When it comes to buying a piece of Cardio Equipment there is a lot to consider. In general, there's no best piece of cardio on the market for everyone, it all boils down to the best piece of cardio for YOU. While cardio is proven to be great for weight loss and improving overall fitness levels, there's a lot more to consider when picking a machine.
It can be a daunting task trying to figure out which machine has all the features you desire to make it the perfect addition to your home gym. That's why we've pulled together this handy buying guide to help you decide.
Why Choose A Treadmill?
Treadmills offer a great cardio workout which is good for improving your heart health. Most Treadmills (with the exclusion of a Curved Treadmill) will run on a motor that offers a speed range so you can choose the intensity of your workout. Whether you're looking for a walk, a jog or a sprint, you decide. And unlike outdoor terrain which is unpredictable, you can choose the incline that suits your desired workout.
Most modern treadmills are designed with shock absorbers in the deck making running a lot easier on your joints (Treadmill running is supposed to take you away from the hard ground, so this benefit is essential).
One big factor to consider when buying a Treadmill is always space. Running may be your preferred choice of exercise but Treadmills are generally quite large in size (and for safety reasons they need clearance behind them) so this will need to be considered pre-purchase. A lot our Treadmills now feature Space Saving technology which allows them to be folded when they're not in use which helps reopen floor space.
Why Choose An Exercise Bike?
Unlike Treadmills, Exercise Bikes have no motor and therefore require the user to generate all the momentum. If cycling is your preferred method of exercise then an indoor Exercise Bike can offer you all the same benefits you get from cycling outdoors, while removing the dangers of traffic and other road users.
Most Exercise Bikes will offer a range of resistance levels which will allow you to increase or decrease the intensity of a cycle based on your fitness level. While the intensity of a bike can be easily adjusted, it's still up to you and the effort you put in to keep the wheel spinning.
If you're suffering from problems with your knees or back and the impact of running causes discomfort, then a bike is a good option for you. Bikes are very low impact machines and therefore help to reduce the risk of injury. Exercise Bikes come in both Upright and Recumbent designs which will offer different comforts levels depending on your needs.
In terms of space, exercise bikes are generally quite compact in design and most modern bikes have transport wheels making them easy to move for storage purposes when not in use.
Why Choose A Rower?
Just like Exercise Bike, Rowers run entirely on a users energy and momentum. Rowing Machines are in the unique position of offering both a cardio and a strength workout. By targeting a variety of muscle groups and incorporating both arm and leg movement in one fluid motion, the Rower offers a full body workout. The upright position required to perform the rowing motion is also great for your core.
The type of resistance offered by modern Rowers can vary between either Air or Magnetic. On a lot of machines nowadays there's options to increase or decrease the level of intensity through either a physical lever or digitally through the console. This allows the user to decide how tough they want their workout to be.
Rower though quite long in size, are generally designed with storage in mind. Most rowers will have a simple folding feature which allows you to free up floor space when not in use. On top of this, most modern rowers will have transport wheels to allow them to be moved conveniently while folded.
When it comes to a low impact workout, Rowers are up there with the best cardio machines. There is no better way to build power and endurance with a cardio workout than through the fluid, yet tough, rowing experience.
Why Choose A Crosstrainer?
Just like Rowing Machines and Exercise Bikes, Crosstrainers require the user to generate momentum from their movement. These machines are designed to mimic a natural walking/running motion which gives the user a more realistic feel to their workout. This natural motion is also fantastic for improving balance and mobiity.
The natural stride involves using both arms and legs moving in unison, this gives the user a full body workout. The fluid motion means there is no impact on your joints which helps to both prevent injury or assist in the recovery from an injury.
Like most cardio equipment, Crosstrainers will generally offer multiple resistance levels for varying workout intensity. Some Crosstrainers are also designed with an incline function for an even tougher experience.
Crosstrainers do tend to be quite large in size (smaller than a treadmill but larger than a bike), and it's not as common to find one designed with transport wheels. So when it comes to committing space in your home to a piece of cardio equipment, it's worth noting Crosstrainers may have to become a mainstay in one location.
As you can see from our guide, each piece of Cardio Equipment offers a workout experience that's just as unique as you the user. Whether you like to run, row or jog, or maybe you want a routine workout, to prep for a marathon or to recovery from an injury, there's something for everyone.
Still not sure? Why not try before you buy? You can visit the McSport Showroom and explore each machine, as well as all their features before you make your final decision.