|Photo by Maggie Q. Magniloquent, Some Rights Reserved|
Having tried it out the past two days, I have to say that the elliptical is much more of a workout than the bike ever gave me. For one thing, it is a "weight bearing exercise", as my mother is fond of saying. That means that instead of sitting on my ample butt and pedaling, I am working said butt, and legs, and arms. I can feel the workout in my butt and legs most pronouncedly, and even had wobbly legs getting off the machine this morning.
I am sweating up a storm, which is slightly inconvenient on the elliptical, since I wear my glasses so I can read and see the display - - on the bike, I left my glasses off, so mopping up my sweat with my t-shirt was an easy thing to do. On the elliptical, with the glasses on, it requires a pause to mop the brow, plus a certain grace and balance. Glasses off - mop mop mop - glasses on, pedal pedal pedal. On the good side, the workout is so exhausting that picking times to pause is easy to do, since I am pausing repeatedly to get my heart rate back down to 120 bpm, rather than pushing 150 bpm, which is all too easy to do on this machine.
I am also much more on display with the elliptical than I ever was on the rowing machine or bike, since I sat below the level of the window on each of them. With the elliptical, I am framed perfectly in the middle of the window, and on full display for all the hydro workers and tradesmen who congregate in the alley behind my bedroom.
I am still trying to find a program on the elliptical that works for me, that is not just straight pedaling (which is boring), but which is not soul-destroying, either. Yesterday doesn't count because I was flitting from one program to another just trying to figure out how to use the machine. Today I did 15 minutes on the interval program (too intense for me - I was noticing weakness in my legs from this), and 5 minutes on manual, at a low intensity. Tomorrow I will try another one of the programs, to see if there is one that my body can tolerate.
I have to say this - the machine is very easy to use, and easy on my joints, as advertised. Plus, it is super quiet in action, except when the machine is changing levels. I am not really having any knee pain while I am working out, and although I am feeling a little stiffness in my back now, mid-morning, it's not the crippling back pain I used to experience before I started to work out. So, an intense workout without being crippled - I'll give that two thumbs up.
I have to say, having worked out for half a year on the rowing machine and bike, it feels like I've only now started to work out, using the elliptical. Interesting. We'll see if the results are anything to sneeze at.