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Heart Health and Elliptical Trainers

by Kurt M. Ontiveros,

Caring for Your Heart is an Everyday Thing

It takes one to know one. My friend of 18 years has passed on her old elliptical trainer to me, seeing as how her daughter gave her a more state-of-the-art model with all the bells and whistles.

We both suffered from heart attack at the ripe old age of being in our late 60s. Who knew that, despite our trying to live a healthier lifestyle, we would still be victims of this traitorous disease?
She was the one who first suffered from a mild heart attack.

We barely saw each other for a month after her heart attack because her daughter had her live temporarily in another state to care for her better.

When she came back, she presented me with the elliptical trainer as a gift. I myself have already suffered from a heart attack then.

It came out of nowhere. I wasn't emotionally or physically stressed, I didn't have anything heavy to eat - in fact, I was utterly relaxed, knitting while talking with a friend over a speaker phone.

My feet were propped up in an ottoman and I was sitting on the floor in front of the sofa - when a sharp pain shot from my arm.

I though that my arm only slept because I have been knitting for quite sometime, but it was more than that. The pain went from my upper arm, seemingly straight to my heart.

My friend who fortunately was still on the other line heard my gasp of pain - and thankfully her house was close enough to come over. She's also the one who called 911.

When I came to, I was already in the hospital with several IVs in my arm.

My doctor said that I suffered from a heart attack. He explained to me how, for every heart attack that you suffer, a part of it will definitely be damaged. To prevent another one from coming, I was
advised to get as much physical exercise as I can.

I wasn't overweight or anything, but I guess I'm not getting as ample physical activity as a woman my age should be getting. A week later, my other friend came back from her recovery/vacation at her daughter's house, and that was when I received the elliptical trainer as a gift.

In addition to my using that about two or three times a week, we also take long walks in the morning. I try to do as much work in the garden as I can and when my daughter walks her dog in the afternoons, I go along with her.

It seems like if you want to keep heart attack at bay, you need to care for your heart's health on a daily basis. If you don't want to suffer the same fate that my friend and I fortunately triumphed over,
get as much physical exercise as your body would allow.

Nothing beats the feeling that you have a daily routine to follow which will allow you to care for your heart's health. Don't wait for a heart attack to come before you do anything about your lack of
physical exertion. If you do, a heart attack may be the last thing that you expect to happen to you, but it could anyway if you're not careful.


What are the basics of a worthwhile elliptical training regimen ?

If you donít have a significant number of pounds to shed off but you would like to develop stronger arms and legs, you can probably do targeted exercises for these areas. According to most elliptical manufacturers, you will be able to shed off a maximum of 720 calories in an hour of work out.

The actual number of calories that you will burn during one hours will still depend on any of the following factors:

  • Interval training: I recommend starting 20 minutes a day and then increase duration up to 40 minutes. Change duration each month and gradually
  • Settings of the elliptical trainer: I suggest You use the low-medium resistance
  • Upper body usage: If You use your arms You'll burn more calories
  • Your cardiovascular system Ė whether youíre a fitness enthusiast or if itís your first time to exercise.
  • Your gender and weight: Female and overweight tend to consume fewer calories.

What to look for in an elliptical trainer, and what to avoid ?

Price is one of the most important things to look for. As with anything, you get what you pay for: High quality, duration and low maintenance require high price (more then 1,000 $)

You may also want to look for:

  • Stability and a fluid motion
  • Quiet operation
  • A comfortable stride that is appropriate for your height
  • A variety of programs
  • The ability to change the resistance


About the Author

Kurt M. Ontiveros writes for a blog focused on his heart attack story to help people understand how and why they should train for prevention. He writes on Elliptical Exercise Machines to help people train at home to prevent heart diseases.


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