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Elliptical Fitness Equipment

Updated on July 12, 2009

Elliptical fitness equipment is taking the world by storm, but then considering the benefits this total body workout machine provides, it’s not any wonder.  They are gaining more and more popularity, and someday they may surpass the treadmill as the favored exercise equipment in the world.  There are very few downfalls with an elliptical trainer and most people cite the awkwardness of getting used to working the upper and lower body at the same time as the only one…at least until they get used to it.

Elliptical exercise machines allow a person with a very busy and active lifestyle the chance to find time to get in a total body workout in 20 minutes.  The dual action of the elliptical allows you to burn more calories at once because you work almost all of the major muscle groups at the same time.  It is low impact and easy on the body and you do not risk hurting yourself because of this. Your feet never leave the pedals, yet you get the same workout as if you had jogged so many miles.  

The Benefits Of An Elliptical Trainer

You can get your heart rate up, get to sweating profusely and make muscles burn all in one elliptical workout.  If you train consistently on it, you can strengthen you heart and lower your risk of heart attack and stroke.  Plus it drives your metabolic rates up and helps you lose weight.  It can jump start your flagging metabolism and your body will continue to burn calories throughout the rest of the day even after you are done exercising.

Cross trainers are easy to use and the computer readout is user friendly.  Basically, step on the pedals and start moving.  When you want to stop, stop pedaling and the machine will come to a stop with you.  You can tone your arms and legs at the same time with a machine that is fun and helps you forget you’re actually working out.  If you’ve never tried one of these cardio fitness machines at your local gym, you may want to.  You’ll be surprised at just how easy it is to use and you’ll still have something you can do on those days when time is an extreme issue.

How Heart Rate Control Helps

Each of the elliptical fitness machines offers you a way to monitor your heart rate and control the level of your workout. Your heart rate is a direct link to the exertion you make in your exercise routine, and a cross trainers use this number to determine the level of resistance it applies for you to workout against.

Most elliptical fitness machines have a heart rate control as a standard feature, although older models will have it as an option and it would’ve been up to the management of the club - or you if it’s your home machine – to have purchased the option.  Heart rate controls are found in the stationary handgrips of some trainers, which don’t allow you the upper body workout.  Other machines use a wireless system that is a strap attached to your chest that feeds the information. Some machines, like the EVO REV600, now have the heart rate monitors in the moving handlebars.

Each program on the many different makes and models of cardio fitness equipment varies slightly, some with more than one way of measuring the heart rate zone. If you use the programs that are attached with the different heart rate measurements, the optimum workout places your heart rate within the heart rate zone the machine specifies.  These zones are usually listed on the computer faceplate of the elliptical fitness equipment.

Before embarking on any form of fitness regimen, you should consult your physician to make sure that you are physically fit enough to do the workout.  Remember, the heart rate zones listed on the machines are simply recommendations and the machine will make additional recommendation based on your age and weight.  If you find yourself uncomfortable at a certain level you can back off and return to a more comfortable workout pace.  Elliptical exercise equipment really do give you total control of your workout and a very good visual of how you are doing.  Paying attention to your body, however, gives you an even indication of how you are doing.

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