It had been a long time since I set foot in a proper gym. My workout routine had been reduced and simplified down to running outdoors and kickboxing classes indoors at my local martial arts studio. So while I was beyond thrilled to be set free from my boot-cast in November, his suggestion of the elliptical trainer made me cringe. Sure, it’s low impact, but an indoor, stay-in-one-place workout? It was with great resignation that I trudged off to the gym on that first day.
Maybe it was the thrill of finally being out of the house after eight weeks, but it wasn’t so bad. From a rehabilitation perspective, it was not only good for low-impact cardio, but unlike the stationary bike, it also forced me to work on my balance, something that had deteriorated after a few weeks on crutches followed by lumbering around with an immobilized ankle. I don’t expect that I’ll stick with it once I’m cleared to pound pavement once again, but it’s been an excellent rehab tool.
The elliptical works by sliding the footrests along a smooth track in an elliptical motion. Depending on how steeply you angle the incline, it can be as mellow as a walk on a flat surface or as intense as stair climbing. I angled mine a bit too steeply in a recent workout and nearly sent myself tumbling off the back. I think my balance still needs a bit of work.
If going to the gym isn’t your thing, an elliptical is a fairly reasonable piece of home cardio equipment. Most are compact enough to fit into a spare bedroom, and I know from past experience that it doubles as a very effective drying rack when not in use.
* Photo by Vitabc (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons