For people who get the bulk of their cardiovascular exercise by distance running, an elliptical machine can provide joggers with a great way to engage in a very beneficial form of cross-training…
Anyone who runs regularly – or “yogs” as Ron Burgundy would call it – needs to give their body a rest as a regular part of their routine. The joints, connective tissues and muscles of runners take a beating as a result of the stresses associated with long-distance running, especially in the area surrounding the knee.
To give you an illustration of the kind of stress that running places on the body, the impact forces on the knee while running are equal to about 3.5 times a person’s body weight, as compared to 1.5 times body weight while walking (Giddings, Beaupre, Whalen & Carter, Biomechanical Engineering Division, Mechanical Engineering Department, Stanford University).
Runners thinking about buying a piece of equipment should seriously consider an elliptical machine. Elliptical machines offer serious runners the opportunity to cross-train while allowing their aching joints to get a rest. And even if a runner’s joints aren’t aching, cross-training on an elliptical can help to prevent potential orthopedic issues from rearing their ugly head. Spending time using an elliptical trainer can help joggers avoid the burnout that sometimes occurs from spending too much time doing any one activity. Having the option of using an elliptical can let a jogger train indoors on a lousy day and provides them with an effective alternative to running on a day where they just don’t feel like lacing up their Nikes. Data from studies seem to indicate that with regard to oxygen consumption, heart rate and calorie expenditure ellipticals can offer every bit the workout that treadmills do, which is great news for runners who are looking for a change of pace. So give the elliptical some consideration, your joints will thank you.