As anyone who’s fond of home workouts knows, you can’t always trust the readout on your gym equipment to be telling you the whole story- so how many calories do you burn on your elliptical trainer? Today, we’re taking a look at how best to approximate this so you can plan your workouts properly.
What effects my calories burned?
Firstly, it’s important to remember that we don’t all burn calories equally. Many things will affect your calorie shred. The 3 most important factors to consider are:
- Your weight
- The intensity of your workout
- The length of your workout.
The more intensely you exercise, the more you will burn. Obviously, the same goes for the length of the workout. It seems counter-intuitive, but the more you weigh, the more you will burn too- that’s why it’s always easier to drop the first 20 pounds then the last 5!
So, how much should I estimate I’m burning?
Luckily for us, we’re not alone in our quest to determine how many calories are burned on an Elliptical trainer- in fact; we have the best company possible. Harvard Medical school research suggests you will burn around 4.32 calories per pound of bodyweight per hour spent on the elliptical. That means, for example, that if you weigh in at 150lbs, you would be looking at roughly 650 calories per hour on the elliptical, or 325 calories in a typical 30 min workout.
That’s awesome! Excuse me while I jump on the trainer.
Not so fast! Remember that this estimate presumes you are getting a good workout- and you might not be. There are a few common mistakes people make on the elliptical that will adversely affect calories burned. Be sure you aren’t one of them!
Don’t lean on the arm supports. It’s easy [and tempting] to do, but stop it. Let your lower body do the majority of the work on the elliptical to reap the true benefits of your workout. It’s great to improve your balance too. Make sure, too, that you keep your weight back in the heel area- don’t lean on your toes and make them numb. Not only will you be able to work out longer, you’ll use more big muscle groups. Lastly, do be sure you use your upper arms as well- just don’t lean!
Can I burn more calories?
There’s a couple of trick to help you burn more calories on your elliptical as well. One of the simplest is to utilise interval training- switch your speed and intensity up and down during the workout to really challenge yourself. Make sure you’re using resistance correctly, too- you want to be challenged by the resistance on your elliptical, not sailing through the workout. Be sure to make use of the incline function to keep your workouts challenging, inspirational, and productive.
Lastly, be absolutely focused on your exercising. Don’t plod along with thoughts of dinner and the mortgage in your head- you will not exercise at full intensity if your mind is wandering, no matter how much you may think you are. A great strategy to ensure that you do this, is to make use of mini goals- be it a distance, or another reading on the elliptical, or simply a time or calorie goal; setting yourself a goal to achieve during your exercise session will not only leave you motivated, but also make you better focused and much more likely to achieve that goal.
The elliptical is a great machine for cardio practice, especially if you have concerns in your knee or ankle joints and want a low-impact exercise. Calculating the calories you will burn on your elliptical is easy with this simple formula- and don’t forget to use these handy tips to torch even more calories each session.