Finding the Right Home Cardio Equipment

Exercising from home saves time, money, and increases to your overall health. Cardio, the kind of exercise that elevates your heart rate, is an important part of maintaining a healthy mind and body. During the long winter months and when it’s too hot outside in the summer, having home gym equipments can be a great way to get your work out in despite the weather outside. There are many of great choices these days, but there are a few key factors to keep in mind before making a purchase.

Storage Space

Unless you have a dedicated exercise room, and some might, you’ll need to fit your equipment in a bedroom, living room, garage, or office. Before you start looking at treadmills or an elliptical, find and measure the area where you’ll be storing the equipment. This will help know whether you need a folding treadmill or should consider an in-motion elliptical trainer, which has a much smaller footprint. Going through this preliminary step can save you time and money in the end.

Cardio Preferences

If you’re the kind of person that likes to take a morning run, a treadmill makes sense. However, for someone that despises walking and running the same treadmill would probably end up being used as a clothes hanger. Base your decision on the kind of exercise you like to do. A stationary bike is a good choice for a cyclist unless, of course, you’re looking to cross train. In which case, an elliptical or rowing machine would provide the variety you’re seeking. When making a big equipment purchase it’s best to base your decision on the kind of exercise you already enjoy doing. Not the kind you hope you will learn to like.

Physical Limitations

Bad knees, weak hips, and sore shoulders can prevent you from getting the kind of workout you want. If injuries, arthritis, or osteoporosis make exercise difficult for you, look for low impact equipment. Think elliptical instead of a treadmill, recumbent bike instead of an upright stationary bike. An elliptical is gentler on joints than a treadmill, but keep in mind they do have a lot of arm movement. Weak shoulders may have a problem with the continuous motion of the handles. You are far more likely to be successful and keep working out if you can prevent pain. More importantly, consistent, low impact exercise can reduce pain over time.

You’ve looked at the treadmill, tried out the elliptical, and sat on the stationary bike, but they still don’t feel right. There are a whole host of other ways to get in a cardio workout that don’t involve a large piece of equipment. A good set of hand weights used with a workout DVD can provide an excellent cardio routine. The most important factor to keep in mind—what are you most likely to stick with long term. If you’d rather buy wrist weights to wear while walking outside, think of the money you’ve saved, and you’ll be happier in the long run.