If you've ever made the decision to get rid of your gym membership and set up a home gym, you've probably run into the cardio conundrum: Treadmill or elliptical trainer?
For many people, this often comes down to the weight issue, namely, which one will help you lose weight the fastest? The short answer here is: The one you actually use. And, for exercise, not as a Royal Throne for your cat (or, perhaps that only occurs in my house).
The longer answer is that elliptical trainers can help you lose weight...if you work at it. The 'work at it' part is where the elliptical trainer and the treadmill often diverge.
A treadmill is usualy more comfortable from the beginning - You're used to walking, so it doesn't feel like you're doing something weird when you try it (if you ignore the fact that you're actually walking to nowhere).
On the elliptical, you push into the pedals (much like a bicycle) in order to move, something our bodies don't normally do. This no-impact movement is a plus for those with joint problems. It can be a minus, however, when you consider that, in order to get your heart rate up, you have to work against the resistance of the pedals...and it sometimes takes quite a bit of resistance to really get your heart going.
The act of pushing against resistance can really tax the legs, making it more uncomfortable than walking on a treadmill (a movement our bodies are used to doing every day). That doesn't mean the treadmill is better, just that you should take that into account as you're making your choice. Your legs may need extra time to gradually build endurance. Eventually, this will allow you to work at the level of intensity you need to burn calories.
What do you think? Have you lost weight using an elliptical trainer? What are the pros and cons? Leave a comment and tell us what you think about elliptical trainers.
More Elliptical Resources