For Burning Calories, Anyway
A Mayo Clinic study has determined that over any given timespan, using an elliptical machine burns about 16 percent more calories than walking. Moreover, the elliptical machine subjects the exerciser's joints to less impact stress. Specifically, a 160-pound individual would typically burn 365 calories per hour on the elliptical, compared to 314 calories while walking, and would also generate a force equal to 75 percent of the user's body weight on his or her knees and hips, compared to a force of 110 percent from walking. (A stair-stepping machine, by comparison, would burn 657 calories per hour.) In general, ellipticals help strengthen the user’s hip joints, lower back and midsection, while walking provides a better workout for the hamstrings, calves and ankles.
Brown Burns Fat
Brown fat, or fat cells with the ability to burn calories and generate heat, is present in babies and other infant mammals to help them stay warm. It was thought to disappear in humans after infancy. But now, several groups of researchers report in The New England Journal of Medicine that adults have some brown fat that, when activated by cold temperatures, can burn enormous numbers of calories. Researchers found that thinner and younger people have higher levels of brown fat and women have more of it than men. With this discovery, scientists hope to be able to “turn on” brown fat to aid in the battle against weight gain. Researchers know brown fat is activated by cold temperatures and certain hormones. A drug that turns on brown fat would affect energy output as opposed to appetite.