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What Is The Best Cardio Machine to Use?

What Is The Best Cardio Machine to Use?

By way of a ‘factoid alert’, the first cardio machines were first introduced as far back as 1875 although the first commercial machine was introduced in the 50’s by an American doctor called Robert A. Bruce - Wikipedia for stress testing his patients. This, in turn, inspired businesses to consider consumer-based opportunities to sell.

Roll forward to 2021, and whilst technology and manufacturing may have come along leaps and bounds since the 1950’s, the whole premise and purpose of cardio machines is still pretty much the same: to improve fitness, strength, stress relief, weight or fat loss and heart health. 

So where do you start and how do you decide which product is right for you? Here is an introductory guide to some of the machines available, as well as where you can buy them.

Treadmills

Buying a treadmill can be an ideal, year-round solution for a decent run, jog or walk, particularly if the British weather is living up to its reputation. However, and particularly if you are new to exercise, ask yourself if you actually enjoy running or jogging and also whether you have any health or joint issues to consider before you buy.

Why are Treadmills so Good?

If you think that a treadmill is for you or at least if it is on your shortlist, they can definitely help with a weight or fat loss programme, if coupled with the correct diet advice. As with any sort of fitness routine, a decent run can release some feel-good endorphins and allow some proper ‘me’ time during your day. Just put on that playlist and get into the zone.

Where to Buy a Treadmill 

In terms of where you can buy a treadmill, many brands sell online although, subject to Covid-19 rulings, you can also try out a treadmill in a showroom or department store. Another good option is to visit an event or exhibition such as The National Running Show South www.nationalrunningshow.com and to ‘try before you buy’. Exhibitors normally offer discounts during show days as well as incentives to buy.

How Many Calories Do you Burn on a Treadmill?

When considering the benefits of buying a treadmill, focusing solely on calories is not always best practice as how many calories you burn will depend on your weight, cardio function, whether your calorie intake is less than your output and the consistency of your workouts. Weight and fat loss should be gradual and sustainable. According to www.Livestrong.com, someone who weighs 155 pounds (just over 11 stone) and who runs at a 12-minute/mile pace, can burn just under 300 calories in 30 minutes, whereas someone who weighs 185 pounds (just over 13 stone) can burn over 350 calories.

Cross Trainers

Cross trainers, also known as elliptical machines, are also included within the cardio machine category and readily available to buy online or in-store. They are a great choice of machine if you have joint issues or don’t enjoy running, jogging or walking. Depending on whether the machine has moveable arms or not, you do need to get used to the movement pattern, akin to cross-country skiing and to focus on your concentration as you find your stride.

What are the benefits of using a cross trainer?

For a comprehensive insight into cross trainers, Roger Black Fitness has a more in-depth blog about the benefits here. By way of summary, a cross trainer is an effective way to lose weight or fat, as well as to ensure you get an upper and lower body workout, without over-impacting your joints. A cross trainer is also a sensible choice if you suffer with knee or back problems, as the pedals move whilst you remain upright.

How many calories do you burn on a cross trainer?

As with any piece of cardio equipment, a precise definition depends on other factors, including diet, weight and the choice or intensity of your cross trainer programme. If you buy a pre-programmed machine, there is normally a calorie burning option, as well as fat loss or interval training. Your machine will usually show you how many calories you are burning so as your fitness improves, you can up your game over time. According to www.caloriesburnedhq.com, 30 minutes on an elliptical machine will allow you to burn between 170 and 320 calories.  

Rowing Machines

For many, when you think of cardio machines for weight loss, an air rower might not seem like the obvious choice, yet it is one of the most effective ways to burn calories and get the blood flowing. If you prefer or need to stay seated while working out, rowing machines offer a great arm, chest and back workout and still help to tone and strengthen the legs and lower back, in a low impact way.

What is a rowing machine good for?

A rowing machine mimics the motion of rowing on the water without having to worry about falling in the water. Indoor rowers deliver a quick solution to burn calories and fat, whilst still protecting your joints. If you are using the machine correctly (and, if in doubt, ask a personal trainer for advice), rowers are also really helpful for postural issues and to (re)build arm and back strength, particularly after injury.

How many calories do you burn on a rowing machine?

As previously, many factors need to be taken into consideration when working out calories burned although using a rower can burn a lot of calories in a relatively short space of time. If you weigh more, your body has to work harder to burn fat so you will logically burn more calories.

The intensity at which you exercise also plays a part in weight loss – rowing vigorously might be difficult, but it will help you to burn more calories in a shorter period of time. Just don’t cause yourself an injury in the process and build up gradually to a more intensified workout.

Exercise Bikes

Buying an exercise bike is another sensible option for those of you who need or prefer to be seated whilst working out, unless you go for a spinning bike, where you can stand up on the bike. Most modern folding or static bikes allow you to manually increase or decrease pedal resistance via a tension knob. You can pedal fast at a lower resistance or imagine you a climbing a hill and increase the intensity of your workout. Always remember to warm up and cool down, as with any form of exercise and try not to just ‘stop’ without slowing down, to avoid lactic acid build up in the muscles.

Where can I buy an exercise bike?

Exercise bikes for every budget are readily available to buy in-store and online, as well at lifestyle exhibitions and events. If you are on a budget, you can also look at websites like eBay for second-hand options, although bear in mind that you will probably need a product manual as well.

Before you press the ‘buy’ button, if you opt for an online purchase, check out details that might impact your choice: if you enjoy spinning, make sure you buy a bike with clips for your spinning shoes and that allow you to hover or stand when the bike is in ‘brake’ mode; if you are tall, check on the product height, particularly if it is a folding bike and if you have limited space at home, make sure you check folded product measurements. 

How many calories do you burn on an exercise bike?

As with each and every cardio product, a calorie-burning strategy depends on your current weight and existing fitness level, etc. You shouldn’t get too stressed about calories though because you can lose inches even if you weigh the same. Diet always plays a part in this topic and always seek expert advice if you have a specific goal in mind or have a more prescriptive reason to exercise. Internet research varies but the average person will burn between 450 and 750 calories per hour but as with any form of exercise, you have to reinvent your workouts and surprise the body from time to time. Endless pedalling is functional but might not achieve the results you require so make sure you vary your workouts, for mental stimulation and variety as much as anything else. Best of luck and feel free to send us an email if you have any specific questions at hello@rogerblackfitness.com

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www.rogerblackfitness.com is exhibiting for the first time at The National Running Show South between 11th and 12th September 2021, on stand J40. All visitors will be able to benefit from an exclusive Show discount of 5% on all home fitness equipment and have the chance to meet Roger in person on Saturday morning. Please email hello@rogerblackfitness.com for a FREE pair of tickets (subject to availability).