THE BLOG
05/23/2016 03:00 pm ET Updated May 24, 2017

8 Amazing Benefits of Elliptical Machines

The elliptical trainer is known to different people by different names. Some call it the cross-trainer or X-trainer. It is a motionless machine which assists those exercising by simulating walking, running or even hill climbing. Most people are more used to treadmills, but the elliptical is actually much lighter on the joints while still allowing for a good workout. Here are 8 amazing benefits of ellipticals.

It improves balance and mobility: The elliptical machine improves balance and mobility, and helps you regain motion in the hips gradually, especially after an ACL surgery. There are various hospitals that encourage the use of ellipticals for this very reason. Depending on your level of injury, you can easily adjust your exercise intensity.

You can mimic many different types of exercises: For example, the Schwinn 430 allows you to mimic jogging, walking, running and climbing a staircase at multiple levels of resistance and intensity. You can also use your heart rate to monitor your speed and progress as the machines have wireless heart rate control equipment. The best elliptical adjusts the intensity of the exercise automatically depending on your heart rate and lets you exercise at a level that is comfortable.

You work out the whole body: Both the upper and lower part of the body get worked out effectively. When you use a elliptical, close to all muscles in the body work at the same time, improving bone strength and formation. For example, the Proform Hybrid Trainer provides 16 levels of resistance that provides for a challenging workout for the whole body. It ensures more calories are burnt within a very short time span. You can choose to sit or stand while using it.

You use minimal space: Worried that your apartment is too small for a machine? Some ellipticals such as the Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer are designed to fit easily in the corner of a room while the FitDesk is designed to fit under your desk.

You are able to multitask: Eager to read that interesting novel and watch the latest TV shows while exercising? The elliptical machine allows you to do just that. All you need to do is set your preferences on the machine depending on your daily routine and then let it do its job as you do yours. The better ellipticals typically come with speakers allowing you to play music or even an audio-book while working out.

This is a form of weight bearing exercise: This is where you work against gravity as the knees, ankles and hip joints movements' go hand in hand with the movements of the machine. Weight bearing exercises help strengthen your bones and prevent osteoporosis, a condition where the bones become weak and very brittle that the slightest movement can break them.

Your aerobic (cardio)capacity is increased: By using the elliptical for 25 minutes a day, three to four times a week, your stamina and cardio capacity will increase. You will also feel more active and alert throughout the day.

Maintenance of the machine is easy and cheap: Want a balance between cost and maintenance? Look no further than the elliptical machine. With less moving parts and its very minimal impact movements, you need not worry about it breaking down and aging fast. Using the machine ensures you of a long life span. For example the Horizon Fitness EX-59-02 Elliptical Trainer comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame and 20 years warranty on the motor. If you are on a budget, there are also cheap ellipticals available for under $500.