Author: B. Massey
Elliptical trainers have become almost as popular as treadmills in the past few years, gaining a significant share of the home exercise equipment market. Popular brands, such as Proform, Precor, Schwinn, and Life Fitness, have sold millions of units worldwide.
Is it all a bunch of empty hype? After all, the fitness equipment industry is full of worthless, overly advertised junk -- turn on the television at two in the morning and catch an infomercial if you don't believe me.
Fortunately, not in this case. If you want to enjoy a good cardio workout in the comfort of your home, purchasing an elliptical machine is a worthwhile investment.
Here are three key reasons for you to consider:
An elliptical provides a low-impact, but effective, aerobic workout. Using one literally feels like pedaling through air.
That smooth, gliding sensation comes from the magnetic resistance that most of these machines employ. It's such a fluid ride that many people suspect that working out on an elliptical is TOO easy.
Nevertheless, if you suffer from bad knees, weak ankles, or joint troubles, the opportunity to enjoy low-impact exercise is especially important. Perhaps you'd like to work out more often, but jogging outdoors punishes your knees, and even using a treadmill makes your feet sore the next day.
The advantage of an elliptical is that it offers weight-bearing resistance (important in maintaining bone density) without the harsh, painful impact other types of exercise can cause. This factor alone is a good reason to consider purchasing one of these machines.
2) Calorie burning.
According to several tests, elliptical trainers have been proven to burn calories almost as effectively as treadmills. This makes them a perfect choice for boosting your aerobic capacity, losing fat, and improving your overall health.
The best elliptical trainers feature a display that gives you an estimate of how many calories you've expended during your workout session, and include a heart rate monitor, too. You'll be able to easily track the effectiveness of your workouts and your progress.
As you survey these machines, however, you'll want to make sure that you do your homework and purchase a model that's been tested for calorie estimation accuracy. Some of the less-expensive ellipticals (built to less stringent requirements) have been known to overestimate the "calories burned" data.
Stick with a quality machine from a reputable brand, and you'll be fine.
3) Cross training.
Another key benefit is the movable arms on these machines. This provides an upper-body workout, similar to what you would get from a skier -- but without the same difficulty of use.
This feature is what truly sets these machines apart from treadmills. Pushing the handlebars offers that extra bit of exertion that can boost your heart rate into your target zone, accelerating your results.
On the better models, as you increase your strength and cardio capacity, you can adjust the resistance of the handlebars, too, tailoring your workout to your fitness level.
These days, buying fitness equipment for your home can be a confusing, time-consuming process. But if you're seeking a versatile, proven piece of exercise equipment that almost anyone in your home could use, an elliptical trainer might be the perfect choice.
B. Massey runs http://www.exercise-equipment-advisor.com/, an exercise equipment reviews web site. If you're looking for more great information about elliptical trainers, visit his site today.