Why Baby Boomers Are Addicted to Elliptical Trainers


Elliptical trainers are a growing segment of the fitness equipment industry.  One of the driving forces behind this growth are baby boomers.  Now that the earliest of this generation are starting to hit retirement age, many are experiencing the aches and pains of years of abuse to their joints.  Walking, jogging and running are less and less appealing because of the impact to the joints.  Even when done on a shock absorbing treadmill.


Enter the elliptical trainer, also known as crosstrainers.  Ellipticals came in response to the need for a cardio workout without the impact.  There are two primary benefits of an elliptical trainer…


Low Impact Workout – As the name implies, with an elliptical trainer your lower body moves in an elliptical motion.  Your foot never lifts off the pedal as your make your stride, consequently there is very little impact or shock to your body.   It is almost like you are running in the air.  Consequently you avoid the relentless pounding to your joints and your lower back.


The downside is that your lower body follows a repetitious that can limit the benefits from this cardio workout.  Although you can crank up the resistance, and you can reverse the motion, allowing you to target different muscles.  Furthermore, many models have the ability to adjust the incline, similar to the incline feature on a treadmill.  This also allows you to target additional muscles groups while intensifying your cardio workout.


Upper Body Workout – A further benefit of an elliptical trainer is the fact that you can simultaneously workout both your upper and lower body.  There are few exercises that allow this “cross training”. For many, this is a very important feature because they tend to focus on a cardio workout that only exercises  the lower muscles.   Neglecting the other half of their body.


With the use of moveable handlebars that move in coordination with the elliptical stride, you body works a variety of upper and lower body muscles.  Studies have shown that this dual action can burn calories more efficiently and in less time.  However, it is important that during your workout you  put a concerted effort into the resistance of the upper body.  Many users exert most of the action through their lower body, letting their upper body just go through the motions.


Not too many years ago when you went to your local health club the majority of cardio equipment were treadmills.  These days you will probably find an equal number of treadmills and elliptical trainers.  In addition, you will find many of the elliptical users are part of the baby boomer generation.  Elliptical trainers are allowing people of all ages to continue an aggressive cardio workout while reducing the stress and strain to their body.


Author Bio: Fred Waters has worked in the fitness equipment industry for the last 17 years.  He provides elliptical trainer reviews and recommendations at  www.fitness-equipment-source.com, where you will also find a buyer’s guide designed to make you an educated crosstrainer consumer. One last note, it is recommended you avoid cheap elliptical trainers, models under $500.  They typically are not very durable and have a tendency to be unstable, especially for overweight individuals.


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