Are you wondering if you should invest in an elliptical to get in shape before the holidays and their endless cornucopia of fattening treats? Maybe you hesitate because you think, “I can always run outside, which costs less.”
In uncertain economic times, it’s natural to cling to your hard-earned dollars. However, when it comes to your fitness, the cost of a gadget pales beside the price of treating heart disease or diabetes resulting from inactivity and obesity. Let’s take a point-by-point look at the elliptical versus running outside and see which works best for your unique needs.
Other than a quality pair of running shoes, you don’t need any equipment to go for a sprint or jog. Besides the cost factor, you’ll also reap the following four benefits.
While you can get adequate vitamin D intake from supplements, your body produces what it needs naturally when exposed to sunlight. Unless a skin condition makes light exposure problematic, el sol reigns supreme because you don’t risk accidental overdose. Remember, vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble, meaning your body doesn’t expel the excess in your urine.
If you struggle with depression, outdoor workouts may prove superior. While any physical activity produces endorphins, one study of 14 patients with mild to moderate depression revealed that a single outdoor exercise bout improved mood more than sweating it up indoors.
Even the best programmable treadmill can’t hope to match the varied terrain Mother Nature provides. Rocks and fallen branches require ankle dexterity to navigate. Hills in mountainous ranges may exceed any exercise equipment’s slope ratio.
Let’s face it — 2020 had many folks staring at the same four walls, all day, every day. Running outside gives you gorgeous natural scenery to explore.
Running outside is the proverbial bee’s knees, but it can be hard on human ones. Ellipticals are gentler on your joints and offer the following four additional benefits.
You might have seen someone riding an elliptical that glides along like a standing bicycle. You can find outdoor elliptical machines that let you reap the benefits of this exercise while taking in the fresh air and health effects. Some models might set you back a grand or more, but if you can afford it, why not?
Do you have arthritis? If so, running outside can gripe your knees and hips something awful. Elliptical machines offer zero-impact cardiovascular training that’s kind to your joints.
Who said you had to stare at the wall while you ride? You can set up an indoor elliptical machine in your living room and catch up on the news or your latest Netflix must-see episodes while you sweat.
If you have a heart condition or other medical woes, ellipticals allow you to track your vital signs more effortlessly than running outside. Many machines let you attach a proper heart-rate monitor instead of grasping handles and alert you to clues that you need to slow down.
Are you still torn on which form of exercise is better? While we hate to emphasize the negative, both ellipticals and running outside have drawbacks. If, like The Boss, you were “Born to Run,” here’s what to watch for.
Like running outdoors, elliptical machines have their detractors. Here are three that might give you pause:
Both elliptical training and running outside offer benefits and downsides. Only you can ultimately decide which workout is best for your unique needs.