Running involves considerably more impact, and every time your foot
With the elliptical trainer, your body weight is constantly supported. Youre always attached to the machine, and your feet are traveling in a prescribed arc. The elliptical trainer is not exerting the force against your body that the ground or treadmill exerts as you land with each foot strike. Your heart rate might be elevated, and you might be breathing hard on the elliptical machine, but your muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones arent undergoing the same stresses.
The bigger question, however, is whether running for ten minutes on a treadmill and using an elliptical trainer for 45 are equal in their impact on your fitness. To improve cardiovascular fitness, the longer you can sustain exercise, the better. If that means using a lower-impact machine so you can go nonstop for 45 minutes, thats better than exercising some other way for just ten minutes. The key elements in cardiovascular fitness are time and consistency.
If your goal is to finish a local charity run, a 10k, or a marathon, you have to start running for real. Right now if you can sustain ten minutes, and youre struggling by the time youre done, your body sees that unpleasant experience as a good reason to adapt, so the same effort isnt as difficult the next time. The elliptical machine might stress the cardiovascular system, and cause it to adapt, but in order to develop the muscles and technique necessary to be a runner, you need to run.
Support Outside Online
Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.