How to Lose Weight Using an Elliptical Trainer

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Exercise is an essential component to any weight-loss plan. In addition to a healthy diet, exercise will allow you to burn more calories, resulting in weight loss. It also helps to tone muscles, making you look slimmer and fitter. The elliptical trainer is an excellent weight-loss tool because it offers an efficient cardiovascular workout. An elliptical trainer also features various settings, allowing you to maximize and vary your routine.

Things You'll Need

  • Fitness clothes
  • Fitness shoes
  • Elliptical trainer
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Exercise on the elliptical trainer four times a week for at least 30 minutes. This allows your heart rate to be elevated for a consistent period of time, resulting in calories burned.

  • Choose from the elliptical trainer's pre-programmed exercise routines. Most elliptical machines have various programs that vary the incline of the ramp as well as the machine's resistance. Programs include endurance workouts, fat-burning regimens and rolling hill simulations.

  • Incorporate interval training into your workout. If your elliptical has a pre-programmed routine for intervals, select this mode. If not, you can create your own interval workout by varying your incline and resistance throughout your workout. Start with a low incline for two minutes and then switch it to the highest incline for two minutes. Vary your resistance in a similar manner.

  • Maintain proper form on the elliptical trainer. An elliptical machine is kind on the body because it offers a low-impact workout. Protect your body by keeping your shoulders relaxed and your knees in line with your ankles. Avoid holding excess tension in your arms, hands, shoulders, neck and back.

  • Work your core. Keep your abdominal muscles up and in, thereby supporting your lower back with them. Your core muscles should offer stability to your entire body. As a result, you'll notice a taunter mid-section over time.

  • Wear a heart rate monitor while you exercise. Some elliptical trainers have heart rate sensors on the machine that you can grasp with your hands. If yours doesn't, invest in an affordable heart rate monitor. By regulating your heart rate, you'll be able to clearly see how hard you are working at various points throughout your workout. It helps to prevent you from slacking off and keeps you honest.

  • Add more resistance into your workout. You don't have to worry about building bulky muscles on the elliptical trainer. You'll be doing too many rotations per minute to really add bulk to your legs. The extra resistance will just help to increase your calorie burn and tone your muscles.

Tips & Warnings

  • Drink lots of water before, during and after your workout. Proper hydration is essential.
  • If you consume more calories than you burn, you won't lose weight, regardless of how much you exercise. Incorporate a healthy, calorie-controlled eating plan into your life to shed the pounds.
  • Photo Credit The champion in a fitness center image by Andrey Kiselev from Fotolia.com
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