I love varying my workouts to incorporate cardio, weight training and plyometrics. But most importantly, I like to vary where I do my workouts. I prefer to be outdoors as much as possible. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the gym I go to, but being outdoors offers me more of a “mental vacation” while I am working out verses working out in a gym. Most of the time I run, walk or bike while I am outside. But wouldn’t it be fun to put the elliptical machine outside just to change things up? Who hasn’t been on the elliptical machine at the gym? What a great overall body workout, but wouldn’t it be more fun if you could do it outside so you could enjoy the outdoors?

The first elliptical cross-training machines began popping up in the 1990s and quickly ranked among the most popular equipment in gyms and fitness centers across the nation. In fact, according to the Sport ing Goods Manufacturers As sociation, the use of elliptical trainers grew by 220 percent from 2000 to 2007. People gravitated toward the elliptical machines because they provided a vigorous workout that was less stressful on the joints than running on a treatdmill. But with running, people could choose running outdoors or indoors. Elliptical machines are only to be used indoors, until now! Check out the StreetStider.

The StreetStrider is basically, its an elliptical cross-trainer on three wheels designed to be ridden outdoors. The StreetStrider uses the movements of both the legs and the arms to meld the motion of jogging, cycling and cross-country skiing into one. The elliptical motion of the feet drives the chain, while the arms push on the Strider poles, adding extra torque to the rear wheel. Steering is accomplished by leaning the body into the direction you want to go.

A study found that exercise using the StreetStrider burned an average of 423 calories for 30 minutes (that’s 14.1 kcals per minute) in men, while women burned an average of 276 calories (9.2 kcal/min). Average that all out and you’re looking at the StreetStrider burning approximately 12.7 percent more calories per minute than traditional elliptical machines. Plus, on the regular elliptical you can offload some of your body weight onto the handrail supports. But with the StreetStrider you have to really actively engage your upper body, as well as maintain your body balance while you’re doing it.

So if you prefer exercising outdoors, like I do, and are looking for another option besides running or biking, try the StreetStider. You may find you get a better workout and you’ll be having fun too!