Elliptical Trainers – Glide Your Way to Good Health
By: Lillian Fuller
The Diet Exercise Dilemma
Your doctor has just told you that you need to lose those 5 extra pounds that you gained over the Holiday Season. It wouldn’t sound so bad if you would have taken his advice five years ago. Those 5 pounds have turned to 25 and that seems like the end of the world as you know it. If that wasn’t enough, there was more good news. He told you that you need to work on your cardiovascular system and slim down as well! So now what are going to do?
A Possible Solution.
Who has time for all the effort that goes into getting and keeping fit? Who has money for personal trainers? We aren’t all Brads and Janets! Let’s face it, we have very good reasons that make us want to get into an exercise program, but deep down, we don’t want to work that hard. A cross trainer sounds about as inviting as a low carb dinner. But don’t despair! The answer to this unpopular situation may lie in the form of an elliptical trainer. This amazing machine may have been “under” your Christmas tree last year. Don’t fret if it’s taken doctor’s orders to scare you into improving your cardio vascular health. Your future starts now, so let’s get on with it.
The Fitness Routine
The key to success in the exercise realm is having a good fitness routine. It has to be interesting, motivational and show results fairly quickly. This is where a machine can really enhance the effort you are making meet to meet your fitness goals. A fitness routine that becomes routine is the quickest way to defeat all your good intentions. The following are some ways to make fitness fun and something that you look forward to rather than dread.
Motivation, Music, and Mirth
First off, don’t feel bad if you are off to a late start on this fitness routine. Congratulate yourself; you’ve started by opening the box. To improve your motivation to work out at home without a personal trainer, there are things you can do to ensure that you stick to a routine for the long term.
Ellipticals and a motivational DVD can turn your home into a great private ladies fitness centre. Invite some of your friends, even the skinny ones to meet at your house and take turns on your new toy! With upbeat music and high energy generated by women on an exercise mission, you’ll be amazed at how fast the time flies and the fat melts. Pick up some great tunes off the internet. Plan a “get together” at least twice a week for exercise parties! Pick a team leader and delegate who will bring a tape, who will bring munchies (think long term fitness), who helps to clean up and so on. These get-togethers don’t have to be at your house all the time, but if you’re the one with the elliptical trainer, odds are; the party’s at your house.
This is probably the hardest exercise regime to stick to on an ongoing basis. But sometimes your health demands it and you have to do what you have to do. This is where elliptical trainers, some good tunes and exercise videos can team up to make solo exercise not only doable but almost fun! Precor, Proform, Healthrider and Nautilus web sites have numerous exercise videos that are available. You can choose from Aerobics to Pilates and any variation in between. Some of the personalities that lead these videos can be quite entertaining. Some ellipticals have a spot to hold a book in place, if that is what works for you.
The Fitness Equipment
If you are serious about getting fit and maintaining a specific fitness level, it’s a good idea to invest in a few machines. If you live in a climate that makes regular outdoor exercise a challenge it is a must to own at least one elliptical trainer and a treadmill.
There are numerous types of fitness equipment available and each are made to attain specific exercise goals. Various machines better enhance the cardio vascular function but are very hard on the skeletal muscular joints. The following is a brief comparison of two fairly similar machines available today.
Elliptical trainers vs. treadmills
One of the key advantages of elliptical trainers is the gliding motion. There is very little chance for a sports injury due to high impact. Ellipticals are glided by the rider whereas the treadmill is constant forward motion. A study at Washington State University found that there was less chance of orthopedic injury if a person’s exercise plan used elliptical trainers only. Elliptical trainers include upper body conditioning as they are a combination stair climber and ski machine.
Walking, on the other hand is considered an excellent weight bearing exercise that is accessible to everyone. A treadmill provides an opportunity to walk or run even if weather conditions are poor.
If you consider the two fitness machines and how they work, a person would need to live at the YWCA to fully meet all exercise needs. The person who is embarking on an exercise plan is the one who needs to decide which type is most suited to them. A personal trainer can be very helpful in making this type of decision. Most health clubs provide a free one time only evaluation. There isn’t an obligation for this free advice other than a little pressure to join the health club. So try before you buy and pick up some free trainer advice.
The Skinny on Buying Fitness Machines
Fitness machines are not inexpensive investments. Your health demands suitable exercise machines but your pocketbook demands economy. Some ads (they always seem to run in January) tout a whole fitness gym incorporated in one little box that will fit in the trunk of your car. It’s small, cheap and if you listened to the sales pitch, “portable”. Buyers beware! Cheap cardio vascular exercise machines can mean more expense in the long run. Some of the not so recognizable brands have been known to fall apart after less than a dozen uses.
Avoid “no name” equipment or the type that you’ve seen advertised as cheap miracle workers. If it seems too good to be true, it is. A fitness machine is a good investment in your health so don’t stint. Investigate brands like Precor, Nordic Track, Nautilus and Smooth. These companies have been in the exercise business since the beginning. The brands are well established and respected for a reason. Talk to the person at your local exercise equipment store. And again, try before you buy.
Elliptical Trainers may not work out for you or maybe you’ll love working out on these exercise machines so much that trading up is an option. That is why it is so important to keep resale value in mind before you buy. Ellipticals are the hottest cardio workout machine out there today and good name brands hold their value well.
Space constraints, “small footprints”
If your living space consists of a small 2 bedroom apartment, you will have a different perspective than people who live in 7000 square foot homes. The beauty of ellipticals is the “small footprints” or small surface area needed for the machine to be used. There are numerous types of these cardio vascular low impact machines that will fit into small inconspicuous corners.
The Last And Only Word On Diets
This story would not be complete if we didn’t talk about dieting. Personally I hate diets. The only diet that works is the one that you stick to. There are numerous diet books out there that are both faddish and downright bad for your overall health. The best diet is the one that is combined with regular exercise. Following the food guide will point you in the right direction of which type of food you have to limit and which types of food you can indulge in (guilt free, of course). Keep your portions to a reasonable size and forget the term “super size” anything!
An elliptical trainer combined with a sensible diet is an excellent way to make those extra 5 or 25 pounds disappear, improve your cardio-vascular health and, trim off the totally unnecessary couple of inches that accumulated while you weren’t paying attention. It’s never too late and in the now immortal words of Nike: “Just Do It”.
© 2005 http://www.best-elliptical-trainers.com.
About the Author
Lillian Fuller is a talented and successful freelance writer for hire providing tips and advice for consumers on a wide array of topics including elliptical trainers, rowing machines, and more.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/
Return to Index
The Power of Stretching - Dave Snape
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
is not necessary to gain benefits from stretching.
it can't hurt, right?
So what kind of benefits can you expect from
stretching? That's an easy one. Have you ever seen
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
out with Russian kettlebells too. They are for
strength gains and the ability to withstand ballistic
Why are stretching and flexibility considered
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
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
pushed my ankle sideways to about 90 degrees from
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
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:
If you enjoyed 'The Power of Stretching' article, consider
signing up for my free email list below:
Email List Reveals health, fitness and wellness tips
- secrets and information - delivered directly to your