My first comment is a review of the research proven formula for fat loss and fitness. The formula in ranked order is nutrition (diet 80%) strength training and lastly cardio. Nurtition causes fat loss exercise makes you fit and healthy. The elliptical and any cardio machine deprives you of part of the musculeoskeletal benefits of running and no cardio programme should be attempted unless the muscles required for them are strengthened with an appropriate strength training programme.
All of the anecdotal horror stories about running are in my opinion based on two factors, lack of proper strength training and poor running mechanics. Cardio machines will correct neither.
Do you Want to keep running?? Do you Like to run?? I agree with a lot of the posters that you certainly can do both. But ultimately it's a question to you of what you like to do. I run because I like it better than the elliptical so I stick with it. You're less likely to stick with a workout you don't enjoy.
Many people have said this already but why not do both? I'm just adding my 2 cents here about how I feel about both. I used to hate running but I was basing that on running on a treadmill. Both my knees and feet would hurt but I wouldn't get that if I used the elliptical machine at the gym instead. I have a mini elliptical that I use at home, which doesn't have handles but I actually like that because I work out my arms while I'm doing my cardio. Kills 2 birds with one stone. I walk a lot because I have to and also because I enjoy it but I've noticed that lately when I go for walks I add in a little bit of jog into my walks. I'm still not really running yet but I'm definitely at the point where I want to start it up. I never in my entire life would have ever thought I'd want to run. But I want to run outdoors, not on the treadmill. To me, the elliptical and the running (outdoors) fulfills different needs that don't necessarily have to do with the amount of calories I burn. I get bored when I do the same thing all the time so I have to add in other exercises besides using the elliptical. Plus, I like being outside when the weather is nice.
Fitness Minutes: (3,737)
64 3/11/12 1:47 P
I do both however I like the elliptical better than running. I burn more calories and its easy on my joints. I've been running for about a couple weeks now and I'm already feeling discomfort in my knees. I don't know if its from my wieght or what but they were starting to hurt. So I used the elliptical a lot more than the treadmill.
Fitness Minutes: (33,881)
1,833 3/11/12 1:26 P
I now use an elliptical. I used to run but it is to hard on my body now. I'm 63 and ran for about 45 years, many half marathons, and 3 marathons. Ended up having disc problems and had to have 4 discs removed from my neck due to the constant pounding...
Just FYI to an earlier poster - http://www.npr.org/2011/03/28/134861448/pu t-those-shoes-on-running-wont-kill-you r-knees
Fitness Minutes: (11,366)
615 3/9/12 5:33 P
Try doing Peak 8 on the elliptical - warm up for 3 minutes, go all out as hard and as fast as you can for 30 seconds, recover for 90 seconds and repeat until you've done 8 - 30 second sets, cool down for 3 minutes. I have a tendency to forget how many times I've done the 30 second part so I pedal forward for 2 sets, pedal backwards for 2 sets, forward another 2 and backward for the final 2 - it's easier for me to keep track of 2 than 8! I work out before work and have limited time, so for me, Peak 8 is probably one of the best workouts I can do in 20 minutes. But don't even attempt to do it every day - your body and muscles need at least 48 hours to recover. I do it 2-3 times a week. To learn more about Peak 8 you can go to Dr. Mercola's website and do a search for Peak 8.
I do both, since I like running but if I do it too often it hurts my ankles.
Fitness Minutes: (964)
16 3/9/12 3:53 P
Alternating is really a great way to do cardio. To prevent injuries, just starting running you should not do it every day.
As for weight loss, I am hardly an expert, but as a woman my weight fluxuates depending on "the time of the month" and it fluxates different than what is "expected" (my highest weight is mid cycle, lowest weight is early in my cycle). My weight loss journey has been slow, but it has been steady. The first couple months I was miserable because I was only losing a pound and then ups and downs were killing me. I stayed off the scale and concentrated on my training and once I ran my 5k and then had my 30th birthday, then I got back on the scale and saw a change. Don't get too bummed out by a bad week. Losing 4 pounds in a week is a lot unless you are the biggest loser.
Fitness Minutes: (67)
3 3/9/12 3:45 P
I've been using the "Lose It" app on my phone to log my food and exercise. It says I need 1200 calories a day, but I might actually consume 1600 in a day. Because I'm working out, it subtracts my calories burned so that I meet a net of 1200. So the more I work out, the more calories I can consume. Is this hindering my weight loss? It worked great the first week!
What do you mean when you say "net intake"? You should not be subtracting calories from your range because you exercise. Put in your weekly calories burned in your fitness tracker, then stay within the calorie range provided by SP. It takes your BMR and exercise calories into account, along with your cuttent weight and goal when it generates that range. If you eat too few calories, you could actually stall your loss.
Fitness Minutes: (67)
3 3/9/12 11:55 A
Thanks for the feedback so far! I am currently doing both. I alternate every other day. I'm trying to figure out which is best to help me meet my weight loss goals or if I should just continue what I'm doing. I'm really frustrated because this is the end on my second week exercising every day and keeping track of my calorie intake for a net of 1200. Last week I lost 4 lbs and this week I've gained one! I don't expect to lose 4 lbs every week, but I certainly didn't expect to gain after all my hard work! I know it's only been 2 weeks, but I'm feeling discouraged now :(
Fitness Minutes: (964)
16 3/9/12 11:41 A
Personally, running is a much better stress reliever. When my depression gets too bad, running will lift my mood so much more. The elliptical will only give me the lift to the point I can function, but running actually takes me out of the dark place.
Apart from that, if you keep running, when the zombie apocalypse happens, you can outrun the zombies and survive.
The elliptical just burns calories and provides some cardiovascular benefits... But gives you no advantage when it comes to in case of Zombies.
Or when it comes to you arrive at the station a few minutes late because the taxi got caught in traffic... So you need to get to the platform waaaay over there in about 2 minutes, or you'll miss the train.
I would do both! They are both effective cardio workouts. I strongly believe in balancing my routines. Cardio, Weights, and Yoga. Women tend to shy away from weights but the results are worth it.
Fitness Minutes: (12,135)
891 3/9/12 10:23 A
I do both... sometimes even in one workout. Yesterday my exercise partner and I did 10 minute stints (her on the treadmill, me on the elliptical) and then switched at every 10 minutes for 40 minutes. I find they both bring benefits.
Fitness Minutes: (6,555)
2,416 3/9/12 10:14 A
Because running requires no equipment and can take you some really interesting places. I love running outside (especially on trails) because I can see my neighborhood from a different perspective than if I was just driving through. Plus, when I'm trail running I can choose to take a different route every time and see something new. Last week I saw a heron grab a fish out of the stream as I went by on the trail. Running also helps strengthen little stabilizer muscles that an elliptical won't because your feet are moving in the same track.
Also I challenge your assertion that you burn more on the elliptical. Most of those machines have inflated calorie counts anyway. Here's an article that cites some sources on the subject: http://www.livestrong.com/article/63900-ca lories-burned-during-elliptical-vs./ and http://getfitguy.quickanddirtytips.com/w hich-exercise-machine-burns-the-most-c alories.aspx
Fitness Minutes: (7,235)
21 3/9/12 9:31 A
I personally feel that I get a better work out running on a treadmill than on the Eliiptical. I think it comes down to personal preference sometimes. I don't always enjoy running, but when I run on the treadmill I wear myself out more and therefore clear my mind and feel better. When I run on the elliptical I sometimes get bored and feel like the machine sometimes does the work for me, and like I need to workout twice as long.
I do agree that elliptical is better for your joints, etc. But like I said, I think it is preference sometimes. Any work out if good for you really :)
What's better is what you like better. What you can keep up long term. For me, even if workout A burns more calories than workout B, but I HATE A and like B, I'd be more likely to do B on a more regular basis because it's something I would feel I can sustain.
The elliptical is better for your body. Running causes lots of stress to your knees and skeletal system. The elliptical will give you the same burn, but without the damage.
Fitness Minutes: (67)
3 3/9/12 9:16 A
I've currently been doing the couch 2 5k program. I've never been a runner and never thought I would be, so I'm proud of the progress I've made. My question is: why is running so great? I can burn more calories in half the time on the elliptical. So I'm wondering if I should continue running and why.
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