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My love/hate relationship with...the elliptical

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Old 11-14-2013, 12:11 PM   #1
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Default My love/hate relationship with...the elliptical

So...this beast sits down in our basement. My husband uses it faithfully and I have been on it a total of three times. Now two of them were this week as I have really begun to focus in on my health.

So day one I went a total of four minutes...ugh. That's four minutes of actual work out time and does not include that I stopped twice. So it took about ten minutes to get in that four minutes of excercise. I was...discouraged.

That was Monday.

So today (Thursday) I changed the program and was able to go five minutes with only one brief stop. So I am a little more encouraged after today.

Anyone else love and hate their elliptical? Or have any beginner tips for me?
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Old 11-14-2013, 12:40 PM   #2
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I don't have an elliptical, but my beginner tip is DON'T QUIT!

What you are describing is how I started running. I had to take teeny, tiny, baby steps. I was thrilled the first day I ran super slowly for 1 FULL MINUTE! Just absolutely thrilled. Most of us start small, and that's ok, it means that we see great improvement as time goes on and it is an exciting journey!

No matter how short a time it seems to you, just keep doing it! Consistency is key, Do Not Give Up.

You will thank yourself many, many times over if you keep up with a regular fitness program, you really will!
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Old 11-14-2013, 12:41 PM   #3
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Thanks for the encouragement. I was originally going to try c25k, but decided to start smaller.

No excuses...all I have to do is go downstairs!
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Old 11-14-2013, 12:48 PM   #4
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Yup, Mrs. Snark is right! Do not quit. The more you keep up, the more you'll be able to go longer. I think it's a great idea to stick with the elliptical for now until you get smaller because running can be really hard on the joints (at least for me, it is.)

When I first got my elliptical, I could barely do 2 minutes! Now I'm able to go 30 minutes, even an hour provided I have 1 minute break after the first 30. You CAN do it!!! (from a fellow STL'er! )
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Old 11-14-2013, 12:58 PM   #5
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Thanks amandie! I also figured getting an inside routine would help me maintain a program. As you know the weather here has been crazy...working out inside just eliminates one more potential excuse!

Yay for STL weather!! lol
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Old 11-14-2013, 01:37 PM   #6
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I love and hate it as well.

When I first started, I could barely do 1.5 MINUTES. Now, I am a bit better. I can go 30 minutes before I want to have a stroke just to end the suffering LOL.

I have taken a break from the demon machine to work on C25K, but honestly they are about the same as each other in the beginning.

I would suggest you just get on it and see how far you can go, and go from there.
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Old 11-16-2013, 02:45 PM   #7
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I couldn't do 5 min without my legs feeling like they were going to burst into flames when I started, and that was after I had been doing cardio every day on the treadmill for a month, now I can go 20 min on a higher resistance without stopping, I never thought I'd be able to do that!
Keep going, you're going to get a lot stronger, it will be easier!
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Old 11-16-2013, 07:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by domesticbliss View Post
I couldn't do 5 min without my legs feeling like they were going to burst into flames when I started...
I absolutely get this! After the second day...when I adjusted the resistance and went five minutes...my legs felt great.

Right up until I went up and down the stairs to the laundry lol...holy tight thighs batman!
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:23 PM   #9
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I often read when I'm on the elliptical (an electronic book is great). Sometimes I'll look up at the time elapsed and realize I've gone far longer than I intended or expected--especially when I'm reading a suspenseful book. TV/movies could also help.
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Old 12-10-2013, 10:54 AM   #10
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Hey there!

I had to work my way up to the elliptical, it's not an easy machine. If you have a gym, go there and try the various exercises available until you find one that feels good. For me, originally, it was the recumbent bike ... super gentle on my damaged ankles and knees but I could still work up an awesome sweat. As I lost weight and gained muscle, I started to add the elliptical a little at a time, never doing more than felt comfortable (ie, I was sore and out of breath, but not actually hurt). If you can't go to the gym, walking is great for this too.

I recommend deciding how long you want to exercise for, say, 30 minutes. Go a week or more doing an exercise that you can do for that length of time. After that, try a few minutes on the elliptical, stop when it gets to be too much, and switch to the other exercise to finish your time. Work your way up until you can do the elliptical for the full time.

Exercising for 30 minutes to an hour, even if it is gentle, helps build stamina. And it trains your body to expect 30 minutes of exercise.

That's what works for me anyway, I do 30 minutes on the elliptical and then lift weights for 30-40.
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Old 12-10-2013, 11:07 AM   #11
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Mrs Snark is right. Baby steps. And keep at it. My first run was half a mile. It almost killed me. Now I run 6 miles a day.

It does hurt to build up. That's normal. It means it's working.

Sore is good. Pain indicates a problem. Listen to your body but push it.
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Old 12-10-2013, 11:17 AM   #12
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I have an elliptical and yeah, it's a love/hate relationship. I can do 40+ minutes on the lower/lowest settings/incline but my heart rate is right to the upper limits.

Honestly, until you've really gotten your aerobic capacity way, way up, just go with one incline/resistance, forget the programs. You'll build yourself up just as fine, trust me. If you can knock out 30 to 45 minutes on an elliptical at ANY setting it's still the equivalent of jogging for 15 to 20 minutes, easy, if not more, without the joint abuse.

Ellipticals are perhaps the most demanding aerobic exercise machines out there that cause the least amount of bodily damage. The only machine that may come close is the stepper but those beat the heck out of your lower back.
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Old 12-10-2013, 11:25 AM   #13
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I am not sure about joint abuse.

I agree it is a problem at heavier weights. When I was over 200lbs, it was a problem although good running shoes for heavier set runners worked a treat (e.g. Mizuno Wave Creation 13 or 14).

But at a lower weight I am overtraining and my joints are holding up well.

One of my (no doubt junk) theories is that God only gives us so much knee.

So me not running until the sweet old age of 38 actually might mean I can run longer (into life) than an active 20-something year old before the joints wear out and I need a knee replacement. Quite ironic really.

Another thing is diet and supplements. I eat a lot of omega 3s (oily fish) and also take a glucosamine/chondroitin supplement. So far, so good. I do not get joint pain despite running 10km every day. I do get muscle soreness, but I can live with that.
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Last edited by IanG : 12-10-2013 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 12-10-2013, 11:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanG View Post
I am not sure about joint abuse.

I agree it is a problem at heavier weights. When I was over 200lbs, it was a problem.

But at a lower weight I am overtraining and my joints are holding up well.

One of my (no doubt junk) theories is that God only gives us so much knee.

So me not running until the sweet old age of 38 actually might mean I can run longer (in life) before the joints wear out and I need a knee replacement. Quite ironic really.

Another thing is diet and supplements. I eat a lot of omega 3s (oily fish) and also take a glucosamine/condroitin supplement. So far, so good. I do not get joint pain despite running 10km a day. I do get muscle soreness, but I can live with that.
I've never jogged so much as half a mile, I have congenital spinal deformities that made running impossible, and I have OA of the knees at age 48, I've actually had it longer, it only has become a huge issue in the past 10 years.

Frankly, considering I have epicondilosis in both elbows, rotator cuff injuries in both shoulders, and OA throughout my spine, as well as in my hips, knees, ankles, wrists and hands IMHO joint problems are kind of right up there with any other card game, you play the genes you get. I've always eaten clean and taken vitamins since I was a teen, I was an avid hiker/walker and weight trainer for more than 20 years and now some days I'm doing good when I carry the laundry downstairs. Rotten weather days send me to bed and that's all there is to it.

Honestly, it's all genetic luck of the draw.
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Old 12-10-2013, 11:39 AM   #15
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You just gotta work with what you have got ReNew Me.

I did nothing for the past two decades. So, for me, it's catch up time.

I was blessed with good genes but it has taken me way too long to appreciate that.
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Last edited by IanG : 12-10-2013 at 11:41 AM.
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