Rediscovering Love for the Elliptical

Last night I left my 💚  on the elliptical machine again.

It’s easy to write this exercise off as “too easy,” but when you have struggled with knee pain as long as I have, easy can be a good thing.

Both before and after The 420 Games, I wanted to maintain cardio and leg strength without necessarily putting in a lot of running miles. It was a short course, but as I’m still working on some flexibility and mobility issues with my one of my legs, I didn’t want to take any chances and blow out a hamstring at a fun, laid-back cannabis event.

Enter one of my very favorite cardio machines, one that I’ve been neglecting for far too long!

Elliptical machines are found in almost every gym, and offer super low-impact exercise, making them great for beginners or people going through rehabilitation from an injury.

They imitate the movements of running, so you can still get the cardio benefit without putting undue pressure on the feet, knees and ankles. Typically, the handlebars will include heart rate monitors, so you can better measure the effectiveness of your workout.

Overall, these machines are a great way to ease back into life as a runner. It’s still up in the air, but you may even get a little more calorie burn per hour than you would on a treadmill.

Tips for an effective cardio elliptical workout:

  • Use the handles. Yes, you may look a little awkward at first, but the arm movement is part of what makes the elliptical an effective full-body workout. Dance like no one’s watching.
  • Go for at least 20 minutes. This exercise isn’t as intense as running, so it can take some time to truly feel the burn and the sweat. Give yourself a fighting chance at burning some calories.
  • Switch it up and pedal backward for at least 5. If you’re not feeling the burn after 10-15 minutes, I guarantee you will if you change directions and activate new muscle groups!
  • Remember to cool down. You may very well have jelly legs when you’re done on the elliptical, so ensure you’ve included a 5+ minute cool down period at the end, rather than just trying to walk away.

And please, don’t forget your water!! It gets lonely up there; wouldn’t want you to get parched. You’ll be huffing and puffing and blowing the house down in no time.

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