An elliptical works 80% of your muscles while building muscle and putting your body through a full cardio workout. A low impact machine, it goes easy on the joints and can be used by anyone. With so many benefits, it’s the ideal home fitness device if your goal is to lose weight. You just need to come up with the best strategy for you, such as the Tabata method. (What’s this? Read more about Tabata and other weight loss strategies below.)
The elliptical: your ally in fighting the fat
As mentioned, the elliptical is one of the most complete home fitness equipment machines, working 80% of your muscles. This is good news if you’re trying to lose weight because the more muscles you involve in your workout, the more calories you burn, specifically getting rid of that belly fat! Better still, the elliptical is perfect for cardio training, good for the heart, and can improve your general wellbeing.
So, there it is: elliptical use promotes weight loss and strengthens your muscles, helping you to develop a balanced, healthy body. By replacing fat with muscle, the elliptical also helps you to increase your basal metabolism – the amount of energy the body needs to maintain its vital functions. In other words, your muscles crave energy, and the more they develop, the more energy they consume. Essentially, the more muscle you build, the easier it becomes to achieve your ideal weight, and keep it off.
The 4 keys to weight loss
To trim the fat and keep it off, you need to do the following:
- Exercise regularly (but not necessarily intensively): you burn calories, increase your muscle mass, and, in turn, your metabolism.
- Eat a balanced diet. Don’t starve yourself, but eat a healthy and varied diet while making sure to stay hydrated.
- Reduce stress through relaxation exercises or yoga. When you experience stress, your body secretes “whiplash” hormones – cortisol and adrenaline – which help you to cope. These hormones helped prehistoric humans to react to a threat, boosting their energy to fight an enemy or to run away from a predator. But these hormones also stimulate hunger. In times of stress, today’s humans tend to eat more and put on weight.
- Get enough sleep to ensure a balanced lifestyle. Insufficient sleep can decrease production of leptin, the hunger-inhibiting hormone, leading to weight gain.
Choose a strategy that works for you
There are plenty of weight loss activities to choose from. You just have to find the one that will work best for you.
Strategy #1: Regularly perform moderately intense cardio.
You’ll lose fat and get in shape while increasing your stamina. Try a 45-60 minute workout (enough time for an episode or two of your favorite series) 3 times a week. You want to push yourself just enough, but not to the point where you’re gasping for breath. It also shouldn’t leave you feeling too sore the next day. Here, your goal is long-term, gradual progress.
Second strategy: high-intensity interval training
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) training is particularly effective in attacking your body fat. It burns 9 times more fat than endurance training. Even more, you can burn fat for several hours after completing your workout, which will last only 30-40 (very intense) minutes.
Third strategy: Train 4 minutes a day with the Tabata method
Cette méthode, imaginée par le professeur japonais Izumi Tabata, préconise 20 secondes d’effort Japanese professor Izumi Tabata developed this method, which stipulates 20 seconds of intense effort, then 10 seconds of recovery, repeating the cycle 8 times. As a mathematical equation, it would look like this: TABATA = 8 x (20 seconds of effort + 10 seconds of recovery).
Or for you math whizzes: TABATA = 8 x (20”+10″).
Yes, the entire daily workout lasts 4 minutes. But try it every day, pushing your body to exhaustion for each 20 second spurt of effort, and you’ll see how effective the Tabata method can be, as it enables an optimal calorie loss.
The best part of using an elliptical is that it can adapt perfectly to each of these 3 strategies. You can even go from one to another. For example, first practice Tabata to lose weight. Set your elliptical’s resistance high for this workout. Once you’ve gotten down to your desired weight, switch to moderate intensity cardio to keep fit. Adjust the machine’s resistance down to a more moderate level to build up your stamina while doing cardio.
What kind of elliptical should you choose? It needs to be comfortable, stable and adjustable, with a wide range of resistance so you can comfortably and effectively execute each type of workout. You can’t go wrong with a NordicTrack elliptical: all our models are completely versatile, so you can get the most out of them, no matter what training stage you are in.
Whether you’re looking to build muscle or you want to lose weight, either after giving birth or coming back from an injury, you can trust in your NordicTrack elliptical to always be there for you. So make today the first day of your new, more active and more dynamic life. With a topline elliptical in your corner, you’ll shed the extra pounds and be looking at a more sculpted body in the mirror in no time!