Thursday, May 27, 2010

Reasons for liking the elliptical machine

Today's workout (elliptical): 25 minutes

I was tempted to rest easy this morning and simply enjoy a long cup of coffee as I watched the news. After all I'd just been through a long day of meetings and travel, the temperature at 4:00 AM was 80 degrees and I was coming off two days of 4+ mile runs. I had gone to bed expecting to do an elliptical session in the morning and I worked the pluses and minuses of rest vs. exercise in my head as I poured a cup of coffee. The air was so humid I was already sweating so I decided that if I was going to sweat it should be for a reason.

I like my weekly elliptical sessions for a number of reasons. First, the machine is self powered so I don't feel the pressure to keep up with a pace defined by a motor. I can also close my eyes and move into an alpha state without fear that I'll slip and fall as I might on the treadmill. Third, no motor means quieter operation. I can watch the news and actually hear the sound of the speaker at a volume that doesn't wake other family members. Perhaps most importantly, the elliptical workout is ephemeral. Once I'm done there's no summary or update to Garmin Connect. This allows me to go as fast or slow as I wish without feeling like I'm keeping score. The machine gives you many metrics while it's in operation but once the power goes off the numbers are gone and forgotten, leaving nothing but sweat and a great feeling of accomplishment.

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