Love at first workout



Words: Nabila Ismail

Up until the end of 2013, I would have sworn that if one machine boasted too many pros, it was way too good to be true. And then I discovered a beautiful piece of equipment called the elliptical or, as I like to call it, the 'product of plentiful pros'. Here are my top three reasons why the elliptical will be my 'go-to' machine for a long, long time.

Love at first workout
Photo credit: Shutterstock

1: Full body workout

We all know the treadmill works the lower body, the chest press works the upper body and yoga works the core. But what if I told you that you could get a full body workout all at once on just one machine? Many ellipticals have moving handlebars that allow for a full body workout; as your upper body works to move the handlebars, your lower body works to move the pedals, while your core remains contracted and steady to maintain proper posture. Make no mistake, this does not mean that specific muscle groups cannot be targeted though. Want to work your legs out only? Let go of the handle bars entirely or hold onto the stationary handlebars and let your legs do the work. Want to go even further and specifically target the buttocks and hamstrings? Reverse the direction in which you’re pedalling. The options are numerous.

2. Low impact

Many people shy away from exercise equipment due to age, ailments or they are recovering from injuries and instead turn to 'natural' methods of exercise, such as walking and running, assuming that these methods of exercise would have a lower impact on their physical condition. However, if you are walking on a treadmill or walking on a street, every step you take has a direct impact on your bones and joints and could work to exacerbate physical health conditions. In contrast, when using an elliptical, this impact does not occur as your feet never leave the pedals of the elliptical, making it a safe option for all those seeking a low-impact method of exercise.

3. Intensity option

Albeit a low-impact machine, elliptical trainers offer the option of varying the intensity of your workout. You can do steady cardio, by maintaining a steady speed and level of resistance all through your workout. There's also the option to do high-intensity interval training, by alternating between a high level of resistance with a slow pace and bursts of a low level of intensity with a fast pace. Or you could simply follow a pre-designed workout routine that some ellipticals have programmed into them; the level of intensity is entirely up to you. Personally, I have found this to be my favourite pro of the elliptical, as the various options keep the workout interesting irrespective of how many times I've used it.

The pros of the elliptical are much greater than an article about three of its pros. To truly understand the machine, hop onto one and give it a go. I assure you, soon you’ll also be raving about it to anyone who’ll listen.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Love at first workout
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Also in this issue

The most satisfying and rewarding part of adventure racing for Graham is the mental aspect and sense of achievement of finishing a race, getting outdoors and being one with nature.

If ever there was a racer who knows about expedition adventure racing it’s...

The Junior Springboks, who won the World Junior Championships in 2012, have also stayed at SAS.

With sport becoming more and more competitive locally and internationally,...

Natural solutions for a bikini-ready body

Summer is almost here and the last thing you want to do is go under the...

Napali Coast, Kauai

In Hawaii, this location offers one of the most beautiful shorelines in the world with a number of sea caves to explore. The seas are heavy here, so kayaking can take its toll, but it is worth it to view the golden beaches and cliffs above the shore.
Photo credit: Dcrjsr

Where in the world is best for kayaking? For those who love this activity,...

Love at first workout
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Up until the end of 2013, I would have sworn that if one machine boasted too...

Spellbound, we watch the family interaction.

After spending two nights in the Khwai Concession area, in Botswana, we...

The third edition of the afb SOX Trail Run drew a top-class field.

What do you get if you take a big dollop of mountains, a sprinkling of...

Sit back, relax and enjoy another issue that celebrates living life, getting...