Although we have both an elliptical machine and a treadmill I very rarely use either. Since I’ve started running outdoors before work I have completely stopped using the treadmill and I’ve been using the elliptical sparingly, perhaps once a week, as a low impact alternative to a daily run. I love the idea of the elliptical, especially the fact that, unlike the treadmill, I can completely control the experience. The treadmill is loud and cacophonous and though I use the safety tether I’m always conscious of the possibility that a slight misstep will turn into a serious injury. I’ve been unbelievably fortunate to have had such a long string of early mornings without rain that would force me indoors.
The elliptical is self powered and far less dangerous and it theoretically helps build upper arm strength with a motion similar to cross country skiing. I’m not sure if that’s true or not but I’d like to believe it. The biggest problem I have with my elliptical is the quality of the unit itself. We spent some time selecting a machine. I did my due diligence and really liked a Schwinn model we’d tried at Dick’s but a visit to Fitness Showrooms seduced me into purchasing the “high end” BH Fitness X1 that was on sale for about the same price. From the beginning the X1 proved problematic. I wrote about the fact that the HRM just didn’t work and after three attempts to replace it I just gave up. The display itself was replaced three times and is still off center. The machine makes a loud banging-clicking sound that the Showroom Fitness tech could not fix. Not a surprise since the last time the display was replaced my wife needed to point out to him that the upper assembly was installed backwards. Now the machine is beginning to make different noises as though some key connection points are becoming loose. Rather than call the unqualified tech who will likely make it worse and then charge me because it’s no longer under warranty, I’ll see if I can resolve it myself.
In the meantime my wife uses the elliptical every other day and doesn’t complain. I used it this morning and did a few miles that felt like a decent workout. If I had to do it over I would have bought that Schwinn. But I’ll live with the BH Fitness, at least until it falls apart under me.