Since first entering the market in the 1990s, the elliptical trainer or crosstrainer has grown in popularity as more and more people have been looking to improve their fitness and lose weight in the most convenient way possible. Crosstrainers are a hybrid of stepper, bike, cross-country skier and treadmill. One of the benefits of the crosstrainer is that it offers you a low-impact workout, thus reducing the likelihood of pain and injury, particularly in your knees and hips. Basically, you put your feet on the pedals and push down on them, so that your legs move in an elongated oval pattern. By doing this, you can benefit your cardiovascular health and also burn a substantial number of calories.
There are three different types of crosstrainer which are categorised by the location of their drive, including the ‘rear drive’ type which is the oldest; the ‘front drive’ type which is the next generation of crosstrainer; and the most current option available, which is the ‘centre drive’ type. When choosing an elliptical trainer, you may want to consider some of the options and settings available, as with some models you can alter the pedal motion paths in order to give different muscles in your legs a workout. It may also be possible to change the incline, resistance and stride length, whilst some models even enable you to pedal backwards. Some models do not have moving handles, and so if you want to give your arms as well as your legs a workout, you need to choose a model which does.
For many individuals, one of the most appealing aspects of a crosstrainer is the fact that you can burn so many calories. Using an elliptical trainer can enable you to burn as many calories as you would by running on the treadmill. Running is known as one of the most effective forms of exercise for burning calories, but can be hard to do when you’re not particularly fit, and if you’re prone to injury it can be even harder to maintain your fitness regime. This is much less of an issue when using an elliptical trainer, because you are not stomping your feet along a moving conveyor belt and putting a lot of pressure on your knees, hips and back, which means you are less likely to pick up any injuries, whilst still being able to burn a similar number of calories. This is clearly beneficial when trying to control your weight.
As well as enabling you to manage your weight, using an elliptical trainer offers you the same health benefits as doing any kind of exercise. By exercising on a regular basis you can reduce your fat levels, improve your heart’s health, reduce the bad cholesterol in your blood, lower your blood pressure and give your immune system a boost, making your body better able to fend off illness. You are less likely to have a heart attack or stroke and develop diabetes. Plus, it is not only your physical health that will benefit from your decision to stay active. Regular exercise can improve your quality of sleep, which can also have a positive effect on your overall well-being. Exercise can also help you to feel less stressed and anxious and to reduce feelings of depression. Since blood flow to the brain is increased, exercise can also improve your concentration levels.
Overall, then, there are plenty of good reasons to use an elliptical trainer, as you can increase your fitness and improve your health in a way which is unlikely to lead to any injuries. This is particularly good news if you’re the type of person to use any excuse to quit your fitness regime!
You can view some of our crosstrainers here.