One thing I have learned is that running isn't everything.
Even if it's my sport of choice, I have become an even better runner by doing other things. For example, I'm a huge advocate for stair-climbing. I also enjoy an invigorating power walk, any time of the day. Strength-training has also been a longtime supplement to my training.
Recently, though, I added a new friend to my fitness family. I'd like you to meet Ellie. She's my elliptical trainer.
I guess you could say we rescued Ellie from my sister-in-law, who no longer wanted her. She's been residing in our basement for awhile, but her and I are just in the beginning stages of our friendship.
Although it's too early to predict if we'll have a fulfilling, long term relationship, I can tell there are a few features about her that I find most enduring.
First of all, the elliptical is convenient to use. Seriously, Ellie's in my basement, right near a big screen television. We've already watched the entire first season of Cheers together (courtesy of Netflix)!
She is very quiet. I can barely hear any noise coming from the elliptical as I push/pull the arm handles and slide the foot guides back and forth. Unlike Milly, my treadmill, I can actually hear everything going on around me with ease.
The cardio and sweat equity are legit. I'm still skeptical on the accuracy of the calories-burned readout. I also question the supposed "distance" it says I have traveled each time I finish a session on the elliptical. I do know I am getting a good cardio workout, though. My heart rate is substantially elevated, and I am a sweaty mess after each and every session.
The elliptical is very kind to my body. Due to the "gliding" nature of the machine, there is no impact to any of my joints. Although the treadmill has a softer surface than a paved street, there's still quite a bit of up and down movement as you step/lift-off with each stride. There's none of that on the elliptical.
For me, the time goes much faster in comparison to a treadmill workout. I realize there are numerous factors at play for this... (1) it's located near the tv, so I have some entertainment, (2) it utilizes my full body, so it feels like I'm doing more than just running in place, and (3) it's a "new" thing for me right now, so I haven't had time to get bored with it (yet).
Granted, I'd still prefer to be outside, canvasing the town in my running shoes. But, for now, in the dead of winter (in the midst of our coldest week of the season thus far), it's given me an additional indoor option. An option that I'm starting to like more than I'd anticipated. Stay tuned, I haven't downloaded the owner's manual yet....there's bound to be more to learn about this machine as I explore the various settings and play with the bells & whistles.
Anyways, that's a very brief peak into the latest fitness discovery of mine.
Have you worked out with an elliptical? If so, did you find it challenging, or felt it was a worthwhile cardio option? Any tips or techniques you'd share?