If you think you are perfectly ready to shed those excess pounds and get into shape but are at the same time concerned about your knees and other joints, a cross trainer should be your prime consideration. A cross trainer, also known as an elliptical, is a fitness device designed to stimulate the motion of riding a bike and walking. Since it provides the user with fluid movements, there is no risk of suffering injuries, as opposed to using, say, a treadmill. This is mainly because, when using a cross trainer, you keep your feet resting on the pedals while moving your arms and legs only. On the other hand, when using a treadmill, your feet will always pound on the track, thus risking injuries.
Great for those with joint problems
Using a cross trainer can be quite helpful, even more for some individuals than others. For instance, if you are having problems with your ankles or bad knees, running or using a treadmill can be quite painful and risky. However, when using a cross trainer, your joints will not be under great pressure and stress, due to smooth, not jolting, movements. This is also especially important for those individuals that have serious weight issues, as they are most prone to all kinds of joint issues.
Affordable and convenient
Another great benefit of cross trainers is the fact that they are quite affordable, widely available, and convenient for home use. You can easily purchase one, put it pretty much anywhere in your home and work out at your leisure. This is excellent for those days, when you cannot exercise outside due to the adverse weather conditions, or when you simply cannot make it to the gym.
Not for everyone
However, it is also worth mentioning that a cross trainer is not favored by some people. For example, if you are one of those people who dislike the feeling of running without getting anywhere, you will perhaps be better off running outdoors. If that is the case, you should probably avoid exercise bikes or treadmills as well. One the other hand, if you do have problematic joints and ankles, but still dislike the motion provided by a cross trainer, perhaps you should take up swimming, which will not put up great pressure and stress on your joints.
Buying a cross trainer
If your decision is to purchase a cross trainer, start by determining your budget. Just like the treadmills, the most advanced and expensive types feature some exercise problems, big LCD screens, plug-ins for MP3 players and so on. However, if you want to save some money, you should probably look for more basic models, which feature a smaller number of programs and smaller screens. If you want to know more about various cross trainer models, their specifics and prices, you should visit specific sites, like Elliptical Home, for more info.
Fortunately, these days, almost every gym has some cross trainers, thus allowing you to test them out before making your purchase properly. This way, you can familiarize better with a device, and see if it fits your needs and requirement, which will ultimately allow you to make the best purchase.