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Elliptical Workouts
By: Gary Gresham

Elliptical workouts basically involve aerobic or cardiovascular exercise. Elliptical cross trainers can be intimidating at first glance but once you get familiar with them you will find them easy to use and a fun part of your routine.

To begin your elliptical workout, stand with your feet firmly planted in the movable footpads. The advantage of your feet being stationary makes this a smooth and non-jarring motion that is unique to the elliptical cross trainers. Grab the handles to add the upper body movement for a total body workout.

Elliptical motion feels very natural and compliments normal body movements only making it feel like the workout is easier. Elliptical workouts are equal or greater than similar equipment such as the treadmill creating a safer workout. It reduces the harmful stress and impact on your muscles and joints.

With time a major concern in our daily lives, an elliptical workout can be very desirable. It provides a total body workout utilizing one machine therefore saving time in having to go from machine to machine to achieve the same effect for all the different areas of the body.

An elliptical trainer benefit is they are safe for beginners and will even challenge the pro athletes. And because most people like to use these machines, they are more likely to workout on a regular basis. Consistent elliptical workouts will help in attaining good overall cardiovascular health.

It generally takes twenty minutes of elliptical exercise to start burning calories and improve your cardio health. If you are just starting out, exercise for twenty minutes and work up from there as your fitness level improves. Try to set 3 days a week as your goal to workout and work up to 5 days when you become more fit.

Another elliptical trainer benefit is they are perfect for burning fat. To burn fat effectively, you need to exercise at a moderate pace for a long period of time. Elliptical cross trainers give you the slow, aerobic, long duration type of exercise that works best to burn fat.

If you are looking for a good overall workout in the shortest amount of time, the elliptical workout is an ideal choice.

Copyright 2005 Treadmill All Rights Reserved.

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The Power of Stretching    - Dave Snape


Your muscles ache from a good stretch. This is quite
normal and is part of the process. Stretching has
seemingly been with us and particularly with athletes
since the beginning of time.

A very key point to good stretching is to hold the
stretch for at least seventeen seconds. This is a
pearl of wisdom gleaned from a ballet teacher a few
years back. She said that any stretch under 17
seconds was just not effective.

The 17 second rule is exceeded in the high intensity
Bikram's yoga where stretches are held for about 30
seconds. Don't forget the high level of heat that is
used in Bikram's to extract that last little bit of
stretch out of your muscles. An interesting twist that
is not necessary to gain benefits from stretching. But,
it can't hurt, right?

So what kind of benefits can you expect from
stretching? That's an easy one. Have you ever seen the
movie, Blood Sport? Did you know that Frank Dux could
truly stretch his body to the extreme. The actor that
played him was quite elastic as well.

Great elasticity is also something you might see in
well trained Spetsnaz (Russian) agents. They often work
out with Russian kettlebells too. They are for superior
strength gains and the ability to withstand ballistic

Why are stretching and flexibility considered important
to these people? Stretching gives one the ability to
have explosive power available at one's fingertips
without the need to warm up. Of course most of us are
not martial artists or agents. But, you'll be happy to
know there are plenty of other benefits.

Let me give you an example. After learning to sit in
the full lotus position for long periods of time, my
ankles became very flexible. One day I was walking
along and my left foot fell into a pothole. This mishap
pushed my ankle sideways to about 90 degrees from it's
normal position.

Amazingly, this didn't even hurt, not one bit. If my
ankle hadn't been so flexible, I may have suffered a
sprained ankle. At the very least, it would have hurt
for days.

Key point: stretching helps you to avoid injuries.
Not only that but if you do have a muscle, tendon or
ligament injury it should heal faster, theoretically

Stretching actually grows the ligaments, tendons and
muscles being stretched. They really grow longer over

Check with your physician before undertaking any type
of exercise, including stretching.

Here is some good instructional material on stretching:

Dave Snape

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