Last Updated on June 22, 2021 by JP
The heart rate is probably the most important vital that you ought to keep an eye on when training simply because it’s related to and affects all other vitals. That includes blood pressure, breathing rate, etc.
Consequently, if anything goes wrong with it, you need to immediately step off your elliptical and seek medical aid.
The number of people who suffer from cardiovascular problems because they’ve ignored the level of their heart rate during exercise is scary, to say the least. We certainly don’t want you to be one of them.
Before jumping on your elliptical, you must guarantee your safety internally and externally. That is, mainly, the reason behind the screen and all of the sensors that read your vitals.
Hence, you can keep an eye on these vitals and quickly seek help if they get out of hand. It’s the normal thing for your heart rate to spike when you’re exercising, but everything has a limit. So, how do you know the limits of your vitals?
We’ll explain how to calculate your maximum heart rate that you shouldn’t go over, even if you’re exercising as hard as you can and giving it your all.
For males, it’s a simple equation. You’ll subtract your age from the number 220. Say you’re a 30-year old male, then your maximum heart rate will be 220-30. That is 190 ppm.
This means that no matter what kind of exercise you’re doing, not just the elliptical, your heart rate shouldn’t go above 190 ppm. Otherwise, you’ll be at risk of cardiovascular problems including, and not restricted to, heart attacks.
As for females, it gets a little bit more complicated than the males’ equation. First, you’ll need to find out what 88% of your age equates to. So, you’ll multiply 0.88 by your age. Then you’ll take that number and subtract it from 206.
For instance, if you’re a 30-year-old female, then you’ll multiply 30 by 0.88, which will give you 26.4. Take this 26.4, and subtract it from 206, which will equal 179.6, approximately 180 ppm.
When you start getting your heart rate up during exercise, that’s when your body starts to burn calories, hit those fat stores and put them to work, build muscles, and increase your overall fitness profile.
Consequently, it’s essential that your workout increases your heart rate; but, going above your maximum heart rate is way too dangerous, and it’s simply not possible for you to keep your heart rate at one level, which is the maximum heart rate for you.
You also don’t want to go way below it so that you keep burning calories. The answer to that is finding your target heart rate, which is a specific range that’s malleable enough for you to stay within without crossing it by going higher or lower.
You calculate that through a straightforward equation. This range stands between 60% and 80% of your maximum heart rate. Figure out both of these numbers, and work your way between them.
How an Elliptical Helps You Reach Your Maximum Heart Rate
The thing about ellipticals is that they work almost your entire body in harmony, which tends to quickly bring up your heart rate and keep it there using a bunch of features.
First of all, you have resistance, which caters to muscle groups in your legs, backside, arms, shoulders, back, and even abs if you’re positioned correctly.
Secondly, you have the incline, which focuses on your gluteal muscles; hence, shaping, toning, and building up that entire area simultaneously. Plus, it works on your arms as well, almost as if you’re biking uphill with resistance.
Furthermore, you can utilize one of the preinstalled programs, which will help you break down your exercises to get even better results. If you want to dive deeper, you can even incorporate different workouts along with your electrical exercise.
So, you can choose to work on the elliptical for 10-20 minutes, jump off it and do a HIIT workout for another 10-20 minutes, then jump back on the elliptical again for 10-20 minutes. Finally, you can end with some aerobic exercises for whatever part of your body you wish to focus on, be it your abs, legs, arms, etc.
All of that’ll keep your heart rate up within the range that you want, as your body won’t get used to a certain exercise. Additionally, since the elliptical is mostly self-powered, jumping on and off it is pretty easy and practical.
In order to measure your heart rate, you have to entirely focus on the task at hand. That’s as long as you measure it with the manual method, which involves using your index, middle, and ring finger on the distal/left side of your wrist, or just your index and middle finger if you’re going for one of your carotids on your neck.
P.S.: Never measure your pulse through the carotid on both sides of your neck at once, as that could easily restrict the blood flow to your brain and cause you to faint.
Anyway, you need to jump off the elliptical, wait for a few seconds, then start measuring. Don’t worry; these few seconds won’t mess with your exercising heart rate; they’ll only help stabilize it a little bit.
Picking the Right Elliptical
If you’re aiming for having the best at-home workouts, and you’ve chosen to purchase an elliptical for that goal, then you must do thorough research. The market is chock-full with various models that boast amazing features!
Our advice is to go for newer models that offer wide ranges of resistance and incline so that you never run out of that and have no need to replace your machine anytime soon. Also, many workout machines nowadays come with big screens and virtual gym memberships.
Subsequently, you’ll have a trainer guiding you through what to do and what not to do; it’s almost like having a mini at-home gym. Speaking of screens, try to go for an elliptical that can measure many vitals on its screen. Also, ask around to know the level of accuracy of these vitals; most importantly, of course, is the heart rate.
Plus, for a more detailed overview, you can check out the Proform Elliptical reviews.
To wrap up, ellipticals are definitely some of the best machines used to get your heart rate up and keep it within your target heart rate. They exercise your entire body and can be used in any part of your everyday workout. You can use them to warm up in the beginning, wind down at the end, or even incorporate them in the main workout as your cardio session.