Health and Fitness

  • What is a Cross-Trainer and What Can it Do for Me?

    18 September 2013

    A cross-trainer is a piece of exercise equipment that is designed to simulate the experience of climbing stairs, walking or running. It is also commonly called an "elliptical machine". For a machine that will not clutter your workout space and also provides a number of health benefits, consider purchasing a cross-trainer and begin to reap benefits from using it today. 

    A cross-trainer can give you all of the benefits of jogging or walking outside or using a treadmill indoors, but the difference between the two is that it will not harm your joints. Jogging outside or on the treadmill puts a large amount of weight into your knees and hip joints. As you run, the force of the impact of your leg onto the ground runs up your leg, and, like the soles of your shoes, your knees and hips soften the impact and absorb some of this force. For some individuals, this process can cause degradation of the knees and hip joints which leads to pain, creakiness or inflammation. If you are older or overweight, a cross-trainer can help you work toward improved health while preventing injury to your joints.

    A cross-trainer will absorb the impact of your stride for you because of its design, which features two beams upon which you place your feet that rotate to simulate the motion of running or walking. Because of its rotating design, your legs have to use muscle strength to draw the leg of the machine forward but, as you step down, it absorbs the weight and circles back around, as if you are running in place. Instead of lifting off of the ground and back down, in a cross-trainer, your feet do not leave the machine's girdle. Thus, a significant amount of impact-related injuries can be prevented simply by purchasing and using a cross-trainer as opposed to traditional jogging or running on a treadmill.

    A cross-trainer is the ideal choice for someone looking to begin a cardio training routine. Not only will working out on a cross-trainer increase your cardiovascular capacity, it will expand your lung capacity and improve your circulation. You can receive the same benefits of walking or jogging from a cross-trainer, but with minimal stress to the joints.

    Additionally, cross trainers often feature movable arm bars, which allow you to use arm strength to work out on the machine. This increases the number of calories you burn while working out. The arm bars strengthen and tone the arms, while taking some of the work away from your legs, which is ideal for people who are beginning to develop leg strength.

    If you're just beginning your exercise routine and want to track your results or stick with a daily routine, the cross-trainer is your best friend. You can program specific courses which vary in intensity, and also select the amount of resistance and amount of incline. These customizable settings may also be able to be remembered by the machine, so you can conveniently track the amount of calories you burn each week and track your fitness goals.

    If you're on the fence about how to best start up a new fitness routine or are considering spicing up your workout routine with something new. a cross-trainer can provide many of the health benefits you would receive from jogging and walking, but without straining your joints. These machines also have a number of useful features that will make sticking to your health goals easy.  

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