The elliptical reduces the impact on your body.
The elliptical machine imitates the motions of jogging, without the impact. This can make it an attractive option if you are recovering from an injury or experience pain from jogging. While the elliptical may be easier on your body it still provides a solid workout. A 60 minute elliptical routine can be equal to 60 minutes of jogging if done properly.
Using an elliptical for 60 minutes at a moderate to vigorous intensity can burn as many calories as 60 minutes of jogging.
Watch Your Intensity
Jogging is a vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When working out on an elliptical you can work out at a moderate or vigorous intensity. A moderate intensity keeps your heart rate at 50 to 70 percent of your maximum while vigorous exercise will bring your heart rate into the 70 to 85 percent range. Sixty minutes of vigorous-intensity elliptical work is equal to 60 minutes of jogging, but 60 minutes of moderate-intensity elliptical exercise is only equivalent to 30 minutes of jogging.
Feel the Burn
The calorie burn from the elliptical is about the same as running at the same perceived intensity, according to research published in the "Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research." The study found that participants burned an average of 569 joules, or 136 calories, in 15 minutes on a treadmill and 636 joules, or 152 calories, on the elliptical in the same amount of time. On average, that's about 64 more calories burned with 60 minutes of jogging than elliptical exercise. According to the researchers, this is not a significant difference. If you use the elliptical at the same perceived intensity that you jog for 60 minutes, you can expect either exercise to burn about the same number of calories.
Learn the Metabolic Equivalent
Many elliptical machines display your metabolic equivalent value. One MET represents your oxygen consumption at rest. If your elliptical displays two METs then you're using twice the oxygen you use at rest. You can compare the METs on your elliptical to jogging which is equal to eight to 12 METs at a speed of 6 mph. For instance, if your MET value is displayed as four, then you're using 30 to 50 percent of the oxygen that you would use jogging. If your MET value is in the range of eight to 12 then you're using the same level of oxygen as jogging.
Use Caution with Injuries
According to the website Competitor an elliptical is a low-impact alternative to running for athletes who are injured, but you need to be careful not to aggravate your injury any further. If you're using the elliptical as a cross-training method to recover from an injury, be sure to get clearance from your doctor. If you're new to jogging or elliptical exercise you should also check with your doctor before starting a program.