If you’re looking to lose weight, you’re not alone. In fact, almost 70 percent of American adults are either overweight or obese. While some may resort to fad diets or other shortcuts to lose weight, traditional exercise, along with a sensible diet, is the healthiest and most effective way to lose weight. Exercising on a crossover elliptical trainer is a good option to burn calories and reach your weight-loss goals.
Losing weight can seem complicated, but at its very basis it’s an equation of calories in versus calories out. As long as you burn more calories than you consume, you'll lose weight. The Mayo Clinic suggests that a healthy rate of weight loss is 1 to 2 pounds of fat per week. Since a pound of fat equals 3,500 calories, the recommendation equals to a weekly calorie deficit of 3,500 to 7,000 calories per week, or 500 to 1,000 calories per day. The healthiest way to achieve this deficit is through a mix of exercise and a reduced-calorie diet.
The crossover elliptical machine is an effective way to burn fat and attain some of your weekly calorie deficit. A study in the June 2010 issue of the “Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research” concluded that exercising on an elliptical burns a similar number of calories as running on a treadmill. It’s estimated that a 150-pound woman burns 77 calories in 10 minutes on an elliptical at a moderate pace and 92 calories at a vigorous pace.
You’ll do more than burn calories when exercising on the elliptical. The study in the June 2010 issue of the “Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research” also concluded that your heart works harder on the elliptical than on the treadmill so you’ll get a more effective cardiovascular workout. The big movements you’ll need to make with your arms and legs to keep the machine moving will also give you a better range of motion for your hips, knees, ankles and torso than the treadmill, which will give you more flexibility and decrease your risk of injuries. The smooth movement is also considered low impact,so you’ll be protecting your joints from pains associated with high-impact exercises such as running.
Begin every workout with a three- to five-minute warm-up by using the machine at a low setting. This will slowly increase your heart rate and warm up your muscles so your body will be better prepared for a more intense workout. Maintain good posture as you work on the elliptical. Keep your shoulders back, your abs engaged and your head up. Steadily increase the machine intensity until your arms and legs feel challenged. End your workouts by reducing the tension for a three- to five-minute cool-down. This slowly returns your heart rate to normal.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Obesity and Overweight
- Mayo Clinic: Why Doctors Recommend a Slow Rate of Weight Loss? What’s Wrong with Fast Weight Loss?
- Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: Comparison of Energy Expenditure on a Treadmill vs. an Elliptical Device at a Self-Selected …; G.A. Brown, et al.
- Self.com: Elliptical Trainer: How Many Calories Did You Burn?
- American College of Sports Medicine: Selecting and Effectively Using an Ellitptical Trainer or Stair Climber
- American Council on Exercise: Train Smarter, Not Longer: 30-Minute Elliptical Workout
- President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition: Physical Activity Guidelines For Americans
- DeanSomerset.om: In Defence of the Elliptical
Kevin Charles is a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor with more than 14 years experience working in fitness clubs as well as his own firm: My Favourite Trainer, based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He has written articles on fitness and nutrition for various Canadian publications over the last 12 years.