It's like social media for bloggers: you can't get around it. You have to do it.
And I've found a way to come to peace with my resistance against crosstraining with an elliptical trainer.
Crosstraining is important for runners
When I finally did something sporty in my thirties and took up running, I was so impressed with myself I didn't think I would have to do anything else, ever again. Then I read about the importance of crosstraining.
For about ten years I managed to ignore it, but then one day I finally faced it: crosstraining is important if you're a runner.
If I have to do crosstraining I want an elliptical trainer to do it with!
But I wasn't going to take it lying down. If I hád to do crosstraining, I wanted a new toy to do it with. So I took to eyeing elliptical trainers. With five kids, finances are tight though. So I bought an elliptical trainer at the local thrift store for 55 bucks. I didn't want to spend too much money because I wanted to make sure first, that elliptical trainers and me would get along.
And I'm happy to report that we do. Even though it's a ramshackle thing.
So let me tell you all about elliptical trainers and what they can do for you.
Elliptical trainer: what's that when it's at home?
Elliptical trainers are also aptly named 'crosstrainers'. They're stationary exercise machines, which is another way of saying: 'You won't be going anywhere.'
The defining elements of an elliptical trainer are:
- Foot pedals
- Rear fly wheel
- Handle levers
Elliptical machines: how do they work?
You step on the foot pedals, grab hold of the handle levers, and you start to 'walk'. Easy peasy. Moving on an elliptical machine looks a lot like walking stairs, walking and running. The big difference with running is that an elliptical machine is easier on your body. Because your feet never leave the foot pedals, there's no bouncing and harsh landings.
This means elliptical machines are 'low impact'. That makes them a great alternative to running. Especially if you're suffering an injury, an elliptical machine may be a way to maintain your stamina.
What do elliptical machines do for your body?
Now we're getting to the good stuff! The part that it's all about: the benefit of exercising on an elliptical machine for your body. And the news is good: just about every muscle in your body is required to participate on an elliptical trainer. Even the ones who like to sit on the couch and watch tv all the time.
The elliptical trainer provides a workout for your:
And it's beneficial to your heart and lung function. In other words: Jackpot!
Burning the fat
Half an hour on an elliptical machine burns about the same amount of calories as half an hour or running does. Depending on how hard you're using your elliptical machine of course.
My elliptical trainer: Buffalo
My second hand elliptical trainer is from the brand Buffalo. The screen doesn't work, and there was no manual. Nor could I find a manual on the internet. Luckily using the elliptical trainer isn't all that difficult, and I figured it out on my own.
But it does start to wobble when I try to work up a sweat. So I have to admit: mine is not a very good elliptical trainer.
But it will do for now.
What to look for in a elliptical trainer?
I wóuld however like to buy a better quality crosstrainer sometime. But because I'm on a budget, it's kind of hard to find a good quality elliptical trainer that doesn't break my bank.
Here are some of the qualities to look for in a good elliptical trainer:
- It doesn't wobble
- There's a long period of guarantee
- It can carry a minimum of 240 pounds
Work-outs on the elliptical trainer
The first time I stood on my elliptical trainer I thought: 'Now what?' Apparently I really need a training schedule. Left to my own devices it all seems so random and useless. Luckily I found this great video on youtube, providing me with a 32 minute workout that really makes me sweat.
The coach has the stern demeanor of a drill sergeant, and he talks like one.
'This is not a movie!' he says. 'Do this work-out, don't watch'.
Summing up: doing crosstraining with an elliptical trainer
I love the elliptical trainer! I really do. Even though mine isn't very good quality. But I love the fact that it's so easy to use, and that it's right here in our home.
How do you squeeze your crosstraining in? And can anyone recommend me a good quality elliptical trainer?