
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