Monday, March 10, 2014

Product Review: Gazelle Edge


If you work with me or have read any of my books, you already know that cardio is essential to weight loss, fitness, and chronic disease prevention. Research is now telling us that we need to do a lot more of it than any of us originally thought. If weight loss in particular is your goal, cardio simply has to be a daily part of your routine. 

Going to the gym sounds great, but I can’t say that I have seen it work long term. In fact, in 15 years of working with weight loss clients, I can name one client who consistently got to the gym every single day to hit her cardio goal. Life just seems to get in the way. The only answer is to have a piece of cardio equipment in your home.

Enter the Gazelle Edge. This is a glider, which is very similar to an elliptical trainer, and is sold on amazon.com. I can’t say enough about it. Here are some of the great features:

1) It is low impact and very easy on the joints. 

2) It is light and folds up for easy storage against a wall or even under a bed. This makes it perfect for those in apartments or for those that don’t want a piece of gym equipment prominently displayed in their home.

3) It is inexpensive. Amazon sells it for about $120 with free shipping.

4) Having the Gazelle at home makes getting your cardio minutes a snap. Put it in front of your flat screen, and TV time becomes exercise time. You can talk on the phone while on the Gazelle. When your balance gets really good, you can even read on the Gazelle. 

5) It works! The majority of my clients use it as their primary source of cardio (as do I) with amazing weight loss results.

*Always remember that whenever you are starting or changing your exercise program, it is important to talk to your doctor first to get medical clearance.

Over the years I have gotten a lot of questions from my clients on how to best use the Gazelle Edge. In this next section, I’ll answer them for you.

Should I use the arms?

No! In fact, I recommend taking the arms off altogether. I want you to focus on the larger muscles of the lower body and not your arms. Also, with the arms off, you will be free to hold the TV remote, a book, or your tablet. If you need to hold on for balance in the beginning, you can keep your hands on the side of the machine.

How can I prevent the Gazelle from sliding around while I’m working out?

If you place the Gazelle on a hardwood floor, it can move around a bit during your workout. To prevent this, use the Gazelle in a carpeted room. If this isn’t an option, a thin yoga mat underneath it will help a lot. I actually use a yoga mat on top of the carpet to keep the machine from leaving indentations on the carpet.  This combination reduces movement 100%.

Initially, I feel like I’m not working out hard enough, am I doing something wrong?

When you first start using the Gazelle, you will not be entirely balanced and comfortable. This tends to slow down your pace. It is common to feel like you are not getting a great workout at this time. After a couple of weeks, your balance will improve and you will be able to greatly pick up the pace. The key is to take long, fluid strides, kind of like cross country skiing on one of those Nordic Track’s from years ago. Also, swing your arms as if you were running quickly.

Can I do anything else to pick up the intensity?

For most people, following the above recommendations will get their intensity to the proper level to improve fitness and lose weight. However, if I have a client that is a bit younger and healthy, I’ll recommend interval training to ramp up the intensity. 

I’ll have them start out their cardio at the normal intensity for 4½ minutes, and then sprint for 30 seconds. I’ll have them repeat this 4 or 5 times during their workout. This is a great way to increase intensity and burn more calories. The sprint does not have to be maximal, just a clear increase in speed for 30 seconds. If a client is overweight or has cardio-metabolic risk factors, such as hypertension or high cholesterol, I don’t recommend interval training, since the increased intensity can spike heart rate and blood pressure.

So there you have it. If attaining your cardio goals has been a problem for you, the Gazelle Edge is a low cost and effective solution.

To learn more about the Gazelle or to pick one up: click here.

 

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