If you are trying to get into better shape or if you simply want to maintain your current level of fitness, you may be debating between running or using an elliptical. To help with making this decision, it is beneficial to explore the similarities and differences of running and using an elliptical. In this way, you can better determine which option is right for you, or if you may be better served by a combination of the two.
You can effectively burn fat by running or by using an elliptical. When implemented properly, both options elevate your heart rate, give your muscles a workout and cause your body to burn off calories. One benefit to using an elliptical is the fact that you can choose from a variety of different programs to help you achieve your fitness goals. While you can also vary your workout routine while running, the elliptical makes it easier to vary your routine without having to think about it. Furthermore, the elliptical also gives your arms a workout, which helps you burn even more calories while also toning and building muscle in your arms. Of course, if you only want to focus on your legs, you can simply let go of the handles and give your arms a break while also working on your core muscles.
Running and elliptical training are both great ways to increase endurance. One benefit to using an elliptical is the fact that you can work on your cardio even if the weather is undesirable. You can also workout in the middle of the night or at whatever time fits your schedule, while running outdoors can be unsafe or impractical at times. On the other hand, if you are at a high level of fitness, you may not be able to achieve the speeds you desire with an elliptical. In this case, make sure you select an elliptical that is capable of helping you achieve the target heart rate you desire.
Some runners enjoy hitting different trails or paths each time they run. This allows them to enjoy a change of scenery, which helps make running more enjoyable. Obviously, you do not have the option to change scenery when you work out on an elliptical. You can, however, find other ways to keep yourself entertained. For example, you can catch up on your favorite shows while you workout or even read a book if you like.
Enjoying Creature Comforts
A benefit to working out on an elliptical is the fact that you can enjoy a number of comforts as you workout. A water bottle is always close at hand, but you don’t have to carry it while you run. You can also keep cool with the help of a fan. In addition, since you don’t have to leave home, the bathroom is always just a few steps away and it is far easier to tend to injuries or other issues that you may encounter while working out.
Protecting Bones and Joints
Perhaps the greatest benefit to using an elliptical rather than running is the fact that running can be hard on your bones and joints. Since the elliptical is a low-impact workout, you don’t have to worry about placing stress on your knees, hips or other joints.