Let’s face it: Getting back into working out isn’t always easy. We want to be able to run miles, stay in the gym a little longer, and keep going to that cool new workout class. We set pretty high goals a little too quickly, sometimes, and I find that putting too much pressure on yourself sometimes only ends up keeping you on the couch.

Well, I have an answer to these issues: the old faithful elliptical. You might not want to hear this, but this classic machine can make big changes in your workout life as you know it.

Why? Let’s discuss.

1. The elliptical is much easier on your back, joints, and body in general.
You may have heard this before, but the elliptical machine’s low-impact movement puts much less stress on your body. So if you’re having joint, back, or knee problems, this is the perfect way to continue to get your daily workout in without further injuring yourself.

2. It works your upper body, too.
The push-pull of the elliptical provides the resistance for your arms that a treadmill just won’t give you. And if you are using a Yowza Fitness model, such as the Yowza Miami, you’ll get the benefits of their patented CardioCore motion – rotating handles that target the core muscle groups. Ellipticals just got way better, right?

3. You can target which part of your body you want to focus on.
On most elliptical machines, you can choose from a variety of inclinations and resistances that will help you to target specific areas in the body. On models such as the Yowza Navarre Plus, you can simply adjust the motion with the push of a button to work just your lower body.

4. You can choose the pace of your workout.
Elliptical machines are totally great for their convenience of allowing shorter, intense intervals. For example, you might start off with your resistance on level 3 for about three minutes, then switch to level 7 for one minute, etc. On the Yowza Fitness Blog, I have a great beginner elliptical machine workout that focuses on resistance and building up your work/rest interval ratios.

5. You can do something besides listen to your iPod.
This might sound like a lame reason, at first. But I know in college when I had to study, yet had to go to the gym, the treadmill just wasn’t doing it for me. So, I had to find something where I could kill two birds with one stone. The elliptical machine’s low impact movement allows for you to multitask without sacrificing a workout. You can read without the words on the pages bouncing up and down, or even enjoy your favorite TV show without the sound of pounding down on a drive belt.

So there you have just a few reasons that the elliptical is not only a great machine to get back into a consistent workout routine, but to keep incorporated in your workout life. You can get quick, effective workouts in even with the craziest of schedules. So keep that New Year’s resolution and get some great legs in the process.