Elliptical machines are great endurance training options. The special design of these fitness training machines makes running and other activities a “low impact” activity, unlike traditional treadmills and surface running. These activities can negatively impact joints, bones and muscles. The elliptical machine also has a lower Perceived Rate of Exertion, meaning that fitness participants can often carry on for longer periods of time, adding extra distance and calorie burning to their routines.
Even though these machines are made for long-term training, beginners or others can get tired and feel their motivation begin to wane. Here are some tips for going the distance on an elliptical machine.
Start with Low Resistance
Most elliptical machines have variable resistance, where higher levels require the user to push harder on foot pedals. Starting out with too much resistance is a major reason that elliptical machine users get burned out. Go with a freewheeling approach and a low resistance setting until you feel ready to meet additional challenges.
Use Special Programs Cautiously
A lot of elliptical machines also have timed challenges that include automating variable resistance. This is sometimes displayed on the dashboard as a “mountain climbing” activity. These programs are great for those who are ready to tackle them, but just like static resistance, if the user meets an excessive challenge, he or she will wear out quickly. Try static resistance before adding the special programs to your routine.
Beginners who start out using the elliptical machines for longer and longer time periods can see that the mind begins to wander during these fitness sessions. Without a way to mark time or distract yourself, you may not be able to handle the mental process of working away on the elliptical for many minutes. Some trainers like to read books or magazines, but to others, this is a pain because of the motion involved. You can try watching supplied TV screens or listening to music to make the workout time go faster.
Before stepping on the elliptical machine, it’s a good idea to commit to a specific time period for training. This helps to prevent users from stepping off of their machines at the first sign of discomfort or fatigue. You can start with a short time and increase this time gradually, in order to stay on the elliptical for the long haul.
Watch the Dashboard
The average elliptical machine has a wealth of useful information on its dashboard. Users can often see their heart rates to be sure that they are reaching their target heart rate range. They can also see other good measures of progress like strides per minute, calories burned and other great statistics. Watching the dashboard accomplishes two things. It helps pass the time and it helps the user learn more about how a fitness routine is progressing. You can try varying resistance and watching how this affects your calorie count, etc.
The above can help some elliptical machine users pursue more long-term training for endurance capacity of the lungs and heart, as well as the limbs and muscles.