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tinaimageElliptical machines are ideal choices for exercise as part of a weight loss program because they are low impact; accessible to virtually any level exerciser, from beginner to advanced; offer weight-bearing movement; and are relatively easy to use. Even more, they engage both the upper- and lower-body muscles simultaneously, which offers two great results:  you can burn more calories than a lower-body only exercise such as cycling; and you don’t actually feel like you are working as hard as you are because the workload is dispersed over the entire body.

Another advantage of ellipticals is their variety – you can move forward or backward, with the entire body or isolating only the legs, change your stride (on adjustable stride length models), vary your pace and incorporate strength training in the form of Octane’s Workout Boosters or unique CROSS CiRCUIT combined cardio and strength routine.

Variety is important not only to keep you from getting bored but also to keep your body responding to new challenges – which both boost motivation and results. Plus, with Octane’s line-up, you can choose from a traditional standing elliptical, the xRide recumbent elliptical or the LateralX elliptical.

To stimulate weight loss, regular workouts of at least 30 minutes or more are recommended. Steady-state exercise (where you perform at the same pace and same resistance level throughout) is good, but incorporating interval training can jump-start greater results. Interval training is alternating periods of steady intensity with bursts of high intensity via speed or resistance levels, which has been shown to increase caloric expenditure and improve fitness levels. See the Octane Blog for more details about interval training.

Whatever your regimen on the elliptical, over time, aim to increase your workout time or frequency or increase your resistance level or pace to continually challenge your body and burn more calories per session. As your body gets more fit, you have to boost the intensity to continue driving change.

Finally, for optimum elliptical weight loss, incorporate strength training at least twice weekly, where you use weights, resistance tubing or body weight to build muscular strength and endurance. The more muscle you have and the more active it is, the greater your metabolism and the more calories you burn.

Lastly, no weight loss plan can thrive without following a balanced, nutritious diet, complete with whole grains, lean meats and fish, fruits and vegetables and plenty of water. Consult with a dietitian to determine your appropriate caloric intake and realistic eating plans for weight loss.