Monday, April 6, 2009

Elliptical machine vs. running

In my ongoing quest to cross train for running (read between the lines - find alternatives for running) I've been doing more and more elliptical training in lieu of running. I've never been much of a fan of the treadmill - they hurt my knees and running in place just doesn't do it for me. Elliptical machines, on the other hand, minimize impact. Yes, you're still going in circles, but at least with elliptical machines you can catch up on the news (US Weekly with the occasional Economist thrown in) and watch television - two luxuries that are too difficult for me on the treadmill (it's just not as fun reading trash mags with some news thrown in and feeling carsick while bounce bounce bouncing).

Per Men's Total Fitness (don't ask why I'm reading that - Google): "according to the results of several recent studies, users of elliptical trainers were able to burn roughly the same amount of calories as treadmill users with the impression of using considerably less effort. This perception of a more effortless workout is probably due to the low impact nature of elliptical trainers."

Calories aside, I like:
  • The cardio workout
  • Getting my heartrate up (not over 140!)
  • Ability to practice pace and build in hills (faux hills)
  • Core and arm workout (core from practicing good posture while going, arm from using the handlebars)

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