Health & Lifestyle

Choose the Right Elliptical for You

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Choose the Right Elliptical for You
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  How to Choose the right Elliptical Machine It's not always easy to choose, to understand the differences between the different elliptical trainers, to know what the flywheel weight is or what difference it makes, to know if a 50 cm stride length is a good thing and finally which elliptical offers the best value for money... Discover the most important buying criteria and follow our tips for choosing your elliptical trainer and avoid buying a cross trainer that is not comfortable, not stable and squeaks after the second use. 1) The Flywheel weight The flywheel weight is one of the main criteria you should look carefully at when buying an elliptical trainer as it impacts the quality, comfort and fluidity of pedaling. A flywheel that is too light, from 7 to 10 kg, will cause an unpleasant pedaling with jerks. The flywheel weight determines the resistance of the elliptical wheel to a change of speed or to an acceleration. In other words, the higher the flyheel weight, the more resistance you will encounter when you accelerate, therefore you will have to provide more pedaling effort to achieve a certain speed (you will not immediately reach your maximum speed). Basically, with an elliptical bike with a very light wheel, you will immediately reach the desired speed when you accelerate (very little resistance to acceleration) and your bike will stop immediately when you stop pedaling (little or no resistance to deceleration). An elliptical trainer with a heavier wheel therefore offers a greater pedaling fluidity, more comfort and better sensations (it is necessary to provide some effort before reaching a certain speed). Here is a comparative table of elliptical bikes according to the flywheel weight: Bringing the gym experience into your home makes it easier to exercise. Many people opt for treadmills, but the pounding can be hard on your joints. Ellipticals mimic the motion of running  but without the impact. That’s especially beneficial if you have bad knees or are rehabbing from a lower-body injury. The moving handgrips and adjustable resistance allow you to create a more intense, full-body workout. High-end ellipticals cost upwards of $2,000 but you can get a good machine for less than half that price. More expensive machines are often heavier and have a larger footprint, due to their  beefier frames. The number of features also tends to increase with the price of the machine. Use this guide to learn about the different types and many features out there–and to simplify your choice. Choose the Model That's Right for You Good exercise equipment can be expensive but cost isn't the only thing to consider before  buying. Here’s a checklist:  Try Before You Buy  Whether you want to shop online for the best price or purchase a machine from the store, we recommend you try it out in person. You might notice a problem with the ergonomics that you can't detect by sight or user reviews alone—maybe your knees keep bumping against the elliptical's framework or the machine just doesn't move to your liking. Size  On average, ellipticals are about 6 feet long by 2.5 feet wide but can range in length from 50 to 84 inches. Keep in mind that during operation, the pedals may extend out beyond the length of the machine. You'll also be more elevated than you would on a treadmill, so make sure you have a space with a sufficiently high ceiling. We’ve measured step-up heights between 5 to 15 inches with pedals reaching up to 25 inches above the floor at the apex of the elliptical cycle. You'll also need a minimum of 20 inches of free space on at least one side and either the front or back for safety. Ergonomics  Unlike a treadmill, which allows you to move free-form, an elliptical constrains you to its movement. Pay special attention to how comfortable you feel when using an elliptical. You should be able to maintain an upright posture when holding on to the moving handles. Moving handgrips should be easy to reach and not force your wrists into an awkward position. The elliptical path should feel comfortable. For most people, pedals should be as close together as  possible. And the moving handgrips and fixed frame components should not interfere with your arms, shoulders or knees. Exercise Intensity  All ellipticals have variable resistance. Make sure the lowest resistance setting is easy to pedal and it becomes challenging to pedal at about 75 percent of the highest setting. This will provide some room to grow. You should feel a significant but incremental change whenever you increase or decrease the resistance. Some ellipticals come with an adjustable incline. Check to see whether it's automated or requires you to manually adjust it. High-Tech Features Exercise equipment in general is becoming more and more connected to the cloud to provide workout tracking, a competitive environment, social networks and access to a library of exercise  programs. Ellipticals can have built in wireless connectivity and browsers, or Bluetooth that connects to an app on a mobile device. Some use USB drives to move workout data to a web- based tracking feature accessed via a laptop. Keep in mind that it’s not all that easy to use a  browser or an app while exercising. Programs  Exercise programs can make a workout more varied and less boring, which might get you on the machine more often. But don't pay for frills that you don't care about. You can get by with a few  basic programs that address specific types of workouts. Programs may be called different things  by different manufacturers but an essential offering might be: Manual, Random, Hill Climb, Interval, Long Slow Distance, and Target Heart Rate. Custom programs would allow you to create your own resistance profile.  Safety Features  Ellipticals are inherently dangerous for children, who could get pinched or trapped in the moving  parts. People with children at home or as visitors should make sure that the little ones can't access the machines (by locking the room) and employ safety features.
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