Many people who buy an elliptical or treadmill don’t take advantage of the full potential of the built in computer workout programming. Instead they set up the machine, step on and exercise randomly. Or maybe they only use the preprogrammed exercise routines.
Any exercise is usually good for you, but the smart elliptical user takes advantage of programming to maximize results. Let’s take a look at how programming can help you meet your weight loss or fitness goals more efficiently.
Time vs. Distance vs. Calories
Did you know that you can get the same benefit from an intense 30 minute workout as you do from an easier one hour routine? Many people don’t know that exercise at higher intensity over the same distance burns more fuel. This means that if you walk a mile, you burn less calories than if you run a mile.
The average person who walks a mile burns about 89 calories. Now if that person runs a mile a little over 112 calories gets consumed. There is also a process called “after burn” which means that after you stop exercise (walking or running) you continue to burn fat as your body cools down. The after burn from running is higher.
The Value of Workout Programming
This is where good workout programming comes in. On the best ellipticals and treadmills, you can program a calorie target instead of just time or distance. This way you know exactly how much work you have done no matter what the intensity level. One way to do this is to by setting up a time or distance workout and, with the built in programming, record how many calories you burn. Then, as your move ahead in your workouts, you can adjust the settings to fit your goals according to calories, time and distance.
Also, no matter what intensity level you are comfortable with, you know exactly how much work you completed. It’s even better when you add in incline or resistance as you can do with elliptical machines. Good programming makes it easy to get the most out of your machine.
High Tech Programming – Some Definitions
You can increase efficiency even more if you implement Intelligent Weight Management (IWM) software. Some machines come with a companion scale which can upload your weight and body mass index (BMI). With this data, the variables of time, distance and calories can be tailored to your specific body type. Programming even takes into account your height and age. The Islamorada elliptical comes with IWM integrated software.
Your body changes every day, especially your weight. With IWM technology a workout can be programmed based on even subtle weight changes as little as 0.22 lbs. (0.1 kg). Intelligent weight management takes into account:
- Calories burned and your maximum aerobic capacity (VO2 max)
- Ideal weight based on Body Mass Index (BMI)
- Workout Intensity based on Maximum Heart Rate (HR Max)
So as your weight changes, the calorie target is adjusted to keep you on track with your fitness goals. The Daytona is a reasonably priced treadmill that comes with IWM.
How IWM Works
Before you get on the elliptical or treadmill, you step on the IWM wireless scale which – using Bluetooth technology – uploads your body’s data to the machine. A workout is instantly programmed, and you can make on-the-go modifications if you like. This process is repeated each time you step on the scale, and the calculations are done for you instantaneously.
For the advanced athlete, or if you like to create your own workouts, you can also program for:
- Interval training
- Endurance training
- Speed and explosive muscle reaction
- Total calories
- Recovery workouts
Plus, built in heart monitors allow you to train for a target heart rate.
Customs exercise machine programming adds tremendous versatility and value to your workouts. You don’t waste a single moment since all your efforts are programmed to get the best fitness performance and weight loss possible. Take advantage of these options to get great results.
Want to find out more?
Find out which elliptical machines and treadmills have the most advanced workout programming on the market today. Visit our exercise machine buying guide to find the best equipment for your weight loss and fitness needs.