Which Cardio Equipment Is Right For You?

older african american man exercising on a stationary bikeBefore you crack open your wallet and decide to buy a home cardio machine, you need to ensure that your new treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bicycle is an investment you’ll actually use not only now, but well into the future.

How To Get Started

Go to a specialty store. Just like with a good pair of walking or running shoes, it’s better to shop at a specialty fitness retailer — a store dedicated to selling only fitness equipment, where sales consultants have been trained in the products, according to Gregory Florez, spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise and CEO of FitnessAdvisor.com Health Coaching Services.

Don’t worry as much about the fancy stuff. “Don’t be dazzled by all the latest bells and whistles,” say Florez. “Sure, machine-mounted flat screen TVs are cool, but think of these features as nice-to-have extras that you don’t necessarily need. Instead, spend your money on better machine guts, such a sturdy steel frame, a comfortable design for your body, and smooth mechanics.

Double-check your available space. It’s also very important to assess just how much space is available for cardio equipment in your home. Before you buy, make sure to thoroughly measure your workout area to determine the footprint (the space a machine needs to safely fit in your home) you can accommodate. In addition to floor space, don’t forget ceiling height. A machine’s users should have enough overhead to comfortably and safely exercise. If you have limited space, here are some general guidelines to help you determine what type of machine is best for you: