Which is Better – Running or Elliptical Training?

folded treadmill

While many insist that running outside is the best form of exercise you can do, it is essentially a high impact activity that many find is too tough on their joints. The alternative then is elliptical training, which as we shall see, offers similar benefits as running outside and also has a few additional advantages.

Assess your State of Health

When deciding whether running outside or elliptical training will be the better option for you, the first thing to do is to have your current state of health assessed. The fact is running outside or on a  treadmill is generally more suited to those who already have a reasonable level of fitness. For those who are relatively new to exercise or have perhaps had a history of poor health elliptical training is likely to be the better option.

Indeed, elliptical training can essentially cater for all levels of intensity and is therefore suitable for all levels of fitness. However, that doesn’t mean to say that elliptical training is any less beneficial. In fact, this style of exercise can have numerous benefits.

The Benefits of Elliptical Training

Much like running or jogging, elliptical training is a cardiovascular exercise. In addition to being a great way to burn calories and to lose weight, this style of exercise is also good for improving the functioning of both the lungs and the heart in addition to being an effective way of lowering blood pressure.

As noted above, running outside or on a treadmill can be a very high impact activity which can be very hard on the joints. This is essentially because whilst you are running, both of your feet will tend to be off the ground as you progress. In lower impact type activities such as elliptical training this is generally not the case. For this reason, this type of exercise can be much kinder to both the joints and the muscles.

Therefore, while elliptical training may not burn quite as many calories as outside running can in the same amount of time, the former is generally a more comfortable form of exercise and can thus often be performed for a much longer period of time. If you are one of many who find that you suffer easily from joint pain, then elliptical training is likely to be a better option than running outside.

Getting the Most Benefit from Elliptical Training While the elliptical trainer can be a highly efficient way to burn off the calories — simply because so much energy is required to move your body in space — there is a correct way of performing the exercise, which will maximise the benefits.

First, it is vital to work to a relatively challenging pace throughout the workout. Secondly, it is important to pay as much attention to the upper body as you do to the legs. Essentially this means using the upper body handles as well as operating the foot pedals and to concentrate as much energy in this area as you do to the lower body.

In addition, it is essential to wear appropriate clothing that will be both comfortable and that will allow you to sweat as the activity will always significantly raise your body temperature and you are likely to sweat a fair amount. Finally, ensure you always have a bottle of water with you and take frequent drinks as you go in order to avoid dehydration.

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