Essential Elliptical Trainer Accessories

You’ve purchased your new elliptical trainer. You’ve assembled it, made the commitment to train on it 4 times a week for 30 minutes, and you’ve even purchased the latest pair of high-tech cross training shoes. Congratulations! You’re well on your way to attaining a new level of health and fitness. But let’s be sure that you’re not forgetting anything that could enhance your elliptical training experience.

There are many training accessories that we often take for granted when working out at a health club: things such as TVs, piped-in music, water bottle holders, book and magazine racks, heart rate monitors, and the list goes on. It’s often a different story when setting up an elliptical trainer in your home.

Below is a list of accessories to consider to enhance your elliptical training:

* Magazine and bookracks -- many elliptical trainers come with a built-in bookrack. However, this may be nothing more than a small ledge on the console that is not capable of holding more that a few sheets of paper. There is a large variety of bookracks to choose from that slip over the elliptical console and can hold even the largest of hardback novels.

* Hydration-Pak -- Some elliptical trainers are fitted with a water bottle holder, but the location may be awkward to access. Nathan has an ingenious concept called a Hydration-Pak. It is essentially a fanny pack that holds a water bottle and also has pockets for an MP3 player and nutrition bottle. All within easy reach during your elliptical workout.

* Heart Rate Monitor -- Again, many elliptical trainers come equipped with a heart rate monitor. There are two basic kinds –- a wireless chest strap variety and ones that are built-in to the handle grips. The wireless models tend to be more accurate. If your elliptical trainer is Polar-compatible you can purchase a third party Polar-compatible heart rate monitor and it will work with your elliptical. This is great for ellipticals that use the heart rate monitor to control resistance.

* MP3 Player -- if you like to workout to music and you don’t want to disturb the rest of your household, then this is the way to go.

* Weight Set -- an elliptical trainer is primarily a cardio training device. Sure, you can tone up your arms and legs, but it’s an aerobic exercise whereas muscle building is anaerobic. For a very small investment, you can purchase an adjustable weight bench and a pair of adjustable dumbbells and add weight training to your exercise program. This will not only buff up your physique, but will greatly assist you in fat burning since lean muscle burns more calories while at rest.

* Training Log -- it’s easy to get complacent about your exercise routine. Don’t just go through the motions each time you workout by doing the same pace at the same resistance level for the same amount of time. It should be progressive and the best way to achieve this is to record your training sessions in an exercise training diary. Download a free exercise training diary and use it to keep both your elliptical and weight training programs on track.

You may not need every elliptical trainer accessory in the list, but use it as a starting point and recheck it periodically as you advance in your elliptical training routine. You may find that some of the items begin to look a little more essential.

Visit our Fitness Shop and have a look at our recommended elliptical trainer accessories.