The Best Cardiovascular Equipment For Limited Space

Enjoying a great workout on cardiovascular equipment, in the privacy of your own home, can seem like a distant dream, especially with limited space for any “extras.” But don’t be discouraged. With a little effort, you can determine what equipment is best for you and your living space. 

Preparing For Your Equipment Purchase

Typical of any important decision, a little preparation for your cardiovascular equipment purchase will ensure that you’re happy with your choice, you got a good deal, and it fits into your home.

  • Choose a workout location – decide where you’ll be using the workout equipment. If you like to move you’re workout to different locations, you need to consider mobility when making your purchase.
  • Measure the workout location – whether you’re using your equipment in multiple spaces or one key spot, measure all workout locations  (floor space and height) and take the measurements with you when purchasing. Guessing on dimensions is a recipe for disaster!
  • Determine if the workout area will also be the storage location – if you’re workout location is in the middle of an active living space, you may want to store your equipment after each use. You’ll want to keep mobility, ease of assembly, and storage space size in mind when shopping. Also compare the “disassembled” size with the storage area size you have.
  • Set a budget – do a little online research to get an idea of price points for the equipment you’re seeking. Use that information to determine what you can spend before shopping. Once you set a budget, stick with it. Purchasing exercise equipment that’s more than you should really spend will eventually steal motivation from your desire to workout.
  • Determine if any equipment types are “deal-breakers” – of the major cardiovascular equipment to choose from, are there any machines in particular that are unappealing to you personally? Only choose from equipment you know you’ll be willing to use. What looks good in the store or sounds good from a salesperson will lose its luster in the routine of daily workouts. If you hate rowing machines, having a nice one in your home won’t motivate you to work out on it!

Five Key Cardio Equipment Choices For Limited Spaces

There are five major types of cardiovascular equipment to choose from for your limited-space workout. All come in a more compact or collapsible version, so be sure you’re looking at the compact one when shopping.

  1. Cardio Glider (rowing machine) – Gliders offer resistance training for strength with your cardio workout so you get twice the benefit in one workout. BODY TRAC makes a glider that folds for storage and has a multi-function electrical monitor for calories and heart rate monitoring. 
  2. Folding Recumbent Bike – A recumbent bike is a great cardio workout on equipment designed to protect the lower back. It does not provide resistance training but Stamina makes a product that snaps up and down quickly for storage. It also has heart rate monitoring controls and calories/mileage indicators.
  3. Electronic Stepper – Steppers are mainly for excellent cardio workouts and toning in the legs and buttocks. But Stamina also makes a mini stepper with resistance cords attached for upper body toning and strengthening. It is already compact enough to fit in a desk drawer or closet without disassembly. It comes with basic electronic monitoring controls.
  4. Treadmill- Another excellent cardio workout without resistance training. Look for the folding treadmills that also feature electronic monitoring. 
  5. Elliptical Trainer – Ellipticals are the most popular cardio workout, burning as many calories as running without the high-impact stress on the body. They come in a SpaceMate model that collapses for storage or the compact built smaller to take up the least amount of space.

As with all exercise, consult your doctor before purchasing equipment and beginning a new routine. It’s important to know your target heart rate, normal blood pressure, and ambulatory blood pressure to determine if you’re healthy enough for a cardio workout.


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