Like many cardio workouts, elliptical cross trainers provide great cardiovascular health benefits. Regular use of a cross trainer is linked to improving your general aerobic fitness, increasing endurance and toning the entire body. For users with limited fitness capabilities or pre-existing injuries, a cross trainer is a perfect supplementary training option to add to your fitness routine that is low impact on the knees, joints and back. This also reduces the likelihood of an injury. For regular gym goers and athletes, an elliptical can be easily adapted to meet your training needs through increasing resistance, incline and pace. But is it really that much better than a simple stroll? It’s undeniable that walking more is a great daily habit for increasing the amount of physical activity in your routine, and is something that is easily achieved by most people regardless of fitness level. Here, we’re looking at whether you want to prioritise an elliptical workout over more walking and what will result in the best workout.
The first question to ask when evaluating any exercise routine is: what do you want to get out of it? Either a cross trainer or walking could be better for you depending on what you’re trying to achieve, so take a moment to assess your goals. Let’s take a look at some common fitness concerns and whether a cross trainer or walking is better suited.
Losing weight and burning fat is all about maximising your energy expenditure and increasing calorie burn. Cross trainers are excellent for this purpose, as they integrate both the upper and lower body, working many major muscle groups. This makes them incredibly efficient at maximising your calorie expenditure in a way that’s fun and safe. Walking isn’t necessarily useless for weight loss, as it can be maintained for long periods and is a lot easier to work into your daily schedule. This light, frequent physical activity is a great way to keep your body active throughout the day and use up excess calories. However, in most cases the level of physical exertion required to burn more calories than you’re consuming often exceeds the energy consumption of walking, even if done for extended periods. When it comes to weight loss, an elliptical cross trainer really is the best way to go, as it offers an efficient, intense workout that is achievable to users at most fitness levels.
Functional training involves conditioning the body to be able to better function for specific activities. This type of training improves the functional ability of the muscles, helping to make many daily tasks easier to perform, and increases the health of the muscles and overall fitness. When it comes to developing functional strength, it’s possible to make a case for both regular walking and the use of a cross trainer. Walking, especially if hiking through uneven terrain and different environments, is great for training the muscles to better perform basic functions. Walking at different inclines is also likely to challenge your balance and stability, another important element to functional strength. However, ellipticals have the upper hand in utilising a greater number of muscles than an average walk. Walking doesn’t really do a whole lot for the upper body, which is quite a blind spot if you’re looking to improve overall functionality. Many ellipticals also come with incline options, so you can cycle through different gradients to mimic outdoor conditions. Ultimately, both will probably be beneficial, but we recommend cross trainers due to their full-body integration and greater efficiency.
Improving your cardiovascular health involves the efficiency with which your body is able to take in oxygen and deliver it to your muscles. The way to achieve this type of fitness is best done through aerobic activities of high intensity. For cardio health, the cross trainer is the definite winner, although walking can have some benefits. Cross trainers can easily be used for intense aerobic training, and provides some great work for the entire body. With regular cross training, your body will become more and more efficient at transporting oxygen to the muscles. Intensity can then easily be accelerated to achieve an incremental progression of fitness.
Typically exercising on an elliptical will offer a high calorie burn workout as the machine actively involves both your arms and legs, giving you a full body workout. An elliptical has incline settings allowing you to increase your resistance while walking up hill or increasing your treadmills incline will work well to build strength and muscle in your legs. Most cross trainers will provide you with a natural smooth stride without lifting the foot off the footplate, making it low impact and less likely to cause injury. Ultimately, walking and cross training are both popular low impact workouts that are a great means to improve your fitness levels and keep healthy.