To the girls on the elliptical, I salute you. Do you! Wear your lululemon leggings and oversized college sports team super-fan shirts! Elliptical to the dulcet tones of Miley Cyrus while reading Betches Love This on your phone. There is nothing wrong with being basic and there is nothing wrong with the elliptical!
I will proudly proclaim it from the top balcony of the gym: I am sometimes the girl on the elliptical! I bring my iPad and watch The League while working up a sweat doing 60 minutes of the “Glute Sculpt Plus” pre-programmed workout. And this is nothing to be ashamed of. There is no right way to workout and to shame girls on ellipticals is to force an ideal of fitness that is not universal on others.
The elliptical, contrary to popular belief, can actually be a good workout. I would know. I spent 3 months building up my endurance on one and then was able to run 5 miles the first time I went outside. Regardless, a good workout is an extremely general term that really means nothing, because no two people are built the same. If someone doesn’t have the fitness abilities to run for an extended period of time, there is no reason to shame them for doing something that is more attainable for their level of fitness.
Those girls on the ellipticals, you don’t know their lives! They are people too, with back-stories and intrigue and trials and tribulations. Maybe they’re recovering from an injury and ellipticalling is the only form of exercise they can do (shame on you for judging them for just trying to stay in shape!), maybe they had a super intense workout yesterday and they’re ellipticalling today to recover/rebuild, or maybe they’re doing intervals on the treadmill and elliptical and you’re just catching them in between running reps.
Perhaps the girl on the elliptical is just getting into working out and she’s trying to build up her endurance, or maybe she just doesn’t like to sweat. Maybe she isn’t into working out, she doesn’t want to build up muscle and endurance and she’s just doing this to be healthy.
Whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter! The decision to elliptical is hers and hers alone. Choosing to get your ass off the couch and go to the gym is an action that deserves celebration, not judgment and snide remarks. In a country with a serious obesity problem, elliptical-shaming is the last thing we should be doing. We should be encouraging all forms of exercise, not attaching a stigma to certain types of working out. It takes all kinds of people to make the world go round and sometimes these people like ellipticals and Soul Cycle and talking about (but not actually eating) kale.
To all the judgmental people out there walking past the ellipticals with the weight of the world on their shoulders, I invite you to jump off your high horse, and join me on that weird little machine known as the elliptical. I guarantee that while you sprint in place, or stare at your face in the lifting mirror, I am having a much better time getting in shape while watching Netflix.