Most of my waking hours during the weekdays are spent sitting in front of the computer. When I started this journey of losing weight, I knew I wanted to incorporate as much exercise as I sensibly could. If you read my post about the importance of exercising you already know how exercising is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle and dieting regime. The more you exercise (within reason of course) the more you curb your appetite, feel good about yourself, and burn calories and fat. As I spend so much time sitting at a desk, I started searching for something that would help me utilize the time for exercising as well.
At first, I was looking at those expensive desk treadmills (something like this – Lifespan Treadmill Desk), but I quickly realized these would not be a good choice for me because of space and money constraints. I continued looking for other ideas, and after browsing different categories on Amazon (hey, almost everything I buy is on Amazon!) I discovered this mini elliptical machines. You basically sit down on a chair and paddle with your feet. Simple, convenient and easy to implement. I chose this specific model because it seemed very sturdy, and it seemed as if you could do it both sitting down and standing up. There are a lot of other options as well, some are much cheaper, for example, this model.
My verdict: this is an excellent, excellent way to get some lite exercise done, even when you have to be at your desk. This solves another problem – sometimes when I sit for a very long time and forget to take movement breaks, my feet start going numb. The little exercise machine makes sure my blood flow all the way to the feet. I never tried using it stranding up as I had originally planned, I just don’t trust my balance. The weight limit is 250 lb though, so you could definitely give it a try standing up if you’re under the limit. You can change the resistance by turning a knob, which is a nice feature. This thing also comes with an electronic monitor tracks strides, exercise time, and calories, but honestly, I never bothered with it. I am using my Fitbit to make sure I walk at least 10,000 a day, and anything, like the exercise with this elliptical, would just be a nice extra.
One caution though; make sure that you have a chair that can be raised up. I tried this at first with a chair that had a broken mechanism for lifting the chair up and down. After a while, my knees started to ache, as I was sitting too low. You will need to set the chair higher than usual when you’re exercising, as your feet are now resting on something higher than the floor. A reviewer on Amazon posted this guideline, so you might want to consider it:
“Sit down at your desk with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. If your feet aren’t flat on the ground, lower your chair until they are. Now measure the distance between your knee and the desk (measure to the bottom of the workspace area, to see how much distance you have before your knees knock up against the desk when you lift them). If you measured 7 inches or more, you are fine and can get this thing with no problem. If you measured less than seven inches, take off your shoes and try again. When I took off my shoes, I had a seven inch gap. Generally, the highest your knees will go is 27.5 inches from the ground. My desk is 28 inches from floor to the bottom panel of the workstation, so I never knock my knees.”
Once you are done exercising, you can put the trainer with your feet away from you to another area bellow the desk, and you’re done!