Cardio Machines Top-Sellers
Picking the right exercise machine
Having the ability to exercise at home is a major benefit and, for a lot of people, increases the chance that you'll actually workout. However, to make the most of your new equipment, it's important to carefully consider what you need before buying.
Cardio machine types
There are several different types of cardio exercise equipment available for at-home use. If you aren't sure whether one type is better than another for your needs, consider this information to narrow down your options. Keep in mind that these are the most common cardio machine types — if none of these sound good, you may find that other, less common machine types are more in line with what you're looking for.
- Treadmill: These machines are a good choice for those who want to walk, jog or run but would rather do so indoors. Experts generally recommend motorized treadmills, which have a machine-driven belt that allows the user to move at a set speed. You can also choose a manual treadmill, which moves at your speed and is generally less expensive, requires more energy to move and usually doesn't have the added features of motorized treadmills such as apps and built-in workouts. Features such as adjustable grade, emergency stop and a digital display can make treadmills safer and more useful. If you have joint pain issues or other mobility problems, a treadmill may not be the best choice for you.
- Elliptical: If you need a lower-impact exercise option than a treadmill, an elliptical might be the right choice. These machines generally have handles, which means you can get an upper-body workout in addition to working your legs. Ellipticals with adjustable resistance and grade settings provide the most versatile workout.
- Bike: Exercise bikes, whether recumbent or upright, can be a good option for some people who want a cardio workout at home. Though they don't provide the bone-health benefits of weight-bearing machines that require users to stand, bikes do allow for an effective cardio workout and can be a better choice for users who have trouble staying balanced while standing.
- Stepper: Stair climbers can provide a good cardio and lower-body workout, but they do put a lot of strain on leg joints, including the knees. If you find the idea of climbing a flight of stairs to be tedious, this probably isn't the right machine for you.
Deciding on the type of machine you want to buy is just the first step to making the right purchase decision. Think about these factors to make sure you choose the right model.
- Available space: Some exercise machines are rather bulky, so if space is at a premium in your home, be sure to measure the available space you have, and look at overall dimensions for the machines you consider. Some cardio machines are designed for small-space use and feature folding parts for easy storage, which can be a good option for those living in small houses and apartments. Keep dimensions in mind for delivery as well. Measure hallways and door frames to make sure the machine can get into the room you're thinking of using as your home gym if it's being delivered assembled.
- Fitness goals: Thinking about your fitness goals can make it easier to determine which specific machine is right for you. For example, if you want to be able to train for a bike race during inclement weather, try to find an exercise bike that has a similar setup to your racing bike. If you want a versatile machine that your whole family can use, a treadmill or elliptical that has built-in programs and features like a TV screen might be nice.
- Personal preference: Ultimately, it's not necessarily important to exercise in the perfect way. So long as you're taking care and avoiding injury, any type of exercise that safely raises your heart rate can be effective. Any exercise is better than no exercise, in other words. If you hate running, don't buy a treadmill just for the sake of it. Get a machine that allows you to do an exercise that you find enjoyable.
- Weight capacity and user dimensions: Individual exercise machines may have a weight capacity, meaning that heavier people might want to pay attention to these limits as they shop. If you're particularly tall or otherwise have a wide stride length, you might also want to make sure that the machine is designed with users your size in mind. This means finding out whether exercise bikes have adjustable seats or looking at the dimensions of a treadmill's belt to ensure a good fit.