Choosing Cardio Machines
In-home aerobics equipment
If you have enough free space in your home to devote an entire room to fitness equipment (and enough money or credit to do it) you can skip the step of choosing which machine is for you and go right to choosing which model you want from each category.
Most people have space and money limitations, which means they’ll have to choose one big piece of equipment and stick to their choice for years to come. That’s why it’s important to know what’s out there and what’s best for you.
What are your goals?
If you just want a cardio machine to use in front of the television, you probably have no idea where to start. Basically, each piece of equipment can offer you different rewards and downfalls. Some people think treadmills are the best cardio machines around, while others find they love the smooth ride they can get with an elliptical.
Deciding which you prefer might involve getting a guest pass at a local gym and trying a few of them out.
- Bicycles[Stationary Exercise Bikes] - Great for people with joint problems who want a low-impact workout and even better for a spot by the TV. It’s especially easy to focus on something else, like a book, when you’re on a recumbent bike.
- Treadmills - Today’s treadmills are a lot more fun than in the past. They have a wide range of speeds and more challenging programs and inclines. They are still the number one choice in cardio equipment.
- Elliptical trainers - The low-impact fluid movement and possibility for a total body workout makes elliptical trainers a hands-down winner for some.
- Rowers - Rowing machines provide a cardio workout that focuses on the upper body, core and lower body. They do require some practice to use the correct form however, and stress on the back is possible.
Check the warranty
Especially if you’ve paid a few months’ salary for your machine you’ll want to make sure it’s going to last. Ask how long the warranty is and what parts of the machine it covers. It doesn’t hurt to do some research online to find out what problems are typical of your model. Then you can be reassured the warranty actually covers the parts that wear out fastest.
A good warranty should include labor as well as parts, and the more you pay for the machine the longer the warranty should last.
Most companies will offer about a one year warranty on labor. If there are any reasons a warranty could be voided, such as using the machine in certain situations (which you intend to) or not keeping up with maintenance (which you may not), it might be a good idea to look for equipment that doesn’t require as much care.