How Many Calories Do You Burn Using an Elliptical Machine?

man and woman with elliptical cross trainer at gym
elliptical machines at gym (Image: LUNAMARINA/iStock/Getty Images)

Elliptical trainers provide a non-impact method of exercise to increase cardiovascular health and assist in weight loss. Simulating a natural running motion, elliptical machines work large muscle groups, which consequently increase heart rate and burn calories.

Calories Burned

According to the Harvard Medical School website, “An hour of regular elliptical exercise burns 540 calories in a 125-lb. person, and a 185-lb. person expends 800 calories.” This fact provides evidence that body weight plays an important role in calorie expenditure.

Other Factors

Besides body weight, a number of other factors influence the rate at which you burn calories. These factors include gender, age, genetics and medications you take. Men typically burn calories at a faster rate than women, and younger individuals burn calories faster than older individuals.

Calories In vs. Out

Achieving weight goals is a simple equation of calories consumed versus calories burned. If weight loss is the goal, calorie burn needs to be greater than calories consumed. Calories should not be drastically reduced, as this can be potentially unsafe and counterproductive for weight loss.

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