An elliptical machine can be an effective tool in your weight loss journey and is a fun way to meet your daily exercise goal. An elliptical machine is a great way to boost your cardiovascular fitness and burn a lot of calories at the same time. Below are some tips on getting the most out of your elliptical when it comes to losing weight.
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Work Out Regularly
Depending on how much you weigh, working out on an elliptical machine can burn about 270 to 400 calories in 30 minutes. The lower end of the range is for a person weighing 125 pounds, while the higher end represents someone weighing 185 pounds.
Making an elliptical workout a regular part of your daily routine can help you burn the excess calories required to lose weight. One pound of fat represents 3,500 calories of energy. This means that for a 185 pound person to lose one pound of fat per week, they would need about nine 30-minute workouts per week, or 4.5 hour-long workouts. You don’t have to complete this workout all at once to see the benefit either, you can break it up into 20-minute chunks if that works best for your schedule. 1
Up the Intensity
Another way to help lose weight on your elliptical machine is to up the intensity of your workouts. The more intense your workouts, the more calories you’ll burn in a shorter amount of time. You can up the intensity of your elliptical workouts by increasing your speed, or your resistance. Both changes will up the ante in terms of calorie burn and ultimately weight loss. You can also try increasing the incline of your elliptical in order to increase the intensity of the workout. 2
Give HIIT a Try
Another way to up the intensity of your workouts is to give HIIT — or high-intensity interval training — a try. HIIT involves alternating between short periods of high intensity with periods of lower intensity. Research shows that HIIT may be more effective for weight loss than longer, less intense workouts.3 It can also help you to continue burning calories long after your workout is complete.
Adding interval training to your elliptical workouts with a 2 to 1 ratio is a good place to start. Begin with 30 seconds of high-intensity work, followed by 15 seconds of recovery, or 60 seconds of high-intensity work, followed by 30 seconds of recovery. Keep moving your legs during the recovery periods, just at a slower pace than the active phase.
Use the Handles
One of the benefits of an elliptical machine is that it allows you to get both an upper and lower body workout at the same time. But only if you use the handles. The key to maximizing the full-body workout effects is to distribute your weight and resistance evenly. This means you should be pumping your arms just as fast as you’re moving your legs in order to get the best results. When done correctly, an elliptical workout can target various muscle groups including the glutes, hamstrings, quads, chest, back, biceps, triceps, and core.
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Mix Things Up
If you’re consistently doing the same workout over and over, your body will quickly adapt. It’s important to keep things interesting and try various styles of elliptical workouts to help you lose weight. Try long, steady workouts, intervals, hill training, and sprints to keep your body guessing. Your elliptical machine should have a choice of various pre-programmed workout options to help you mix things up.
An elliptical machine is a great way to boost your cardiovascular fitness and burn a lot of calories at the same time. With a few simple tips and tricks, you can make the most of your workout to lose weight.
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- Hansen, C. J., Stevens, L. C., Coast, J. R.. Exercise duration and mood state: How much is enough to feel better? Health Psychology, 2001. 20(4), 267–275. doi:10.1037/0278-6184.108.40.2067.
- Emberts T, Porcari J, Dobers-Tein S, Steffen J, Foster C. Exercise intensity and energy expenditure of a tabata workout. J Sports Sci Med. 2013;12(3):612-613. Published 2013 Sep 1.
- , et al. Is interval training the magic bullet for fat loss? A systematic review and meta-analysis comparing moderate-intensity continuous training with high-intensity interval training (HIIT)