Is an Elliptical the Right Exercise for Losing Weight?

While many people use their elliptical machines for fun, there are a few who use them to shed some pounds. Truth be told, researchers have stated that there is no single exercise equipment that can promise perfect results when it comes to weight loss. That being said, the humble elliptical is a perfect example of an exercise machine that can help people meet their goals.

In fact, the American Heart Association, the International Olympic Committee, and the World Health Organization all endorse the use of ellipticals in their campaigns to encourage people to exercise. Furthermore, the American College of Sports Medicine and the United States Medical Association both include ellipticals in their lists of safe and effective exercises. If you’re looking for a safe and secure way to shed some pounds, then the humble elliptical is probably the right choice for you.

The Many Benefits of an Elliptical

To start with, let’s discuss the many benefits of an elliptical. The American Heart Association notes that ellipticals encourage weight loss through their combined effects of aerobic exercise and leg strengthening. This is significant since the former improves the body’s overall functioning and the latter helps build strong legs and muscles.

According to research, the average person using an elliptical gains muscle strength, builds stamina, and reduces obesity-related risks by up to 10%. In short, all in all, the humble elliptical can be considered a functional fitness machine that allows users to meet many goals at once.

In addition to the above, the American College of Sports Medicine notes that moderate exercise promotes good mental health. This is particularly beneficial if you experience depression or anxiety. There is also some evidence that regular exercise can improve sleep quality and reduce insomnia symptoms. Whether you’re looking to shed some pounds or just want to meet daily physical requirements, the elliptical is an excellent choice.

How Does It Work?

Many of you may be familiar with the idea of the hamstrings being the “glutes of the leg,” as they are part of the hamstrings muscle group. This is significant because the hamstrings are responsible for extending the knee joint and helping to stabilize the pelvis during the gait cycle.

When the hamstrings are strong and flexed, the knees are stabilized and the strain on the spine is decreased. This is significant because the human body was not designed to carry around extra weight in the first place and placing additional strain on the spine can lead to serious health problems. This is also the case if you’re carrying a lot of weight in the wrong place—like in the tummy, for example.

When the hamstrings are strengthened through workouts, they become more flexible and stronger. This means they can control and stop the forward motion of the leg quickly, keeping the spine stable throughout the entire gait cycle. This encourages weight loss due to decreased calorie expenditure and increases the metabolism, which in turn helps shed weight.

There is also evidence that the hip joint is another important spot to work out. Like the knee, the hip is a joint that is stabilized by the hamstring muscles. Hip flexion is also a major motion that occurs throughout the day as we walk, sit, and stand—all of which involve the hamstring muscles. If these joints are not functional, then proper gait and spinal alignment are seriously compromised, which can lead to additional health problems.

Hence, the value in doing some hamstring exercises—even if they are not on an elliptical machine!

Why Are Ellipticals Popular?

It would be remiss of us to discuss the benefits of the elliptical and not delve into why these types of machines are so popular. To begin with, let’s discuss the portability of the elliptical. The American Heart Association notes that people can now exercise almost anywhere because of technological advances that allow devices to be connected to the internet. In other words, you can take your smartphone with you and log your workouts at any location that has a wireless internet connection.

This makes the exercise accessible to a much wider audience—even those who might not normally engage in physical activity. In addition, the cost of an elliptical is also pretty minimal. In fact, you can get a standalone unit that is completely functional for under $100. Furthermore, many machines are made with a clean, modern design that fits seamlessly into any home or office space.

All of these factors contribute to making the humble elliptical a popular choice among people who are looking to lose weight. In fact, Gertrude Elion, M.D., FACSM, president of the American Heart Association, notes that while many different kinds of workouts can be effective for weight loss, the humble elliptical is a safe choice for people who want to meet their physical requirements and don’t want to risk overdosing on unhealthy foods.

Based on the above, it would appear that the humble elliptical is a perfect choice for people who want to lose weight and meet their daily exercise requirements. However, we must stress that there are some important cautions that individuals should abide by before utilizing this type of equipment.

The Cautions

While the benefits of an elliptical are numerous, it is important to keep in mind the potential hazards that this type of equipment can pose. As previously stated, there is significant evidence that the hip and knee joints are important to workout. Like any other type of exercise equipment, the elliptical can become dangerous if used improperly. This is why you should be sure to follow any instructions your equipment vendor provides, particularly if you are new to this type of workout.

Pro-Tip: Before beginning any type of exercise regimen, take time to learn the correct technique. This way, you will be able to safely complete your workouts and minimize the risk of injury. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the proper form and function of each exercise. This will help ensure that you are using the equipment correctly and minimize any potential risks.

To reiterate, the humble elliptical is a perfectly safe and functional piece of cardio equipment. However, like any other form of exercise, if used improperly, then there is the risk of injuring oneself. This should not discourage individuals from using this type of equipment since with the right instruction manual, precautions, and functional fitness goals in mind, the risk of injury is minimal.

In any case, if you are looking for a safe and secure way to shed some pounds, then you should consider investing in an elliptical. Besides, with the right instruction manual and sufficient support, it is also one of the most effective ways to improve quality of life.