What is the best exercise machine to buy?
Having an exercise machine in your own home can be a great idea if you want to exercise more often, if you want to do so in private or if you find that other forms of exercise just aren't working out for you. Owning an exercise machine can also be a lot of fun and can encourage your kids to think of fitness in that way. With so many different exercise machines on the market, though, how can you decide which to choose? The best machine for you depends in large part on what you want to achieve physically.
Overall, the best machines for giving you a good cardio workout are elliptical trainers (also known as cross trainers), because they put your whole body through a tough workout if used properly. Working out to music is a good idea because it helps you keep up a good rhythm and set natural targets for yourself, such as deciding you're going to push through just one more song. Elliptical trainers don't inflict impact damage on joints, so they're also a good choice for people with arthritis. The next best choice is a cycle or a treadmill. Unless you have muscle damage or a disability that makes a recumbent cycle the only practical choice, an upright exercise machine is always better, because it will put your core muscles to work. Elliptical trainers and upright cycles are the best options if your primary goal is to burn calories.
Strength building exercise
If you want to build up your muscles or simply maintain your strength as you get older, you may want to consider a rowing machine. These are good calorie burners but are not recommended for people who are overweight because of the strain they can place on the lower back. As long as use of the machine is built up slowly, however, that same strain can help a person who is reasonably fit to build up core muscles that are difficult to exercise in other ways.
Stairmaster machines are great for strengthening the leg muscles, but again, new users should build up slowly to avoid doing damage. These machines should only be used for a hard cardio workout once the legs are practiced enough to void joint problems.
Building your flexibility
Stretch trainers are a fantastic idea for those who need to train their muscles to stretch and relax more effectively, which eases pain and makes it easier to use other types of exercise machines. Full body versions are the best idea for most people, but if you like dancing, martial arts, football, golf or another activity that can strain the hamstrings, a leg-stretching machine can be helpful.
Whatever kind of machine you choose, it will only prove a worthwhile purchase if you keep on using it. It makes more sense to get a machine that's not quite as effective if it's one you really enjoy using and are likely to use often. A new machine is always exciting, but over the long term, what matters is keeping up your morale, so make sure exercise is always fun.