Cardiovascular exercise improves your health, function and positively affects your total body weight. Changing your physique will take time because unfortunately your body does not change over night, even with regular sessions on the elliptical. The speed of your results depend on your goals, level of exercise and your diet.
Healthy Weight Loss
To lose 1 lb. you need to burn an extra 3,500 calories. Combining a decreased-calorie diet with regular exercise produces significant weight loss when compared with dietary changes alone, according to the University of New Mexico. It is also important to lose the excess weight at a slower pace, only 1 to 2 lbs. per week. This moderate weight-loss goal does not require you to make drastic, unrealistic changes to your lifestyle and also allows your body to adapt and change.
Elliptical Exercise Recommendations
An elliptical exercise machine is considered cardiovascular exercise because it raises your heart and respiration rate. To promote significant weight loss the American College of Sports Medicine recommends five to seven days of cardio each week. Sessions should last 30 to 60 minutes and you should try to keep your intensity moderate to high in order to burn the most calories and produce increased health benefits. A 150-lb. person can burn approximately 387 calories in a 30-minute session on an elliptical, according to Health Status.com.
Modifying Caloric Intake
Adjusting your caloric intake combined with elliptical exercise will produce faster changes in your body. If you are currently maintaining your body weight, try cutting 10 to 20 percent of your total calories to start losing weight without feeling hungry. Choose whole-grain sources of carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean sources of protein and heart-healthy, unsaturated fats. Also make sure that you are drinking a minimum of 64 oz. of water or non-caffeinated fluids each day. If you sweat a lot during exercise increase the amount of fluids to prevent dehydration and promote weight loss.
Even if you seem to be doing everything right, other factors can affect your results. As you age, your body loses lean muscle tissue which slows down your metabolism. Adding resistance training can combat this natural occurrence. Gender also plays a role and men tend to lose weight more quickly than women due to higher levels of testosterone. If you take medications, talk to your physician and see if any have a side effect of weight gain or slow your metabolism. She may have another recommendation or advice regarding changes to your physique.
- "ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription"; American College of Sports Medicine; 2010
- University of New Mexico: Exercise vs. Diet in Weight Loss
- Health Status.com: Health Calculator
- EllipticalTrainers.com: Benefits of an Elliptical Trainer
- "Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook"; Nancy Clark, MS, RD; 2008