Before you invest a lot of money in a cardio machine for your home, it’s crucial to make sure you’re making the right choice. Ideally, you want to choose a high-quality machine you can afford that will last far into the future.
Below you’ll learn how to select the best cardio machine for your needs.
Visit a Fitness Retailer
There are many reasons to visit a fitness retailer to try out the machines before you buy one. Even if you end up buying online, visiting a retailer can provide you with quick answers to your questions from a knowledgeable staff. As you try out the machine, notice how it feels. Pay attention to the workout you’re getting rather than to the additional bells and whistles. A sturdy frame, a design that is comfortable, and a smooth ride are all very important.
What to Look for in a Treadmill
The first thing to pay attention to with a treadmill is the motor. A better motor will create a smoother run and last longer. Pay attention to the continuous horsepower rather than the peak horsepower, as continuous horsepower is a better indication of the machine’s capabilities. A 2.0 or higher continuous horsepower treadmill is a good place to start.
In addition, make sure the deck is large enough for running or walking as a deck that is too small can cause your form to suffer. Choose a deck that is around 80 inches long and 20 to 22 inches wide.
What to Look for in an Elliptical
The first thing to look for in an elliptical is an adjustable stride length. This will ensure that you can change the motion of the pedals so they fit your stride. These types of machines can be expensive, so if you’re on a budget, choose an elliptical with a stride length of 16 to 19 inches, which will work for short and tall users.
If getting an upper body as well as a lower body workout from your elliptical trainer is important to you, choose moving handlebars. If you’re more interested in just working out your legs, moving handlebars aren’t a necessity.
A great test you can do in the store is to try out an elliptical machine on its hardest setting. Even if you won’t use it at this level, if you notice creaks, wobbles, or loud noises at this level, choose a different option.
Choosing a Stationary Bike
Unlike treadmills, stationary bikes must be properly adjusted to ensure that you don’t strain your joints. If you have lower back pain, a recumbent bike can be a good choice.
If you are an outdoor cyclist, take spin classes, or want a bigger challenge, an upright bike is a better option. Look for an adjustable seat that you can slide up and down to fit your leg length as well as forward and backward to fit your torso. Also choose an option with toe straps you can adjust to keep the balls of your feet comfortable as you pedal.
In the store, ask someone to help you adjust the bike and make sure you’ll be able to easily adjust it by yourself.
Considering Extra Features
Once you’ve narrowed down your options to a few machines, you can think about the additional features that you need. Downloadable programs, well-positioned magazine racks and water bottle holders, and heart rate monitors are just a few of the features that may be important to you.
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