Article by Gregory Phillips
An elliptical machine is one of the best tools for weight loss in the fitness industry today. Compared to jogging, using an elliptical you burn more calories less strenuously. You also have the added benefit of not having the risk of injury to your back, hips, knees, or ankles. You don’t take a pounding at all on the elliptical so your joints are spared. Best of all, you can use an elliptical machine inside your own home, year round, in any kind of weather, day or night!
To get the most out of elliptical training, follow these tips below.
Make sure your workouts last at least 20 minutes. Your fat burning mechanism kicks in after 20 continuous minutes of aerobic activity, and even better, it doesn’t shut off for hours after your workout. So by doing 20 minutes of cardio or more on the elliptical, you will benefit from an elevated metabolism for the rest of the day. This is why I always use it for 20 minutes (and usually 30) per workout.
Remember to warm up and cool down. Warming up before the strenuous part of your workout will get your blood flowing and your heart beating, so your body will be primed for the meat and potatoes of your workout. Cooling down will keep lactic acid from settling in your muscles and making you sore after your workout. Your workout will stir up lactic acid and if you stop it abruptly without cooling down, it can settle in your muscles and contribute to soreness. I usually devote three minutes to warming up and three minutes to cooling down.
Interval training works. One of the fastest ways to burn fat is with intervals. I try to utilize an interval training workout at least three times weekly. After my three minute warm up, I increase my pace to a moderate level for about 90 seconds. After 90 seconds at a moderate pace, I turn the resistance up as high as I can reasonably handle for about 30 seconds. Then I drop back down to a moderate pace for 90 more seconds. I continue this back-and-forth for the duration of my 30 minute workout, then do my typical three minute cool down. The point of the sprint periods is to go as hard as you can reasonably go without overexerting yourself. This is the fastest way to melt fat off your body in a hurry.
Diet counts, too. It is every bit as important for losing weight as working out. It is crucial to put the right fuel into your body. I am not a fan of counting calories, but I am a fan of “eating clean.” This means, in short, to use common sense when meal planning. If a food seems unhealthy, more than likely it is. My foods of choice are lean meats, brown rice, fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, nuts, healthy oils, and such. The foods I try to avoid are any type of fast food, processed food, packaged food, or microwaveable food. These will keep you from reaching your goals.
Losing weight on an elliptical machine is not difficult if you train the way you are supposed to train and watch your diet. The best part is, there are no excuses because you can do it anytime day or night in your own home!
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