The main goal of cardiovascular activity with elliptical machines is no different to that of using treadmills or stationary bikes; to increase aerobic fitness. To become a fitter, we are trying to increase the hearts capacity to supply the body's muscles with more oxygen. As a result, the metabolism increases and the body burns stored fat quicker, aiding weight loss.
The joy of elliptical machines is that they provide a safe and easy starting point for anyone new to an aerobic fitness routine. The smooth oscillating motion of an elliptical allows the user to start off at a slow pace on a lower resistance which they can then build up over a period of time as their aerobic capacity increases.
The emphasis however with cardio training is that if our goal is also to burn fat, a constant pace over a period of time during a workout, is not going to be half as effective as training with intervals. Cardio workouts should be performed at least four times a week, lasting for at least twenty minutes. Unless you are breaking a sweat, then you are not optimizing your workout to burn fat.
Elliptical machines are perfect for burning body fat through interval training. The key is to alternate average-intensity pace with high-intensity bursts. Unlike with treadmills where your joints and muscles will suffer more stress, elliptical machines make interval training much easier on the body but still help effectively burn body fat and tone.
Depending on your current level of aerobic fitness, you may find initial attempts at interval training quite difficult but by limiting your maximum bursts to 60 seconds and your normal rate to 60 seconds, the body will soon adapt.
The great benefit with elliptical machines is that cardio workouts can be performed in reverse motion. Whether you are targeting fat burn with a constant pace in your workout or performing interval training, reverse motion targets all the muscles you would not normally use. Optimal fat burn can be achieved with this motion, as the heart and muscles have to work much harder.
Whether you decide to use elliptical machines for aerobic fitness or burning unwanted fat is entirely up to you. Always make sure to consult a doctor before taking on such workout routines, especially if you have suffered injuries or have a history of heart or respiratory problems in the past.
No matter how intense the workout, elliptical machines are by far an extremely enjoyable method to burning fat and improving aerobic fitness. By working hard and keeping motivated, you can be well on your way to achieving that perfectly toned body.