So you want to work out regularly, and you don’t want to go to a gym. Hiring home exercise equipment is an excellent solution!
You can get a great cardio workout on any of our machines. Some burn more calories, some incorporate strengthening, and some are low impact. So which one do you choose? Here’s a rundown of the pros and cons of each to help you make that decision.
The Elliptical, also known as the ‘Cross-Trainer’, is an all round exercise device that works in an upright circular motion. There are pedals for your feet and handles to hold onto. You control the pace by moving the pedals slower or faster. It’s designed to tone various parts of the body at the same time, rather than just focusing on one section.
Pros: the Elliptical is a low impact cardio workout. It strengthens your arms, shoulders and chest. Health benefits include bone strengthening, increased lung capacity and cardiovascular conditioning. It’s easier on the knees than running outside on concrete or a treadmill. The Elliptical is good for people that have knee problems or don’t particularly like running. You can increase the levels of resistance to make your workout more challenging.
Cons: It can be repetitive and a bit boring, so it may mean you cut your workout short. Most people like to listen to music or watch TV while using it. Since you’re in control, there’s a temptation to slack off, as opposed to a treadmill which keeps the same pace.
Treadmills are a popular exercise machine as they give a great cardiovascular workout and get the blood pumping. If you like running, then a treadmill is as close as you can get to running on the road and is less restrictive than a cross trainer. Calves, buttocks and quad muscles are all strengthened and toned by walking or running on a treadmill. You can achieve an even more challenging workout if you use the incline function.
Pros: Treadmills are easy to use and let you set your pace to your desired speed and programme a specific workout. They’re great for working out during the winter months when it’s dark outside, too. This makes them safer to use than running on the road, and you can listen to music and watch TV while doing so.
Cons: They can get repetitive but you can switch up your workouts with different speeds and inclines to make them more challenging.
No matter the weather or time of day, a stationary exercise bike offers a low impact cardio workout. You can use an exercise bike daily without worrying about undue stress on hips, knees and ankles as you might get from running. Riding an exercise bike will lower high blood pressure, and strengthen your heart.
Pros: Good for beginners who are new to working out or need to lose weight. Less impact on joints and using for just 30 minutes a day has great health benefits. Workouts can be increased in intensity as you get more stamina with magnetic resistance. Recumbent exercise bikes are good for people with bad backs or neck problems.
Cons: Exercise bikes burn less calories than the treadmill. They only work out the lower body, unlike ellipticals which target arms and upper back.