Running in Circles with your Lap Band
Tips to get the most of your elliptical workout after weightloss surgery
Running is hard on the joints. It makes your knees hurt; it makes your ankles hurt—it can even make your hips hurt. Here in Florida, running outside comes with its own batch of complications. The hot sun makes it hard to run for very long outside during the day, and the mosquitoes will plague the night to keep you inside after dusk.
All things considered, there are many reasons to run to the gym instead of running to, well, run. Once you get to the gym there is no reason to restrict yourself to the treadmill. Stationary bikes, rowing machines and free weights can give you a great workout, but if running is still your goal then you actually have more options at the gym than you do on the jogging trail.
Enter: The Elliptical Machine
Elliptical machines look a bit like treadmills, but the walking belt is replaced with ski-like pedals where you can put your feet. When working out on the elliptical your feet will not leave the pedals. As you go through the motions of running the pedals will complete a circular motion, much like how the pedals of a bicycle will maintain contact with your feet while pushing the wheels.
Elliptical machines can give you a great workout, and are especially popular among those trying to lose weight. You can get on an elliptical machine and start working out after getting your Lap Band in Florida much easier than you can go for a run. By keeping your feet in one place, the elliptical eliminates much of the impact that comes with a standard run. This means your knees, ankles and hips are less prone to injury during a workout on the elliptical than they are while running. It also means you might find you are able to engage in an elliptical workout much longer than you would be able to go for a traditional run.
Here are a few tips to help you maximize your elliptical workout:
- Tell the machine what’s up. Enter your height and weight before starting your workout. This will give you more accurate measurements about the calories you are burning and can motivate you to work harder.
- Lean back. Avoid the temptation to lean forward and put all your pressure and weight on your toes. The machine will move in the same direction both ways, so balance yourself out better by putting some of your weight into your heels.
- Resist yourself. Speed is great, but resistance can really boost your fitness efforts. Set the resistance high enough that you have to exert some pressure when you push, but not so high you can’t move forward easily.
- Back it up. Sticking with the forward motion grows tiring. Mix up your workout and engage different muscles by pedaling backwards, too.
Ellipticals are a great workout resource for people of all ages and fitness levels. The exercise involves much less impact than running, but does so while keeping the intensity level of the workout somewhat high. Don’t let the odd look of the machine fool you. Ellipticals are easy to get started with. Just remember to hold onto the handlebars to keep your balance!