Exercise! - The Elliptical...

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03-20-2011, 01:39 PM
I bought one of these machines earlier during the winter...because it was winter time and I don't have a way to get to a gym and it was cold and snowy outside. But...the elliptical was only used maybe a handful of times *sheepish grin*. Now I'm staring dubiously at it...and it's staring right back at me saying "bring it." At this point in time I can't seem to go more than 10 minutes on it which makes me feel like a total failure...and it discourages me from doing it at all. I suppose all I can do is just keep trying. I know I definitely won't get better if I don't use it at all. But that feeling of failure isn't much fun either when I can only go ten minutes. Anyway, sorry for the ranting outburst there. Sometimes a woman just has to vent, right?

On another note, I have an actual question. I have quite a bit of experience with cardio based exercising, especially walking and some jogging. However, everything I am reading says that toning and light weights is every bit as important as cardio. I have never lifted a weight in my life or done any kind of strength training/workouts. I cannot get to a gym at this point in time and money is seriously limited. Do any of you have suggestions or ideas for some kind of at-home strength training that won't kill my bank account? I can't think of anything due to my lack of experience in this area. Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

03-20-2011, 02:17 PM
I had a hard time starting back up with the elliptical too. I remember about 5 years ago, I could do 40 mins on the one at the gym. A month ago, it was a struggle to do 5 minutes! So what I do is add a minute or two each time. I did 25 mins yesterday and probably could have pushed myself to do more. I have to stretch really well before and after, and I take a 2 min walk break every 10 mins because my feet get numb. I also alternate between going forward and backward every few minutes. Keep it up!!! You paid for it, and you CAN do it!

I am considering the weight training thing right now as well. I haven't gotten very far but I know there are plenty of youtube videos and things like that to show proper form. Hand weights are relatively inexpensive and I remember from college we used to use water bottles.

03-20-2011, 02:27 PM
the elliptical is hard! When I first started, even just 3 minutes was a struggle, so you're doing better than me.

Yup, weight training is important, especially while losing weight. It ensures that you don't lose all your muscle mass as you lose fat.

I am having fantastic results with body reshaping and losing weight with New Rules for Lifting. You can incorporate your elliptical with the program

I also have this weight set for days I don't make it to the gym. The NRWL book does provide at home exercises to modify :)


You could also find some weight lifting exercises on the internet for free, and using objects around your house if you're not up to buying anything else. I've even dead lifted my 40 lb 4 year old when I couldn't make the gym :) But definitely do some weight training! Good luck!

03-20-2011, 05:21 PM
Well there has been some improvement anyway. I just got done with the elliptical and it was the first time since I bought it that I was able to push to 15 minutes. I've only been able to do 10 up until now. I know 5 minutes isn't much of an increase but I like to think its a start. Its funny what I used for motivation...last night I got some yummy new bath and body stuff and I told myself that I wasn't allowed to use it unless I pushed myself for that extra five minutes! LOL. I guess it worked because I did it.

03-20-2011, 07:18 PM
d it was the first time since I bought it that I was able to push to 15 minutes. I've only been able to do 10 up until now. I know 5 minutes isn't much of an increase

You've increased your time by 50%. That IS a lot.

03-20-2011, 07:42 PM
You did have a great increase! Many of us complain about how little we could do on the elliptical at first. I barely did 5 minutes at the beginning and almost gave it up entirely.

For lifting, I highly recommend getting a stability ball and a set of 3, 5, 7 and 10 pound dumbbells. You can start with the smaller ones and acquire as you go. You can use the stability ball as a weight bench for some exercises. You can google exercises for a stability ball and get a fantastic workout. You can also incorporate body weight exercise like wall sits, squats, push-ups, lunges, stair climbing (on the actual stairs), sit ups, planks, etc. There's no need to spend a fortune at all. ;)

03-20-2011, 09:16 PM
I bought an elliptical awhile ago and it sat untouched for a long time, too. Now I use it daily, and it only took a few weeks to build up. You'll be surprised how quickly you'll increase your time if you do it consistently. I started out struggling through 2 miles/20 minutes and can now do 7 miles in about 45 minutes, with the resistance turned up! My goal was to increase my 5 minutes each week, but I ended up increasing even faster than that. Stick with it, you'll get there!!

03-20-2011, 09:17 PM
Juliana, my feet go numb, too! I thought it was just me...

03-21-2011, 07:47 AM
Another numb foot woman signing in! I thought it was just me too! I wonder why this happens?

I do like the elliptical though, despite the numbness and tingles I get in my feet, less impact than the treadmill.

03-21-2011, 08:02 AM
Yep, my feet go numb too. It's why it's not my favorite form of cardio.

03-22-2011, 11:13 AM
The elliptical is my favorite. I've only been regularly exercising for about 2 months and I can stay on it pretty much as long as I want, but I remember the first time I got back on it after a long time of not using it I could barely make it 1/4 of what I can now. I used to prefer the treadmill because it felt easier, now that's not the case. So don't worry, you will get there!

As for the weights, I would just get a few dumbells, hop on youtube or exercise tv and learn a few new exercises. I also highly recommend Jillian Michaels' No More Trouble Zones. It's segmented so you can do a few exercises at a time (I find it kind of hard to do the whole thing in one "sitting")