Cardio equipment is the premier way to exercise daily in the comfort of your own home. Perfect for those looking to avoid the chaos of a 20th century gym, the opportunities are plentiful when selecting the machine you want. Occasionally seen occupying car boot sales or gathering cobwebs, gym equipment can be often become a forgotten new years resolution. This is why we have put together the following guide that should help you avoid making the wrong choice.
The treadmill is the godfather of home cardio equipment. Perfect for those who struggle to find the time to go out for a jog, you can run for miles and miles in the comfort of your own living room. Although prices do start from upwards of £300, the treadmill does remove any problems from road running. For anyone not keen on the prospect, due to injuries or personal reasons, the treadmill is a cracking alternative. Built with the capabilities to increase incline, speed or even design your own personal route, these running machines are able to replicate any scenario that you would encounter out on the streets. Whether you are looking to improve your endurance, recover from an injury, or burn off a few pounds, the treadmill also has pre-designed routines that are proven to help with these goals.
Unwelcome in a small living space, perhaps the only limitation with the treadmill is it's the area it needs to occupy, and its difficulty in being moved. However, for those who have the necessary space, it can be a life changing purchase.
The exercise bike is traditionally the most popular of all the home cardio equipment. Easy to move, small in stature and relatively low in price (starting at around £80), it has always been a favourite with those venturing into the exercise market. The ultimate time-saver and convenient way to cycle, the inclusion of one in your household means that you are free to train in front of the TV and free from the unpredictable weather that comes with outdoor riding.
When purchasing an exercise bike, you have the option of two slightly different models. First is the upright bike, which is familiar to all and most popular. The second is the recumbent bike, which differs in the positioning of the pedals and the saddle. The pedals are stretched out in front of you as if you were driving a go-kart, and when extended your legs are horizontal, rather than vertical. Popular with older users, these cycles only target the muscles in your legs, alleviating any strain on the back or upper body.
If you are looking to maintain cardiovascular fitness as well as increase upper body strength and muscle mass, then the rower is arguably the most suitable cardio equipment for you. Again, easy to manoeuvre and requiring little ground space, this machine is welcome in homes of any size.
The action of rowing, if done correctly, is one of the best core exercises that you can find for the upper body, as well as working the thighs and back. Although a rowing machine is not as prolific at shaving off calories as a treadmill, this machine focus' more on the improvement of strength and stamina in a strenuous activity. With prices starting at around £50 this is one for the cheapest pieces of cardio equipment.
Any gym member will also be familiar with a small selection of other cardio equipment that has emerged over the past decade. Two favourites are the 'stepper' and the 'cross-trainer'. The stepper is an intensive workout for all the muscles in the lower body. Ideal at toning muscles as well as working the cardiovascular system, this machine is popular with looking to shape up their bottom half. The cross-trainer is a complex machine that aims to replicate the exercise of cross-country skiing. Both the arms and legs are worked in unison in an attempt to obtain a full body workout on one machine. Both apparatus start at around £70 and are best used on a ground floor due to their heavy weight.
The beauty with all of the above machines is that, along with their relatively low price, they can be manipulated to match the fitness of the user. Included with different speeds and resistance levels, the difficulty of the training session is dependant on you and can be raised or lowered depending on your mood. A great addition for anyone looking to improve his or her cardiovascular fitness, cardio equipment is the only way to exercise at home.