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Get A Total Body Workout With An Elliptical Machine
By: Kevin Brown

Whether you work out at home, on some home gym equipment or you are attending a health club, cardiovascular exercise is an important part of your exercise regime. Elliptical trainers are gaining in popularity both in health clubs all over North America and as machines in people’s homes all over.

Why Are Elliptical Machines So Popular?

Elliptical crosstrainers have gained popularity so quickly because they are extremely beneficial exercise machines. If you are looking for a highly effective fat burning workout, than an elliptical machine is the piece of equipment for you. When you walk into your health club you will be faced with a number of different choices for cardio equipment. What should you choose? If you are looking for a complete body cardio workout that is low impact than an elliptical trainer is for you.

What Does Low Impact Mean?

Elliptical trainers are low impact because your feet do not have to leave the foot pads during the workout. When you workout on a traditional treadmill your feet will repeatedly lift from the pad and strike it, causing impact on your joints. The joints that are affected with an impact form of exercise are usually the knees, ankles, hips and back. With an elliptical machine you still get the benefits of other impact machines but with no impact thereby saving unnecessary wear and tear on your joints.

What About Losing Weight?

In today’s time crunched society everyone is looking for a quick fix. More and more overweight people are looking for an easy solution to lose weight and keep it off. The truth is that there is no magic pill that you can take, a sensible diet and regular exercise is the only solution to the problem of obesity. If you need to lose weight then you will need to engage your body in aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise gets the heart pumping faster and it allows your body to burn calories faster and more effectively. The elliptical crosstrainer is a very effective machine that allows your body to work harder, faster and burn more calories.

Elliptical trainers burn calories faster because you are using both your arms and your legs during the workout. By using both arms and legs you are utilizing two major muscle areas instead of just one as you do with steppers or treadmills. Because you are engaging more major muscle groups you are optimizing your energy expenditure which burns more calories. And as we all know, if you want to kick start fat burning, you need to use calories.

Total body exercise is beneficial because you will be able to sculpt and tone your legs, buttocks and hips as well as your arms, chest and back. By using your entire body in an aerobic activity you are able to burn calories faster while you are toning and sculpting all of those muscles.

What About My Bones?

In recent years there has been a lot of information in the health world about bone density and osteoporosis. It has come to be known that in order to prevent the disease or slow its progress you should engage in weight bearing exercise. This is particularly important for women who face a greater risk of this bone disease.

Generally if you want to perform weight bearing exercise, it will take the form of using free weights or weight machines in the gym. But you can also perform a cardiovascular exercise that is weight bearing exercise as well. With elliptical machines you are not only getting an excellent cardio workout, but you are also getting a weight resistant exercise as well which helps to build bone density.

Is An Elliptical Challenging Enough For Me?

Sometimes, more advanced exercisers will worry that they will soon out perform their gym equipment and require something more challenging. This is not a concern with an elliptical trainer because you can adjust the tension and resistance on the machine allowing it to grow with the individual.

Most of the better elliptical trainers also have on board computers which allow the user to set different programs each time that they work out. You can choose from different weight loss workouts, and interval workouts. Most machines have between six and eight different programs in the on board computer.

Who Can Use The Elliptical Trainer?

The wonderful thing about the elliptical exerciser is that it is easy to use and everyone, regardless of their personal fitness level can use it successfully with very little training. Because the machine simulates the action of walking and running combined with skiing and cycling it is a workout that appeals to many different people.

The elliptical machines are great for pregnant women who want to remain active through their pregnancy as well because the workout is a low impact workout. And because it is low impact it also appeals to older people who have joint problems as well.

What Is The Bottom Line?

The bottom line is that the elliptical trainer provides an excellent total body workout for people of all fitness levels. Whether you want to lose weight or just get an effective cardio workout the elliptical cross trainer is an excellent choice.
© 2005 http://www.best-elliptical-trainers.com

About the Author
Kevin Brown is successful author and publisher of many informative websites including http://www.best-elliptical-trainers.com . His websites offer tips and advice on a wide array of topics including elliptical trainers, Precor ellipticals, elliptical trainer reviews and more.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/


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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
shocks.

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
speaking.

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

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

Here is some good instructional material on stretching:
http://tinyurl.com/6c6kq
 

Dave Snape

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