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Why Do Feet Go Numb on the Elliptical?

By Lisa M. Wolfe

If you're feet go numb on the elliptical machine and your doctor has eliminated any medical reasons, the tingling sensation is typically reduced by a few simple solutions. It may be because your feet remain in the same position throughout the elliptical workout. This can reduce blood flow to your feet and toes. Other reasons include shoes that are too tight, the angle of the elliptical pedals or your foot placement on the pedals.

Elliptical Design

An elliptical machine is a low-impact exercise that is easy on your knees and hips, but since you do not lift your feet, can cause foot numbness. Also, the limited range of motion on some elliptical pedals can contribute to the numb feeling by reducing circulation to your feet. If this happens, search for an elliptical made by a different manufacturer or one with pivoting foot pedals. Other ways to eliminate the numbness include wearing a slightly larger shoe to allow room for foot swelling, wiggling and lifting your toes periodically as you pedal, and changing your foot placement on the pedal from toes at the very front of the pedal to your heels at the back. You can also shift your weight from your heels to toes and back again, or try pedaling backward on the machine.

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