They say that ‘cardio is hardio’ and whomever they may be, they’re not wrong.
Cardio is indeed difficult, not least because of the fact that it tends to be boring and can drag on for so long.
When you think of cardio, you probably think of treadmills or jogging around the block.
In truth, any form of activity that raises your heart rate can be classed as cardio, which is why we’re looking at something a little different today.
For today’s article, we’re going to be taking a look at several of the many different elliptical machine benefits out there to be enjoyed.
Elliptical machines are found in virtually all commercial gyms, and a fair few home gyms too.
As beneficial as they are, for some reason, people often overlook them in favor of treadmills instead.
We’re here to look at the many different benefits available to be enjoyed when using this machine, in an effort to help people see this machine’s true potential.
Here are 16 awesome benefits that you can enjoy.
Table Of Contents
Yes, yes. We’ll get to the benefits in a few moments, but first, we’re going to talk to you about what an elliptical machine actually is.
Sometimes called a cross-trainer, an elliptical machine is a very popular piece of cardiovascular equipment found in virtually all commercial gyms.
In fact, along with treadmills and exercise bikes, it could probably be classed as one of the top 3 cardio machines in gyms up and down the country.
An elliptical machine is a stationary cardio machine that simulates cycling, walking, running or doing stair climber, without actually putting any pressure on the joints.
Rather than running, you instead place your feet onto the large pedals, stand upright, grip two hands, and pump your arms and legs.
If you imagine cross-country skiing, that’s pretty much what you get with an elliptical machine.
As you now know what an elliptical machine is, we can now talk to you about the many different benefits of the elliptical machines associated with these very machines.
Some prominent benefits include the following:
Okay, so it’s cardio day, and that means yet another hour or walking or running on the treadmill, staring at the same four walls, doing the same workout, watching the timer go painfully slowly until enough time has passed and enough calories have been burnt off that you can justify getting off the treadmill.
We’re not dissing treadmills, they’re very effective and they work, but they can get boring and they aren’t the only cardio machines in the gym.
If you’re looking for a different way to burn calories and improve your cardio, why not jump on the elliptical instead?
Want to lose weight?
If so, then cardio is of course highly recommended.
Do you know what else is recommended?
The elliptical machine.
Elliptical machines are perfect for people that are looking to burn calories and lose weight.
They provide you with extremely physically demanding workouts that burn hundreds of calories.
A one-hour moderate-intensity cardio circuit training on the elliptical can potentially burn off upwards of 500 – 600 calories, which is not to be sniffed at all.
If weight loss is your objective, ellipticals are very useful.
Running is all well and good, but what about if you suffer from joint pain and/or discomfort?
Say, for example, you have bad knees or bad ankles.
Each step that you take will cause an increasing amount of pain and discomfort which could, in turn, leave you with more serious problems.
Running is a high impact activity that can make matters worse.
If you do have joint issues, though, an elliptical machine is perfect.
Because the exercise is low impact, you’ve no joint issues to worry about.
Rather than running and slamming your feet down on hard surfaces, you instead glide so your feet constantly remain stationary.
This is much better for the joints, making it great for those with joint problems, or at risk of joint problems.
When you use the elliptical machine, you’ll find that your legs hurt after a while.
This is because of the pedaling motion, which works your leg muscles.
In particular, you’ll find that your quads and hamstrings ache.
This is because these muscles are being worked, and as a result, you’re toning your leg muscles and making them bigger and stronger.
You can build toned and muscular legs in other ways that don’t involve squats and leg presses, including using the elliptical machine.
If strong, toned, and muscular legs are on your radar, the elliptical machine is the perfect piece of kit to utilize when working out.
If you’re new to the world of health and fitness, you might be looking for new and unique ways of exercising.
In terms of the many benefits of an elliptical machine that are out there to be enjoyed, the fact that the machine is so easy to use cannot be ignored.
Using an elliptical machine is so easy, as you literally climb on, grab the handles, put your feet onto the platform/pedals and begin pumping your arms and legs.
The different settings on the machine are also very easy to adjust, so everybody from seasoned gym experts to complete novices can benefit from using the elliptical.
Like all forms of fitness, the more you do of something, the easier it becomes.
Using an elliptical machine is no exception.
To begin with, when you use the machine you’ll likely want it on a low resistance until you build up your strength and your fitness.
As you get used to the machine and you get stronger and fitter, though, you’ll need challenging in other ways.
This is where the machines prove useful.
Elliptical machines have different settings and different levels of resistance.
With the push of a button, you can gradually increase the resistance in levels, to help you get more from your workouts.
If it feels too tough, just turn down the resistance and go from there.
If you’re looking for an alternative way of exercising and you don’t really use the elliptical machine much, why not start using it?
Using the elliptical is a great way of trying something different to mix up your training and shake things up a bit.
The fact that it is different means that you’re likely to enjoy it more, plus it will come as a bit of a shock to the system so your body should respond favorably as well.
When you use the elliptical machine, another thing you’ll notice is how awesome it is for the back and the shoulders.
Because you are essentially mimicking a rowing action when you pump your arms, this is great for helping to shape and tone the muscles in your back and shoulders.
Okay, you won’t build a set of boulder shoulders or an enormous V-Taper through the elliptical machine alone, but the movement still helps to stimulate the muscle fibers located in the back and shoulders, and as the saying goes ‘every little help’.
Because the elliptical machine is such an awesome piece of cardio equipment, another great benefit of using this machine is the fact that it has been found to reduce your blood pressure.
Hypertension, which many of us know as high blood pressure, is sometimes called the ‘silent killer’.
This is because it is so hard to spot.
Hypertension can lead to all manner of cardiovascular ailments including a heart attack, stroke, heart disease, poor circulation, atherosclerosis, and plenty more besides.
People with high blood pressure often have to rely on prescription medication, which can be very bad for you.
Doing your cardio on the elliptical, though, is a great way of reducing your blood pressure naturally, rather than relying on prescription drugs and medicines.
Another of the many benefits that we need to talk about today, is the fact that the machine itself helps to reduce a person’s LDL cholesterol levels.
LDL cholesterol is the dangerous cholesterol that health experts keep warning us about.
LDL, as opposed to HDL, which is good for us, clogs up our arteries and can lead to blocked arteries, heart disease, stroke, heart attack, poor circulation, blood clots, and much more besides.
LDL cholesterol causes build ups of fatty deposits that get larger and larger within the arteries.
Eventually, these fatty deposits can calcify and form plaque, which blocks the artery completely.
When this occurs, your life is in danger as it can lead to a heart attack and other similar conditions.
Cardio exercise, like the cardio done on an elliptical machine, helps to reduce LDL cholesterol levels, making it great for your health and heart.
Exercise, including exercise performed on an elliptical machine, is fantastic for people that happen to be looking to improve their moods and boost their mental health.
Using the elliptical machine will boost the production of endorphins, which are happy chemicals responsible for improving the mood and making us feel happy.
The more endorphins we have in our bodies, the happier we feel.
Not only that, but as exercise also helps to tone the muscles and burn fat, as you lose weight and tone up, you’ll look better, which will make you feel better as a result.
One of the lesser-known benefits of an elliptical machine that we’re going to be looking at today is the fact that it’s been found to help improve your balance.
Using the elliptical machine requires you to be stood upright and to balance your feet on the platform/pedals.
This is beneficial because not only are you balancing, you are also simultaneously pumping your legs and your arms at the same time.
This improves your balance and coordination.
Another useful benefit of this particular machine is the fact that it has been found to help boost your circulation.
Better circulation means better blood flow and oxygen transportation.
The more blood and oxygen have been pumped around your body, the more energy you will have and the more nutrients will be carried to the cells.
Better circulation also means a stronger immune system, better athletic performance, and healthier organs in general.
Any form of exercise is beneficial for the immune system, yet aerobic exercise performed on the elliptical machine is considered to be especially beneficial for warding off illness and disease.
Your immune system is responsible for protecting you against germs, bacteria, viruses, and other nasties that can attack you from within and make you sick.
The stronger your immune system, the healthier you will likely be.
As cardio performed on the elliptical machine is so great for the immune system, it’s easy to see why this particular form of exercise is so popular amongst health practitioners and personal trainers alike.
One simple, yet effective benefit of elliptical machines, is the fact that they’re readily available.
Virtually all commercial gyms will have an elliptical machine, so there’s no risk of you missing out.
Before you begin a workout, once you’ve done good stretching, it’s time to quickly warm-up.
Warming up boosts circulation, it increases adrenalin production, it gets the blood flowing, and it increases oxygen transportation whilst raising core body temperature.
Before you begin a workout, why not spend 10 minutes on an elliptical machine?
So, as you can see, the list of elliptical machine benefits are, seemingly, endless.
Okay, not quite, but there’s a heck of a lot of them.
If you want to try something new in the gym and reap the fitness rewards in the process, be sure to check out the elliptical machine.
Reda is an ACE Certified Nutritionist, Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt and bodybuilder with 11 years of experience. He's been published on many influential websites such as lifehack.org, Wealthy Gorilla, Good Men Project and more.