By Fred Waters
In recent years elliptical trainers have grown in popularity. In fact, if you go to your local health club you will probably see as many ellipticals and you will treadmills. They are particularly getting popular with individuals who are 50 years old and above. The reason. First, they give you a low impact workout that is less abusive to your joints. While in your teens you may not notice the affect of the constant impact that comes with so many types of exercises, but as you get older the impact takes its’ toll on your various joints like your knees ankles and lower back. Ellipticals also have the benefit of giving you a combined upper and lower body workout. You exercise more parts of your body.
Low Impact Workout
The difference between exercising on an elliptical trainer in comparison to walking or running is that with an elliptical there is no reverse motion. You exercise in an elliptical motion, where you foot never leaves the pedal. Consequently you minimize the impact to your joints and your lower back. In contrast, runners can impact up to 2.5 times their body weight when their foot lands on the surface. Over the years that continual shock to your body can have a negative affect
Individuals who thought they had to give up serious cardio exercising due to previous injuries are finding they can burn significant calories on an elliptical trainer without suffering from existing conditions. Exercising on an elliptical trainer can be like running on air. The stress and strain to your joints is significantly reduced, which allows older individuals or people with stress injuries to get back to a regular exercise regimen.
Upper and Lower Body Workout
The other important benefit of an elliptical trainer is that it allows you to exercise both your upper and lower body. There are two benefits. The obvious is that you can workout and tone more muscles groups simultaneously. Unlike a treadmill where you can only target your lower body, with an elliptical you can tone your arms, chest and abs, in addition to the major lower body muscle groups. This resistance exercise can increase bone density.
It should also be noted that many elliptical trainers include the ability to incline the elliptical motion, similar to the incline on a treadmill. This allows you to further target more lower body muscles.
An additional benefit is that as you exercise more muscles groups, you also efficiently burn more calories in less time. Of course, to get the full benefit of this dual action workout you have to make a concerted effort to distribute the resistance to both your upper and lower body. Often people who workout on an elliptical trainer focus most of the resistance on their legs and their arms tend to go through the motions.
It you are getting up in years you may want to review your current exercise routine and determine the long-term impact it literally could have on your body. Particularly if you are a runner you may want to consider alternating between runs and the elliptical, as I currently do. This potentially can add longevity to your exercising as you get older. If you currently suffer from impact related injuries, you should consider an elliptical trainer as an alternative low impact exercise.
About the Author
Fred Waters is author of the www.Fitness-Equipment-Source.com site where you can get reviews and ratings on over 200 popular elliptical trainers. He assists people in finding the right crosstrainer for their body and their budget