Since its popularity boomed in the late 1990s, the elliptical trainer exercise machine has been used successfully as a tool for weight loss. Losing weight requires creating a calorie deficit – burning more than you take in – and an effective way to burn calories is with cardiovascular exercise, such as using the elliptical. Combining your cardio plan with a healthy diet and resistance training can help you to achieve long-term weight loss success.
An Alternative to Running
Mimicking the motion of running without the impact, the elliptical trainer uses resistance to provide a heart-rate-elevating and calorie-burning workout. The elliptical trainer is available at most gyms; many models have moving arm components that allow for a full-body workout. The low-impact nature of an elliptical makes it an optimal choice for novices or for those carrying extra body weight and looking to slim down. Working out for 30 minutes at a moderate to intense exertion rate on the elliptical can burn 270 calories for someone weighing 125 pounds, 335 calories for someone weighing 155 pounds and 400 calories for a person weighing 185 pounds. Start at a moderate pace and resistance level if you have been sedentary for a while and increase the intensity and duration as you become stronger.
Exercise-Motivated Weight Loss
After struggling with weight all her life, Allison McKenzie decided to make some changes when, at 30 years old, she reached an all-time-high weight of 250 pounds. According to the "Huffington Post," along with a healthy diet, Allison committed herself to exercise by purchasing an elliptical trainer for her home. Being so out of shape made any exercise difficult, but she stuck with it, using the elliptical five days per week for three sets of eight minutes, which is all she was able to sustain at the beginning. Allison’s perseverance paid off, and in six months of eating healthy and working out, she lost 60 pounds.
A Family Affair
Sisters and best friends, Mindy and Nicole bonded over a desire to lose weight. "Women’s Day" reports that the sisters learned how to make healthy food choices together through a Weight Watchers program. Mindy and Nicole also started exercising to help in their weight-loss efforts, though the two preferred different methods; Mindy took up running and went to Zumba classes, while Nicole joined her local YMCA and became fond of the elliptical trainer. Mindy lost 75 pounds and Nicole shed 30; supporting each other helped the sisters stay the course and reach their goals.
The Winning Ticket
Michael Meyer had the winning story that granted him a free Life Fitness elliptical trainer. Life Fitness reports that once Michael committed to a weight-loss program that included a healthy diet and working out for one hour on the elliptical six to seven days per week, he lost 103 pounds in one year. Michael was so inspired by his success that he began using the elliptical for an hour before work in the morning and an hour after work. Along with reaching his weight-loss goal, Michael greatly improved his cardiovascular health, which included lowering his blood pressure and cholesterol levels. He continues to stay committed to the elliptical in hopes of maintaining long-term weight-loss success.
- ACSM: ACSM Position Stand on Physical Activity and Weight Loss Now Available
- Harvard Health Publications: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes For People of Three Different Weights
- American Council on Exercise: What’s the Best Piece of Cardio Equipment to Use?
- Huffington Post: Weight Loss Success: Allison McKenzie Used Exercise Goals To Stay Motivated And Lost 100 Pounds
- Women’s Day: Weight-Loss Transformations: Best Friends Edition
- LifeFitness: Life Fitness Mileage Club Stories Inspire and Motivate