This is a very good question. In order to answer it, let’s take a look at what weight bearing exercise is. The fit day website defines it as a type of exercise in which the bones work against gravity, or against a source of resistance. Thus elliptical machines fit the definition of weight-bearing exercise, for as you are pushing the pedals on the machine, you’re working against resistance.
Not only that, but depending on the machine you’re using, you can increase your level of resistance, or lower it. You should try to increase it as you go along, albeit gradually. The idea is to make your legs work harder. In the absence of this hard work, you are not really exercising. You’re relaxing your leg muscles, not putting the needed stress on your bones to make them work.
Why It’s Important
Guess what: If you are reading this now and are under 40, you may think of yourself as young. And in fact you are. But one day you’re going to grow older, which, in turn, will increase your chances of acquiring diseases like osteoporosis. It’s a condition that makes your bones break easily, and will hamper your mobility. One of the causes of this disease, besides heredity, is that you have not developed adequate strength in your lower bones. As the Fitday website suggests, this is one ailment that exercising these bones through use of elliptical training may prevent.
Do This Exercise For Short Periods of Time
It increases your bone density, according to Certified Health Coach Cindy Killip. It has been observed that bone responds to new or different activity by adding more bone mineral. The more your bone mineral increases, the more solid and strong they become. But you can’t keep doing the one exercise forever. You need to change it up, because once your leg bones, for example, are strong enough to handle the activity you’re doing, your bone density will cease to increase. So this is not an exercise that you can begin on New Year’s Day and keep doing until Christmas. Or if you do, be sure to combine it with other forms of weight bearing exercise.
- As Killip points out, you should always be sure to maintain proper form when using an elliptical machine. Stand tall, keeping your core engaged. Relax your shoulders and neck.
- Try to do the exercises without relying too much on the side handles.
- Listen to your body. If it tells you that it’s tired, stop and take a breather. If you think you’re doing yourself good working on one of these machines while tired, think again. You may be further harming yourself, Killip says.
- Listen to your doctor, too. Before beginning a new exercise of any kind, have a doctor thoroughly check you. If he diagnoses you with advanced osteoporosis, elliptical training is not for you.