When it comes to getting in shape, cardio is king, but what is the best cardio machine?
First, you don’t even need equipment to start the process – but you will need it if you are serious about getting in shape.
When you enter most gyms, you will be presented with a wealth of cardio options – and the process of finding the right machine can be even more overwhelming if you are looking for something to use at home.
Figuring out the best cardio workout for your needs is going to be a matter of learning a bit more about the best cardio machine available.
Below are a few general types that you are likely to see.
Treadmills – the Best at Home Cardio Machines
There’s really not a better machine for exercise out there than the humble treadmill.
A simple device that allows gym-goers to walk as far and fast as they like without ever leaving the machine, it’s the easiest way to get cardio done in the entire gym. Treadmills are among the best cardio equipment because they’re so easy to use – almost anyone can jump on a machine, press a button, and get to work. These machines are also typically fairly low-impact, allowing even those who aren’t in great shape the chance to start exercising.
Treadmills are also the best at home cardio, because there’s simply so many of them on the market.
New or used, they are relatively affordable and there are many models that don’t take up that much space in the home.
If you’re looking for the best cardio equipment, you really don’t have to look elsewhere.
Elliptical – the Best Cardio Machine for Full-Body Workouts
If you have a desire to step your cardio game up a notch, one of the best cardio machines that you can choose is the elliptical.
You might consider this machine to be the treadmill plus – it still allows you to work out at a reasonable pace, but the shape of the machine and the addition of an upper-body element are more conducive to something that’s quite a bit closer to running. The elliptical is the quintessential warm-up and cool-down machine in most gyms, as its full-body workouts allows you to stretch out your muscles and get the blood pumping without requiring you to put too much stress on your body.
The elliptical isn’t quite as compact as some of the treadmills on the market, but it’s still a great at-home machine. It has the benefit of being a great deal quieter than a treadmill, making it ideal for those who live in apartments.
If you’re looking for a wonderful full-body cardio workout, this is probably the machine for you.
Stationary Bikes – Low-Impact Cardio Workout
If you want all the benefits of riding a bike without having to strap on a helmet, this might be the best cardio workout for you.
Stationary bikes have long been a big part of the gym world, and for good reason – they are a low-impact way to help people enhance their cardio workout, and they take advantage of a motion familiar to most gym goers. In fact, it is that familiarity that makes these bikes so popular – if you’ve ridden a bike as a child, you already know what you’re getting into.
Stationary bikes aren’t quite so fun at home, though, with their rather large size making for a huge investment.
Bikes really shine in a social environment, so they tend to be recommended more for those who want to attend classes.
Still, they don’t represent a bad way to lose weight.
Rowing Machines – the Most Intense Cardio
The rowing machine, as its name suggests, is a product that’s designed to emulate the process of rowing a boat.
It’s perhaps the most intense cardio machine out there, and it’s also one of the most rare (ref.). Many gyms have stopped carrying these machines, but those that do often find them sitting empty. It’s not due to the fact that the machines don’t work – it’s just due to the fact that they’re hard to use.
If you know how to use a rowing machine, you’ll burn calories faster than anyone else.
If you don’t, though, you can end up hurting yourself.
Rowing machines are really best suited for home use, particularly for those individuals who are participating in rowing sports. They’re fine for cardio, but they’re really more of a full-body workout than most might need. If you’re looking for a challenge, though, one of these machines might suit you.
So what’s the best cardio equipment?
For most, it’s going to come down to a choice between the treadmill and the elliptical. Both machines can provide you with a great workout, and both are relatively easy to use at home. It’s going to come down to a personal preference between the two, as the elliptical tends to be a bit more effective but the treadmill is a bit easier to use.
No matter what you choose, though, stepping up your cardio game is a great way to get in better shape.
P.S. What the best cardio machine, really is, is a machine that you are looking forward to use! :-)