Cardio exercises assist you to increase your heart rate by targeting the large muscle groups. This is why most cardio workouts involve upper thigh workouts – even as simplistic as walking and running. Once a moderate level of fitness is reached, we can’t get the same cardiovascular benefits just through leg movements and so the arms are engaged to keep your heart pumping and calories burning.
The categories of home exercise equipment we use for cardio exercises are listed below. If you own these machines and aren’t seeing as much progress, try incorporating arm exercises or increasing the speed of use to take your fitness to the next level.
- Treadmill – Studies showing that exercise on the treadmill is superior over most other fitness equipment. You can adjust the settings to suit your fitness level or energy level in the workout. You’ll be able to walk, jog or run from the comfort of your own home regardless of the weather outside your door.
- Stationary Step Machine – This class of home gym equipment burns calories, tones and enhances hips, legs and butts. You’ll also hear them called stair climbers and some come with an electronic display showing you (amongst other things) how many calories you have burned during your workout. Not recommended for the overly obese range or for those with weak joints.
- Stationary Bike – Bikes without wheels that you can plant in front of the television set or computer to get a quick workout in at any time. Perfect for the home gym that doesn’t have much room to spare. According to recent studies a 30 minute workout on a stationary bike per day will maintain your current fitness level while conditioning your heart for more.
- Elliptical Trainer – One of the most popular home gym exercise equipment available. The perfect home workout for anyone with stiff or weak joints.
- Rowing Machine – Intense cardio workouts for moderate to hard core athletes. Easily folded and stored under a bed or in a small closet making them an excellent choice for a home gym. Some models have electronics to display and store calories burned, intensity of the workout or speed.
If you’re setting up your home gym for the first time and you aren’t sure which piece of equipment you want to buy first, I suggest getting a visitor pass to a professional gym or a one-month membership. Try out the equipment and see which one suits your style and needs best before committing to the purchase. Be sure to read our reviews (currently we are working through the treadmill models) and check out our current sales. Pedometers.org checks for the best deals online and factor in shipping costs and warranties to ensure you get the best value at the lowest final price.
For many of us there are two primary places to work out – through a gym membership or in a home gym with fitness machines.
When you first contemplate taking control of your health and fitness, the thought of working out in a public gym with all those muscular and able bodies is daunting. So why not buy some home fitness machines and begin your weight loss at home?
But wait! Before you shell out a big investment in equipment there are a few points I want to warn you about to help you make the best selection for your needs and goals. And, I’ll even save you future hassles and money in the process. Every week I watch the national flyers and evaluate costs and products, factoring in shipping or delivery, warranties and durability. That is why you’ll find my purchase recommendations change so often – I’m looking after you.
Let’s first cover the basics and then I’ll show you the best deals based on my review.
- Performance and Quality – Even though I can help you find the best price, based on manufacturer’s suggested retail, you will always get what you pay for. Home fitness machines are available in three levels of quality but the variances in price between mid-range and top-notch aren’t drastic. So I suggest you buy the best that you can afford and end up with equipment that lasts or has resale value once you decide to start working out at the gym. Suggested Treadmills: Nautilus T514, (more coming soon).
- Intended Usage – When you buy an exercise machine, choose the one that you’ll be most excited about to use. Do your best not to let price, color or salesmen sway you. With a firm budget and necessary features in mind, don’t sway or be persuaded by commercials.
- Home Gym Space – If the area you’ve designated for home gym space is restrictive, make sure that your new exercise equipment will work in that space. Look for machines that fold away (and be sure to check the folded size) so you can do other exercises like free weights or yoga as your body transforms.
- Based on Your Personal Needs – Are you a senior? Morbidly obese? Suffering from past sports injuries? These are all factors to consider before setting up the home gym. Previous injuries and other health situations may require a pre-consultation with your medical doctor or at least a fitness trainer. As an example, if you have weak knees you might not be suited for a stair climber. Another? Those with bad backs probably shouldn’t jump right into cross-country ski machines or rowers.
- Safety Features – Aside from built in heart rate monitors and such, consider other safety features if children will ever have access to your home gym.
- Difficulty Factors – It can be tricky to match the machine to your needs today and your needs in the future. You don’t want to choose expensive exercise equipment that is too difficult to master but on the other side of the coin you don’t want to choose one that you’ll outgrow in a month’s time. Shop for, and purchase, home gym equipment that matches your current skill level but has enough features to challenge you later as well.
- Warranty – I can’t stress this point enough. Home gym equipment takes a beating when you’re dedicated to being fit or losing weight. It has to be tough enough to stand your eagerness or at least well warrantied to have the equipment fixed for free if it breaks down. The only items Pedometers.org approves of has a minimum 5 year warranty on frames and motors. I don’t suggest settling for anything less.