Sunday, November 22, 2009

Elliptical Machine

Hi y'all! This is my first post to this blog, and hopefully it's okay, Trish! I just had a really exciting day in exercise and I thought I'd share my experience. :)

I have struggled with my health for years, and in the last two years it's been particularly bad. I've been lethargic and unable to exercise for any long period of time. Even just walking for longer than, say, 15 minutes makes my lower back and hips hurt. I've tried stretching, all sorts of warm-ups, different shoes, different places to walk, and even monthly chiropractic visits, but for the last two years, I've been unable to keep up with exercise.

Two years ago, I bought a treadmill. I really tried using it. I liked the idea of being able to walk or jog in my house, because 3 months of the year I'm too allergic to mountain cedar to go outside, and another 3+ months of the year, the temperature hovers around 100 most of the day (not fun!). Unfortunately, the treadmill never worked for me. It hurt my knees and feet, in addition to my lower back and hips. Argh!

This is really frustrating to me. I used to be an athlete, a competitive swimmer, for years. It frustrates me to no end that just the tiniest bit of exercise now is near-crippling. In the last few weeks, I've hit an even worse block on this 100-mile fitness challenge: one of my feet was injured, so that the tendons can't have a lot of pressure placed on them. I honestly thought I was going to have to drop out of this challenge. Already I am woefully behind. But I thought I'd give it one more shot - my husband suggested we go out and get an exercise bike.

Today, we went out. But instead of an exercise bike, we wandered over to the elliptical machines. I've never used an elliptical, so I thought I should try some out. I got on several, and was surprised how easy they were to use, and how easy on all my joints and my feet. The really expensive ones didn't feel like I was moving at all! Of course, we couldn't afford one of the really expensive ones (I did not get the model pictured above...), but we did decide to invest in an elliptical. We got it home and Jason put it together for me.

Oh my. It's such a strange feeling. I just spent half an hour on there, and I feel good. I feel like I used to feel when I got out of the water as a swimmer. My whole body feels exercised, not just my legs, but at the same time, other than a bit of muscle soreness, I don't hurt. More than that, I feel energized! I feel like later tonight, I might get back on for another half an hour.

Of course, I'm not going too fast or using any resistance for now. I'm just beginning, so I'm trying to build up my strength. But I'm excited. I think this is going to work for me! After years of trying to find something that works for me, I really think this is going to work. Plus, despite being a lower-end model, my elliptical still lets me plug in my iPod and listen to music or an audiobook while exercising. I love it!

Okay, I'll go now, but I just wanted to say if you have access to one of these machines, at a gym or something, and you haven't tried it, you should. It's amazing. Though I have a lot of catching up to do, I hope to see all of you at the 100-mile finish line!


Anonymous said...

Go Amanda! That's awesome that you found something that works for you.

Sandy Nawrot said...

About five years ago, my husband invested in an elliptical machine for me for Xmas...a really good one. To this day I still love it. I don't hang towels on it. I have knees that have virtually no cartilage left in them, but the elliptical works for me. No pounding, no stress. I'm glad you found the exercise that works for you!

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

So Awesome Amanda! I love the elliptical machine as well and feel like it is much easier on my hips, knees, and especially feet. The machine is also great for targeting different parts of your lower body, particularly glutes which are my trouble area. I'm so glad that you've found something that will work for you and help you get to the finish line.

And THANK YOU for the post. :)

Amanda said...

You're welcome, Trish. It was very spur of the moment but I felt really good. :)

I hope it keeps working. I'm ready to jump back on it in the morning!

Shore Debris said...

I love the elliptical! I bought mine after an injury in 2003 (it was on sale at a K-Mart going out of business and I got it for $89). It is regularly used for my back up for walking (on those cold rainy days).

I'm so glad you have discovered it, too!

Kim Frazier said...

Wow, I am loving this challenge. I have been a Weigh Watcher for the past 20 months and walk in order to earn points so I can eat. I have lost 85 pounds and needed this challenge to keep me walking. This week I walked 29 miles to bring my total to 181 miles! Thanks for the motivation!

Joneric said...

Hi i made a new blog related to your topic and wondered if youd like to do a blogroll link exchange to help both of us out? is the site let me know!

Beth said...

Using an elliptical machine is a great way to stay in shape while not messing with your lower/upper back. I've noticed that my back pain after workouts is virtually gone!

Anonymous said...

I'm using Schwinn 420, I like that it's good to my knee.