Are Cross Trainers Good for Weight Loss? If so, how good?
Cross trainers are also known as elliptical trainers or machines and offer a low impact cardiovascular workout. What’s the big allure of cardio activity, you ask? Cardio is the best kind of exercise for losing weight, and can also help with toning the muscles and increasing fitness. This is good news for all of us out there who are looking to shed a few extra kilos. The fact that the work out is low impact and will not put you at risk of injuring your hips, joints, and lower back is an added plus!
Now that you’re probably tempted by the idea of using a cross trainer to lose weight, there are some additional fitness facts that might increase your interest in cross training as well as your knowledge about how they help us to burn calories and lose weight.
The World Health Organisation recommends that the average person should engage in at least one hour and fifteen minutes of intensive exercise per week as a minimum. Sounds pretty easy right? All the more reason to keep confident and motivated! While not everyone has the time to do these sessions in one go, splitting up the work out can enable you to achieve your goal in smaller increments.
Cross trainers mimic the movements made by cross country skiing which shows how even though they are low impact, they can be high intensity. Can you imagine skiing across a snowy landscape weighed down by heavy clothes and being battered by freezing winds? A cross trainer offers a similar kind of work out without all that other unpleasant nonsense.
Weight loss through working out on a cross trainer will depend on the speed at which you pedal and the resistance level of the machine. The more intense the training, the more calories you burn. However, the more intense the workout, the harder it is to sustain it for longer periods of time. A balance must be found between the two in order to achieve the best results.
How Can I Achieve This Balance?
Alternating between medium intensity workouts and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts will enable you to get your heart rate up much higher, increasing the number of calories burned during your session, and thus helping you to lose more weight.
HIIT is more effective than steady-state training for losing weight as the shorter bursts of high speed allow you to burn more calories in a shorter space of time. In order to burn the same numbers of calories through steady-state training, you would have to pedal for much much longer.
To give you an idea of how effective cross training can be, half an hour on the cross trainer can burn an average of between 270 and 400 calories depending on your body weight and the intensity of your workout. If you’re looking for a ready-made work out programme to kick start your cross training journey, check out these work outs and see which one best suits your goals.
Some Important Things to Remember
With every kind of gym equipment, it is important to take care and make sure you understand how to use the apparatus. To avoid injury, make sure you know your body and your capabilities.
Warm up is important– Remember to warm up before working out so as to not cause any undue shock or strain to your muscles or joints. Although cross trainers are low-impact and provide fluid movement, going into a training session stiff and stagnant could still lead to problems occurring.
Make sure the machine is set to your stride length– Using a cross trainer that is set to your own height will ensure you are not over or under reaching. This will enhance your workout for the best personal results, as well as decrease the chance of injury or strain.
Mix it up– Speed and resistance can be adjusted by very small increments on cross trainers which can help to increase the intensity of your workout as you get fitter. Slowly increasing your speed and the resistance of the machine will help you to gradually burn more calories and continue your weight loss endeavour.
Keep your body guessing– the human body can sometimes get bogged down with the same old training routines all the time. Eventually, our progress begins to plateaux which is something that no one wants! To keep your weight loss constant and gradual, make small edits to your work out. Keeping your body guessing is the best way to lose weight. Don’t get stuck in a rut!
Supplement your workout with lots of rest and a healthy diet– Working out alone is not enough to help you to lose weight. You can work out for hours every day and still not see any results if you aren’t getting enough quality sleep and are eating foods that are bad for you. Strike a balance between the three and not only will your weight loss take off, you’ll also feel healthier and more energetic! What’s not to love?
Using a cross trainer will not only help you to lose weight and gain fitness, but also improve the condition and strength of your heart and lungs, making you healthier all around. Have you ever felt a worrying flutter in your heartbeat or a stabbing pain when you breathe in deeply? These are problems which will also become issues of the past through consistent cross training.
Lose weight and take care of my heart and lungs? Yes please!
If you’re someone who doesn’t really like the gym atmosphere, loud music, and sweaty bodies everywhere then why not buy a home cross trainer? There is a range of relatively reasonable options on the market and you can even work out whilst catching up on your favourite shows! That beats sitting on the couch, that’s for sure. Say “no!” to excuses and give your body the revolution it deserves!