Having your own home cardio equipment is a great way to ensure that you’ll have the opportunity to get those essential exercise sessions in each week. But with so many choices, what home gym equipment is right for you, and what criteria should you use to make that determination?
Evaluate Your Space Allocation
If your equipment doesn’t fit your space, it doesn’t fit you. Before shopping for cardio equipment, evaluate the location(s) in your home that would be possibilities for placing and/or storing equipment. Measure the floor space and high of the space, and take it with you when shopping. Also consider whether or not you’ll need an electrical outlet to plug in your equipment.
Once armed with this information, decide whether you’ll be purchasing equipment that you’ll store when not using (and pull out only to use), or whether you’re planning to store and use your equipment in the same spot. If you need to be able to store the equipment away, be sure to measure the floor space and height of your storage area to take on your shopping trip.
Once you start shopping, be sure to consult your measurements with each piece of equipment to make sure that your choice fits your space. If you’re looking for storable equipment evaluate:
- elliptical trainers
- stationary bikes
- treadmills that have fold-and-store features
Consider the Cost
The best cardio equipment is the solution that also fits your budget. Never head out shopping without a price-point in mind. Evaluate your budget and resources ahead of time to determine what you can afford to spend and don’t consider items outside of your price-range.
Require Durability and Reliability
Do your research ahead of time. Once you’ve narrowed down your selection to a specific pieces of equipment, check all of the products’ warranties, efficiency ratings if they use electricity and operating guarantees. If possible, consult consumer reports to see what customer feedback and testing results may exist on your product. You want to select a piece of equipment that’s durable for home-use and does not have a history of reliability problems.
Know Your Fitness Needs and Limitations
Not all cardio equipment is created equal. While all may give your cardiovascular system a workout, some types of equipment can put unwanted strain on areas of your body. Consult your personal physician for suggestions on types of cardio equipment that are good for any physical limitations you have.
If you have lower back issues, choose a recumbent, stationary bicycle instead of an upright bike or a stair climber that can strain your lower back. For knee issues, consider an elliptical trainer or a stationary bicycle that are low impact for knees and ankles.
Treadmills are a great jogging or walking alternative to the outside version. Today, they’re more flexible and impact-absorbing to minimize damage to joints and limbs.
A huge hurdle in daily exercise is motivation. So, be realistic in choosing equipment that you’ll use. Don’t select equipment simply because it burns the most calories. If it’s too strenuous to use or difficult to get out, you sabotage your workout before you get started.
Pick something you enjoy doing and set yourself up for success!