Which Exercise Machines are Good for Cardio?
A healthy heart is a happy heart. If you want to live a long and healthy life, cardiovascular exercise must be part of your daily routine. Experts suggest that it is ideal to do at least 150 minutes of moderate and 75 minutes of active exercise in a week. Before the pandemic, some of the best cardio exercises were activities done outdoors – jogging, running, swimming, biking, and so on.
With the onset of COVID-19, people spend as much time as possible at home. This doesn’t mean that just because you can’t go out, you stop working out. In fact, it is during these troublesome times that you need to take maximum care of your cardiovascular fitness. The good news for you is there are lots of exercise machines for cardio that you can use to improve your heart’s health and burn your calories in the comfort of your own home.
5 Best Cardio Exercise Machines
1. Elliptical Machine
The elliptical machine allows you to have both light and high-intensity workouts based on speed and resistance levels. Using this equipment, you can experience an effective and challenging aerobic exercise that builds your endurance and stamina and improves your balance.
Elliptical machines are designed with ski levers for the feet and long poles that allow your hands to work in sync with your leg movements. This kind of workout strengthens and tones your overall body muscles and builds up endurance for your heart and lungs. With this equipment, you have the option to do steady-state exercises or high-intensity interval training. Either way, you will surely have a good sweat.
When using an elliptical machine, remember to maintain proper posture. Always keep your head up and tighten your core. Never lean forward or look down on your feet. Instead, allow your lower body to support your weight as you continue to move. Improper posture while using an elliptical machine may cause more harm than good.
Treadmills accommodate all types, ages, and fitness goals. By simulating brisk walking or running outdoors, it provides you with a full-body workout that challenges your legs, core, and cardio-respiratory system. You can even adjust its inclination to mimic climbing a hill.
Daily running or walking contributes to the improvement of your cardiopulmonary fitness by enhancing your heart rate. A higher heart rate allows you to do more challenging exercises for increased endurance. With this, you lessen your risk of getting hypertension and heart diseases. If you already have an existing health condition, daily walking or running can help manage or improve it.
Aside from burning calories and reducing fat, brisk walking and running also tones your body muscles. By using the treadmill, you engage your lower body, resulting in leg muscle strength and endurance. As you swing your arms when you walk or run, you also tone your arm and shoulder muscles. However, to get your upper body well-toned, you would need to pair your treadmill exercise with weight training.
An added benefit of the treadmill is that it goes easy on your joints, as compared to outdoor running. Its cushioned belt helps reduce the impact each step makes on your joints, making it more forgiving compared to running on hard pavement or cement. This feature is especially helpful for people who are undergoing physical rehabilitation.
3. Stationary Bike
The stationary bike is the perfect equipment for people who are looking for a low-impact workout and those who love cycling but can’t go outdoors because of the pandemic. This exercise machine allows you to work out with customized resistance. You can choose to pedal lightly with light resistance or have a total body workout by increasing the resistance.
Cycling is a good way to enhance the flow of blood and oxygen in your body, and strengthen your lower body and cardio-respiratory muscles. It also burns calories and fats, which can lead to weight loss.
The nicest part about exercising using a stationary bike is getting to sit while you workout. You can even multitask. You can watch television, check your phone, or talk to family and friends while you pedal away.
4. Rowing Machine
Another low impact workout that you can do at home is rowing. With the use of a rowing machine, you can do full-body strengthening, body toning, and cardio exercises. A rowing machine helps you move every part of your body, resulting in an increase in your heart rate and improvement in your cardiovascular health.
As you go through the cycle of pushing and pulling on the rowing machine, you activate your glutes, quads, and calves. This results in the toning of your leg muscles. You also tighten your core as you work your entire posterior chain, and improve your arm muscles as you recruit your biceps and laterals while using your arms to row.
5. Air Walker
Air walkers or air gliders are cardio aerobic exercise machines that provide you with jogging and walking simulations. Aside from exercising your cardiorespiratory muscles, this low-impact equipment allows you to move your legs in multiple directions. You can stride forward, backward, or even sideways. You can even move them in circles. With air walkers, you can tone your leg muscles, with minimal impact on your joints.
This exercise machine features a dual-action arm handle, allowing you to have an upper-body workout too. It also supports you as you lean forward and backward during a workout for abdominal muscle engagement.
Good health starts at home. The ability to perform cardiovascular exercises from the convenience of your home, paired with healthy food and quality sleep, are essential keys to creating and living a healthy lifestyle. A significant benefit of exercise machines is how it gives you the ability to workout regardless of the time or weather. You don’t even need fancy workout clothes. By using exercise machines, you can work out consistently for the best results.