Burn calories with elliptical trainers

Using elliptical trainers

I own an elliptical exerciser. I’ve heard from infomercials on similar equipment that I can burn 500 calories in 15 minutes on this machine or five times as many calories as walking on a treadmill. Is this possible?

Sorry, but it’s not possible. The claims you’ve heard are exaggerations. But that shouldn’t turn you off to this exercise machine. I’m a big fan of the new elliptical trainers because they do burn lots of calories – about as many as jogging – without the joint-jarring impact.

A study done by Len Kravitz, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist at the University of Mississippi, found that when people used this type of exercise equipment at an intensity of their choice, they burned about 9.2 calories a minute (based on 150-pound person). That’s equal to running at an 11½ minute per mile pace. In an hour, you can burn about 550 calories. Pick up the pace or increase the incline and you can boost your calorie burn even more.

An elliptical workout is similar to pedaling a bike while standing up. But instead of being circular, the foot and leg motion is flattened into an ellipse. The smooth, even, rolling action means no impact, so even people with joint problems or injuries may be able to get the benefits of a good-for-your-bones weight-bearing workout. I discovered this great workout when I had to stop running because of a knee injury – and I still do it today even though my knee is better.

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