Cardio exercise builds your health, helps your endurance, and creates so many benefits for your body.
Ellipticals are one of the most preferred ways for people to practice cardio, but how effective is it for short-term results?
Will you actually see results on your body soon, or is it a long game?
It’s a little bit of both. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about the benefits, how long you should train each day, and how it all correlates to progress in the end.
What Are the Benefits of Elliptical Training?
Beyond simply losing weight, there are a lot of benefits that people don’t realize when they get into ellipticals in the first place. Let’s go over every reason you should get on an elliptical as soon as possible.
Increases Your Sexual Stamina
We might as well start with an interesting one. Your sexual stamina is tied to your endurance. The most endurance you have, the better you’ll be able to maintain a healthy sex life with your partner.
Continued cardio exercise, especially on an elliptical that offers upper body and lower body benefits, can drastically improve your sexual stamina. This isn’t just aimed at men: your endurance will play into enthusiasm, sexual appetite, and ability in the bedroom.
Using an elliptical helps you improve multiple aspects of your sex life, so if none of these other reasons pique your interest, let this be the one that motivates you.
Reduces Joint Stress
Your joints are under constant stress. Even if you’re physically fit, gravity is pulling your body down onto your joints, most notably your knees.
Using an elliptical reduces the stress in your joints during an exercise, but it’s also important to note how muscle strength plays a role in your joint degradation over time.
The better your supporting muscles are, the less direct impact goes into your joints when you walk, run, and jump. Your muscles support your frame, and since we can’t avoid gravity pulling us down, we’d as well reduce impact and joint stress in every other way we possibly can.
Works for Upper Body and Lower Body Workout
If you can tighten and engage your muscles, you can see some upper body benefits to using an elliptical. The main point is cardio: to get your heart rate pumping and burn calories, but it also has other benefits. E
ngage your arms and core while maintaining good posture, and you’ll quickly find that your muscles are sore the next day. You can feel where it is and isn’t engaging.
Ellipticals aren’t full-body workouts, but they’re not just for losing weight. You can tone and maintain small areas of your upper and lower body at the same time.
Burns Fat and Builds Leg Muscle (Although it Depends)
We know that ellipticals help us burn calories, but the amount that it burns is amazing. You can burn 350 calories in a single 30-minute workout, which is more than you get with a lot of other machines. That’s for two reasons. ‘
The first one is that it’s low impact, so there’s less resistance against the machine, which also leads to less muscle engagement than you would get from some other machines (like rowing machines).
Two, your body is still moving, so it gets your heart rate pumping faster than if you had to also engage your muscles.
Now that isn’t to say you’re not engaging your muscles at all. Some ellipticals can help you add some definition to your arms, but the amount is negligible.
Depending on whether you get a front-drive or rear-drive elliptical, you’ll encounter different levels of resistance which may help you define and tone your leg muscles.
While every little bit helps, this doesn’t replace leg day at the gym even though you can see some leg muscle growth after a short amount of time. It’s like a maintenance exercise for your legs more than anything else.
If you’ve ever used an elliptical before, then you know that it feels weird and unbalanced. It doesn’t feel natural to be on a rear-drive or a front-drive elliptical, but it does improve your balance.
You become used to the unbalanced situation, and your equilibrium is constantly trying to right itself. It sounds disorienting, but in fact, it helps you balance even better.
Your body is trained in non-ideal conditions, so when you’re balanced and your equilibrium is working perfectly, you’re already used to the feeling of being off-balance.
You can detect it faster and right your footing, so using an elliptical can actually help with other forms of exercise and athletics as well.
Low Impact for Easy Injury Recovery
Joint damage is no laughing matter. The cartilage in your joints doesn’t just magically regenerate, so you need to be careful not to damage them every single time you exercise.
Ellipticals are excellent because they’re low impact, and if you’re coming back to your workout schedule after recovering from an injury, it’s a great way to get started without going too hard too fast.
Even if cardio isn’t your usual go-to, the low impact on an elliptical is something you can’t deny. It works wonders and reduces your risk of injury regardless of your current fitness level.
Ridiculously Simple to Start and Scale
Using an elliptical is very simple for just about every user. Even if this is your first at-home cardio machine and you’ve never used one before, it’s extremely easy to get started and takes almost no time to scale your workouts.
Because of the unique way that ellipticals offset tension in your joints, it doesn’t have a shelf of pain tolerance that you need to accept before you work up to the next level of intensity.
Use HIIT to scale up your exercise and intensity on an elliptical, and you’ll quickly improve your workout, output, and results.
How Many Minutes of Training Per Day?
Your time and intensity will dictate your results. You should train moderate to intense cardio for up to 150 minutes per week. Divide that however you want, but keep a few things in mind:
- Don’t Do it All at Once: If you put all that intensity into two 60-minute days, a 30-minute day at the end, and then take 4 days off, that’s not good. It’s not a balanced way to provide yourself with exercise. You should balance it out as much as possible.
- Intensity Matters: Do what you can and don’t overdo it, but you need to understand that ellipticals are not the most engaging piece of cardio equipment that exists. If you want results you can be proud of and show off, you have to go with high intensity. HIIT exercises can include your elliptical, so be sure to boost the intensity as your endurance increases, and your fitness goals advance.
- Practice Delayed Gratification: Don’t expect results; just be happy when they show up. When you focus on the process instead of the results, everything in your life gets a lot easier. You know the process works, and you’ll still check in on the analytics of your exercise and weight loss, but stop fixating on it. Don’t go overboard while you’re at it.
How Long Before You See Results?
Let’s say you’re doing a moderate 15-20 minute exercise five days a week. That’s 100/150 minutes of your weekly cardio.
You should begin to see results after about one month. You should take before and after photos to spot specific differences. The scale will reflect it, but changes in the shape of your body may reflect your efforts more.
If you’re doing 30 minutes of intense cardio every day, or 45 minutes once every other day (3 days a week), you’re either at or right around the 150-minute weekly cardio line.
You should begin to see results in about three weeks, although depending on your body weight and shape when you started, results may take longer to see.
Give any elliptical training between one and three months to make sure it’s working for you. Track your progress. Everyone builds muscle and sheds calories differently, so it may just be a long process for you.
How Long on Elliptical to See Results? It Depends on You
Ellipticals offer an amazing and relatively simple way to burn calories.
It’s a low-impact workout that gets your heart rate going, burns through an impressive amount of calories compared to other, high-impact exercise machines, and doesn’t sap all of your energy at the end of the workout.
30 minutes a day 5 days a week can give you amazing results.
You could lose 50lbs+ in a year, or pair that effort with a proper nutrition plan and lose 50lbs+ in just 6-9 months. It’s adaptable, and scalable, and it’s a great way to shed calories in your own home without going overboard.