What is Cardio equipment?
Cardio machines are fitness apparatus which, with constant use, help you to improve your physical fitness and your health. They can be found in any gym or sports centre and there are different types, from rowing machines, treadmills, stationary bikes, cross trainers, recumbent stationary bikes and indoor stationary or spinning bikes, to water fitness machines, vibrating platforms, steppers or table tennis tables.
All these apparatus enhance muscle building and help to burn fat, but each type is designed for a specific activity and to exercise one or several specific zones of muscles. So, if you are thinking of buying a cardio machine to train with at home, you should bear in mind the type of exercise you want to do, your personal targets and also which set of muscles which you most want to work on during your training sessions. The more cardiovascular machines you use in your routines, the more complete you training session will be and the more benefits you will obtain.
But whichever machine you choose, you will always be able to regulate the intensity to suit your fitness or training level, and you'll be able to see or analyze each one of your exercises from the information on the monitor, which shows all the relevant data such as speed, time, distance, calories burned, etc. Some functions will vary depending on the type and model of the machine.
Why buy a cardio machine for your home?
To have a small gym or a cardiovascular apparatus at home is really handy and makes training easier, as you can use the machine and work your muscle groups whenever you want, at whatever time it suits you to do some exercise (when you get up, before eating or at night before you go to bed), without having to leave home or depend on the opening times of a sports centre or gym.
Another advantage of having your own cardio machine at home is that you can design personalized routines and closely monitor your activity by analyzing the data from each session. With some makes and models of machines you can also synchronize your data with your iPhone, iPad, iPod, Smartphone or Tablet and carry out interactive training sessions, either on your own or with other users taking advantage of the compatibility of some models with specific apps. You can also train while doing other daily activities such as reading the newspaper, using your mobile phone or watching TV.
Keys to choosing a cardio machine
- 1) The area of the body you want to work on
The first thing to decide when choosing one or other type of cardio machine is the area of the body on which you want to work, as each type of machine is specifically designed and developed to strengthen a different muscle group.
You can't exercise the same muscles on a treadmill as with a rowing machine. With both machines your work a lot of muscles in the body, but the treadmill works mainly on the lower part of the body (legs, quadriceps and glutes) and with the rowing machine you will be working on the upper body (arms, shoulders and pecs).
- 2) Training intensity
After deciding on the kind of machine best suited to the activity you want to do and the body zone you want to work on, you should bear in mind how much time you plan to use the machine. If you think you are going to be training for fewer than 7 hours a week, a cardio machine for domestic use will be sufficient, but if you plan to train more intensively or the machine is going to be used by more people, we would recommend you to go for a semi-professional or professional level machine in order to be able to withstand this level of training.
Depending on the type of machine, you should also take into account the maximum speed on a treadmill, the weight of the flywheel and the braking system on a cross trainer or on a spinning bicycle, etc. in order to know the capacity of the machine and to make sure it suits what you are looking for.
- 3) Additional functions
Once you have decided on the type of machine and how much you will use it, we recommend you to think about all the secondary features which differ depending on the make and the model, such as the size of the machine or the functions on the console (type of screen, number of programs, compatibility with Apple or Android devices and interactive and more visual training apps, etc.)
Although these features and functions are extras, it is these kind of details which make a particular model more complete, that is, the features which improve the fitness equipment and ensure more varied training sessions in the comfort of your own home.