Can anyone help me break my elliptical 'addiction'?

  • Ok - so one of my goals this year is to break my attachment to the elliptical machine!

    The problem is I have a machine at home and its just SO easy & convenient - pop on a good show, plot a program, bust it for an hour - bam 500 or so calories gone.

    Now I know I should be mixing up my work-outs to ensure my muscles don't get stale and also make sure I tone as well as burn calories. I also have all the equipment I need to do a toning work-out at home - weights, swiss ball, resistance bands....

    I think the problem is the machine makes tracking time & calories burnt so easy and I am a very task oriented person - tracking calorie burn from a toning work out is much harder and more subjective so I struggle to motivate myself.

    Would be grateful for any ideas or feedback - either some toning plans that you rate or think are really effective to do at home or if you have faced a similar mental block and how you got over it.

    Thanks in advance
  • I feel you. I also have an elliptical at home, and I play video games while I'm on. The time just flies by! I have the same concerns. Ive been continuing with the elliptical but doing strength training workouts a couple times a week too. I use DVDs to help me with what to do, and that seems to work pretty well. I use my fitness pal to estimate the calories burned. When it gets warmer ill start running outside again to mix it up. Good luck!
  • How about doing circuit training with your elliptical? So get in the elliptical for 5 minutes, do X number of kettle bell swings, get on the elliptical for 5 minutes, do X number of squats, etc, etc.

    I feel you in the opposite way, the computer on my elliptical broke last year and we decided to get rid of it (cost was $600-$700 to fix). I switched to other things but we went and bought a new machine yesterday (not really an elliptical but can do multiple type of movements - supposed to simulate running). I'm excited to have something I can just hop on.
  • Claygirl - thanks for responding, I think the DVDs might be a good way to go - at the moment I am doing weigh exercises from magazine work outs etc but the dvds would make sure I am on form and also will be that visual that I need whilst working out - great idea thank!

    Nelie - that is an awesome idea - if I have my 'circuit' set up and use my elliptical between other reps. I am sure that will be a great calorie busting workout but it will also give me the cardio tracking which is good for my mental competitiveness.

    I already try to be smart using the machine - I don't stay at the same resistance or speed and use it similar to a spin class...climbing the levels then 'sprinting' then cool down etc as I know interval training burns more cals but I really love the idea of mixing the work out up with reps/planks/squats etc

    thank you so much
  • Know what I started doing? 15 minutes on the elliptical, 15 minutes on the rowing machine. It broke it up nicely, I got a water break in before I switched to the rowing machine and I burned over 500 calories!
  • I used to be addicted to the elliptical too! Now I'm not really a fan... I had a mission to learn to love the treadmill (still a working progress), but after a while, the treadmill just seemed much more natural!

    To stop myself doing the same thing, I would do the new stuff first e.g. if you want to try the treadmill or bike, do 5 mins on each before you even get on the elliptical - save the thing you're best at until last.
  • There's different stuff you can do on the elliptical—a machine at a gym I went to gave me instructions to lean forward, or lean back, or pedal backwards on the machine. You could try those and also try bending your knees more. That'll help work some different muscle groups. Also your muscles will probably become more efficient for that specific purpose, so you may not be burning as many calories on the machine as you used to, or as many as it says.

    I like to do some lightweight dumbbell exercises when I'm watching TV. I just pick up the 3 lb or 5 lb weights and hold my arms out to my sides, or slowly lift and slowly drop them, or curl them forward in front of me, or do yoga movements, lifting them right up above my head then down in front of my chest, then out, around, and back up. I try to keep it mixed up and just do whatever feels good. I don't use anything heavier because I don't want to have to worry about hurting myself if my posture is a bit off or something.

    Another thing I'm going to try doing more of is going to the pool. I did that this weekend as was reminded how tired I get just from bobbing around, diving under, and having fun (not even doing laps). Even treading water or floating means you're making constant minor adjustments and the end result is exhaustion, which in my mind means calories burned.

    Even better, though: Go out and try some stuff. I know it's annoying when you can't figure out how many calories you've burned, but the fun is worth it. Do some rock climbing or go to a trampoline park or go hiking or snowshoeing or something. I bet if you went and did something new every week (or every month), you'd figure out pretty quickly which muscle groups you've been neglecting, if nothing else. ^_~
  • Wow - heaps of great ideas, thank you all so much for responding.

    When I am at the gym I will def switch up machines and use the treadmill and the rower as well but as I have an elliptical at home and I work pretty long hours I cannot always be motivated to go back out but I can always find the time to use the machine at home!

    That said I am totally going to try the idea of doing other exercises first then 'rewarding' myself with a session on the elliptical so I can see the calories burnt. So true that its a good idea to save what you enjoy to last.

    Definitely going to study up more on what I can do whilst i am on the elliptical to vary the work out. I always forget to go backwards but I do the bent knees or on your toes thing. I must not loose sight of the cold truth and that is that I am so used to the machine now it might say 600cals when I finish but its probably a lot less

    I dug out my weights and resistance bands and set those up near the machine and tonight I have my own 'circuits' session planned with weight exercises, mat exercises, holds & stretches and sessions on the machine - I am quite excited (lame I know).

    Finally - yes, as winter passes I must get out into the fresh air and try other things. I am a horse rider but no longer have my own due to city living/job commitments but I must try other activities that scorch calories as well as being fun. Who cares if I cannot track cals down to the nth degree...if I worked out and enjoyed it and tested different body parts it must be good for me!!