I ride the elliptical and also run outside and on a treadmill too. Answering the OP, elliptical workouts that are intense enough are no different than running outside on a pavement as far as your cardiovascular performance is concerned.
The difference is, when running outside (on a pavement or on the ground, obviously), the impact has to be absorbed by the musculoskeletal system, so you need to have that system sufficiently developed to be able run outside with the same intensity as you ride the elliptical.
However, running outside gets people tired quicker (probably because of the small muscles that absorb the impact at the joints get tired quicker) than riding the elliptical machine. On an elliptical machine to get tired, your large leg/back muscles should get tired, which takes longer.
Edited by: MPLANE37 at: 5/1/2013 (08:54)
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