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What is the best cardio equipment to use at the gym?

Cardio workout equipmnetWhen we talk about cardio equipment we are referring to treadmills, stationary bikes, elliptical trainers, and stair masters.

The good news is that all the cardio equipment at the gym will help you improve your cardiovascular fitness and also help you burn calories for healthy weight loss.

Each of gym equipment piece has its pros and cons. Here is a breakdown:

Machine Weight Bearing Upper & Lower Variety Life Applicable
Treadmill yes yes yes yes
Elliptical Trainer yes yes
(most cases)
(most cases)
Stationary Bike no no little yes
Stair Master yes no no yes

Weight Bearing:   means you are in a standing position – weight bearing activities are best for preventing osteoporosis and also help with balance and strength in the lower body and help with core stability. Typically, weight bearing activities increase caloric output as well.

Upper & Lower:  simply refers to the use of the upper body and lower body. Some elliptical trainers have moving arms that help increase the intensity of the activity. Provided you do not hold onto the arms of the treadmill, you can incorporate the upper body into this activity as well. By using both the upper and lower body you will increase the caloric output of your activity.

Variety:   every machine will allow you to change the resistance/level and may even have different programs such as a “random” or “hill” programs. However, the treadmill and elliptical take the variety factor to a higher level simply because you can change the incline on these pieces of equipment (in most cases). This feature not only allows for less boredom, but also can take your workout to a whole new level of intensity if you desire.

Life Applicable:  refers to how much the machine applies to every day life. All the machines can help with stamina, however, only the motion of the elliptical is foreign to everyday life. This motion is not a natural one so it would not be as useful for sport performance or helping you with improving an every day task such as walking up a flight of stairs.

There is no right or wrong machine for anyone. However, there are unique differences to these types of equipment that can certainly make your workout more efficient or enjoyable depending on the fitness level you are currently at.

For more information on this topic or any other fitness related topic please feel free to contact Acacia Fitness at any time. We are happy to help!