Girl on Cardio Equipment

Choosing the Best Cardio Equipment

When you’re in the market for new cardio equipment, choosing the best options can be daunting.  How do you choose what’s the best fit for you?  You know you’re trying to burn calories, get your heartrate up, stay fit and at the same time, make sure the impact on your joints isn’t too much.  How do you balance all of these factors?

Focus on what’s important for you
When looking at cardio equipment options, consider what you’re looking for in a workout.  Do you want low-intensity or high-intensity?  How much space do you have available?  Are you going to be a multi-tasker, wanting to catch up on news and TV shows while on your favorite piece of equipment, or do you just want to put your head down and listen to music while you tear through a workout?  Finally, what type of workout have you enjoyed the most in the past?  Even though treadmills are a great workout, if you get more enjoyment out of an elliptical or bike, that’s the way you should go.  Ultimately, whatever cardio equipment is going to be used by you most frequently is the best one for you.  

Cardio equipment, compared
First of all, make sure you’re looking at a high-quality brand with a reputation for sturdy machines.  You won’t want to work out on a flimsy piece of equipment.  Start by looking at Life Fitness, Matrix Fitness, Cybex, Octane Fitness, Vision Fitness, and Horizon Fitness, among others.  The treadmill is great at burning calories at higher intensity settings, and is highly flexible, tailored to not only fast runners but joggers and walkers, too.  Stair steppers can be a great way to get your heartrate up and get a higher-intensity, more serious workout.  Stationary bikes are a classic standard of home gyms, perfect for everything from light cycling and heavy interval workouts, and with a recumbent bike you can sit lower and really focus your workout on your legs.  If you’re looking for a low-impact exercise, look no further than ellipticals, which require very little impact on your joints.  

For multi-taskers and entertainment-seekers
Do you tend to get bored on exercise equipment?  Look for cardio equipment that gives you an opportunity to multi-task.  Modern cardio equipment often comes with advanced displays, like the Matrix Fitness A50 Ascent Trainer XIR Console, with a 16” HD display giving easy access to entertainment.   You’ll also find new options from brands like Inmovement that let you work while you walk on the treadmill, giving you the potential to knock out your cardio time while in your office or home office!

The short answer
If after reviewing your options you’re still unsure of where to start, it may be helpful to consider a treadmill or stationary bike, some of the most consistently popular, simple, and accessible pieces of cardio equipment.  Both are exceedingly customizable to your preferred level of intensity, at once suitable for absolute beginners and season fitness veterans.  One of these pieces of equipment is often the perfect start to a modest home gym, and can be expanded on as you consider other workouts to add to the equation.  

Try before you buy
At the end of the day, you need to feel 100% comfortable with whatever piece of equipment you’re putting into your home.  You’re going to be using it multiple times a week, and it’s difficult to know from browsing equipment specs how a certain brand or piece of equipment fits you best.  Consider going to a fitness equipment store to try equipment before you buy it.  All American Fitness is San Jose’s first stop for trying out cardio equipment, getting the feel for it, asking questions to our expert staff and getting comfortable before going home with it.  We look forward to seeing you!