Elliptical trainers are popular for providing a great, total-body cardiovascular workout. Elliptical trainers are affordable and make a fantastic addition to your home gym. If you work out at home exclusively, you should invest in an exercise machine that enables you to obtain a cardiovascular workout, particularly for use during the winter months. Should you choose a treadmill or an elliptical trainer? According to research conducted by the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, exercisers working out on both treadmills and elliptical trainers burned approximately the same number of calories, with similar heart rate and oxygen consumption levels. It is a personal preference, however, before you buy, familiarize yourself with seven basic buying considerations. If you intend to buy online, plan to do more homework. A common buyer error is focusing too much on a machine’s appearance and programming features. The reason you work out in the first place is to properly engage your muscles and elevate your heart rate.
1. Noise level – It might not bother you in the store but imagine being unable to hear your itunes or favorite T.V. program. In general, large, sturdy machines with magnetic resistance are the most quiet. Really, there is no substitution for trying out the machine.
2. Stride length – the longer the stride length, the greater your range of motion. Tall exercisers require a greater stride length. To accommodate all heights, make sure the stride length is at least 18-inches. Working out on an elliptical trainer with a short stride length is like running on a treadmill with a short running belt.
3. Foot pedals – articulating foot pedals with a slight, adjustable slant offer the most comfort. Look for pedals large enough to accommodate your feet and a non-slip surface to lessen the risk of injury or stumbling.
4. Size – take measurements because exercise machines always appear smaller in the store. Don’t want to wait until it is sitting in your living room before finding it is much too big for the available space.
5. Safety – safety features are particularly important if you have small children. Look for elliptical trainers that have an automatic safety turn-off button, covered flywheel and sturdy hand rails.
6. Heart rate monitor – all cardiovascular exercise equipment should have a heart-rate monitoring device; a hand grip pulse rate monitor or a chest strap monitor. Regardless of the type, it is an essential feature. Without a way to monitor your heart rate, you may be unaware that you are overdoing it.
7. Warranty – warranties range from 90 days to 10 years. Whether or not you should buy an extended warranty depends upon your investment, terms, model and the company from which you are buying. Compare warranties before you buy.