Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Why I use an elliptical rather than a treadmill

Short answer: It doesn't hurt as much. I tried a treadmill exercise routine a year ago and I was debilitated by stress it put on my leg joints. After one week of moderate exercise (15 - 25 minutes per day), I couldn't do it any more. As a result, I stopped working out and I gained even more weight.

A good longer answer is available at this link from Livestrong:
Elliptical trainers prevent your feet from ever hitting the ground, and because it is a low-impact exercise, you exercise for longer without getting injured or exhausted. You burn 501 calories if you weight 140 lbs., exercising at a moderate pace for one hour. You burn 680 calories for a one-hour workout on the elliptical trainer if you weigh 180 lbs. in one hour of exercise.
I don't know why they quote an hour. I am only up to 40 minutes per day, but it is working for me.

After I began my exercise routine, a friend told me that elliptical machines are for women, not men
. When I told some of my friends how I was losing weight, I received my share of raised eyebrows. I guess there's even a Facebook group for Girls Against Guys Who Use Ellipticals. They suggest that guys who use elliptical machines are just looking to get closer to women on similar machines. And, that's just a bad signal.

It's a good thing I didn't know about this social convention before I decided to start losing weight. After all, who wants to look like the guy on the Facebook group page?


  1. Are you still keeping up with the exercising? The impact on your knees, ankle and hips is tredemendous when running. For cardio purposes spinning or rowing are also good options.

    And who cares what women think. Just today I heard a group of women on the street; ''Yeah I just think guys with blue eyes are not real men...'' WTV I'm not even kidding.

    1. I haven't kept up with the elliptical, but I have switched over to playing racquetball 3-5 times per week. It is probably worse on the joints than those other exercises, but I find that it is a lot more fun.

  2. I was also in a similar position and started playing racquetball for cardiovascular (mostly fun) reasons. I have bad knees but strangely, I got injured doing the backhand splat.

    My office is talking about getting a treadmill desk like this one - http://www.whatisrightforme.com/treadmill/LifeSpan-Fitness-TR-1200-DT5-60.php to help minimize the impact on the joints while keeping a healthier lifestyle. Would you still think ellipticals would be better when not working versus walking while working?

    - Tom


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