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elliptical vs running?

I've been trying to get back into working out, but each time I have gone to the gym I get so tired when I run. So I give up. I just realized what I was doing so I did the elliptical trainer instead. It was SO much easier. I got a long workout in, for the first time in a while. Now my question is, is the elliptical as good a workout as running is? Should I start to shift towards more running as I get in shape?

Sun. Aug 26, 9:58am

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I agree the elliptical is easy! But it's a great work out. I run outside when I can and then the elliptical when I can't. I think it works different parts of your body and so it's helps you too. As long as you exercise then pat yourself on the back. I really enjoy my outside runs but get frustrated since of course I can't go as long. But I tell my self each little mile is better than nothing. I would love to hear what the runners out here think of the elliptical too.

Sunday, August 26, 2007, 10:19 AM

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Hi all,

I'm a new runner - doing my first 5K this year and am now training for a 10K. But I also use the bike and x-trainer 3 days a week too.

Sometimes I feel like running, and sometimes I don't and I tend to follow what my body tells me. I really think that the x-trainer is fab, and you definiately lose weight on it (try the random or hill modes for the bst workout). BUT, for my heart, running is definitely the best for me. I don't like running every day though so I tend to do one day run, one day x-train 6 days a week.

The key to it though, is do what you want, when you want! :^) Enjoy!

Sunday, August 26, 2007, 3:03 PM

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I think both can give you a great cardio workout. The 'danger' with the ellipitical is that it's very easy to make it EASY and not really challenge yourself. Running is so hard on the body, though, especially if you have some lbs to lose, which where you're doing yourself more of a favor by getting a good workout from the elliptical.

Don't forgert about resistance training - awesome workout and SO good for you!

Sunday, August 26, 2007, 3:11 PM

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Yeah - you can go for a long time on the elliptical without really doing much 'work' - make sure you have some resistance and intervals in there, and don't neglect your form (ie: don't sway from side to side) or you can stress your hips. Otherwise it's a great form of exercise and easy on the joints. definitely mix it up though.

Sunday, August 26, 2007, 5:25 PM

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do a search as this subject has been beaten to death here.

I'm opposed to ellipticals because they almost always put your body out of alignment, which is not a good way to exercise. Further more, it's less challenging than running, however the percieved rate (and not the actual rate) of exertion is invariably higher.

Run, jog, or walk quickly up inclines- all challenging. You don't need to run to sweat on a treadmill.

Sunday, August 26, 2007, 9:51 PM

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Ellipticals are not as tough on your joints. THe puonding from running can do lots of damange to the feet, knees, hips and even the back. another alternative is the ArcTrainer.

I do find it harder to run, but can't really say why. I wear a heart rate monitor and find that my heart rate gets up close to max with both running and ellitptical.

Sunday, August 26, 2007, 10:48 PM

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ellipticals aren't as safe as they are advertised. at high inclines, they are bad if not worse than running on your knees. it's not the same damage as the pounding running causes, but it is bad for the knees.
posture is also an issue. i'm on the shorter side and for me to comfortable use the handles i am slightly haunched over. but even for regular and tall people most people i see do it bent over.

Sunday, August 26, 2007, 10:54 PM

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At least when it comes to running, when you do it properly, your knee was designed to take the impact.

Going on an elliptical, where knees are often doing circular lateral motions and benig stressed in that position is SO not what knees were designed for. Personally, if I get on an elliptical, my knees are hurting within about 30 seconds from the pressure. But I can run for an hour with no knee pain.

Monday, August 27, 2007, 8:19 PM

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It's the opposite for me, butI do not do the ellipticalwith a severe incline.

I had an ACL tare a few years ago and when I came out of surgery my doctor suggested that I stop running but was OK with cardio equipment like ellipticals.

Monday, August 27, 2007, 10:48 PM

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I too have had surgery which requires me to stay in shape with low-impact forms of exercise. So the elliptical is one of my few choices for minimal impact exercise. Thus I do use the elliptical, but little incline (the machines I use allow for seperate incline and resistance) and am very concious of form - when you pay close attention to your body alignment and posture on the elliptical it's a heck of a lot harder!

I used to use the elliptical somewhat indifferently - figuring there wasn't much of a way to use it wrong. Boy was that a misconception that was! It can be a good workout, and it's a nice option for those of us with impact restrictions, but I see a lot of "bob-and-weave" elliptical use.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007, 12:27 PM

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ArcTrainer

Cyber's ArcTrainer is another low-impact option. It has some elliptical qualities along with some stepper characteristics. It gives a great workout. But like with everything, form is key.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007, 5:38 PM

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