When getting in a workout, most people incorporate some type of cardio throughout their routine.
One option available to gym users is an elliptical machine.
A bike, treadmill, the track, or an elliptical can be a way to squeeze in that cardio.
But for Teri Jorgensen-Woods, an elliptical is always her first pick.
“Elliptical I just found is easier as I’m getting older, joints, my knees don’t hurt as much,” Jorgensen-Woods said.
She says a result of being in sports like gymnastics and getting older, her options for cardio are limited.
“When I used to use a treadmill it hurt my knees, and my joins so I switched up to the elliptical,” Jorgensen woods said.
Phil Carmody with Sanford Wellness says he recommends the elliptical to anyone looking to add cardio to their routine, but especially those with joint pain.
“People that have joint issues or pain with running or other forms of cardio, it can be kind of a nice switch up for them,” Carmody said.
He says due to the fluid motion of an elliptical the pain is almost eliminated.
“With running you have a lot of the impact of the knees you know pounding and striking the ground. On the elliptical it’s more of a fluid movement,” Carmody said.
According to Mayo Clinic, most elliptical machines can pedal in reverse, offering your calf and hamstring muscles a little more exercise than the forward motion.
Jorgensen-Woods says when she goes backwards she definitely feels the difference.
While the elliptical is considered a low impact workout, it can still offer high intensity benefits.
“There’s little to no impact really on an elliptical but yes you can add resistance, you can add incline, you can do all sorts of stuff on it,” Carmody said.
And unlike most cardio machines, ellipticals offer movable upper body handles giving you the ability to exercise both arms and legs.
Carmody says incorporating the handles may be key when just starting out.
“Use the handles at first maybe. Don’t get too crazy, try to keep it simple and listen to your body. Make sure you’re not doing anything that’s going to cause any injuries,” Carmody said.
For more information about the benefits of ellipticals, click here.