One of the most important things to maintain health is doing cardio. There are so many different ways to do cardio, even including fun activities like dancing and hiking. If you’re into the gym, however, I’m sure you see all of the different machines like the stationary bike, elliptical, stairmaster, treadmill and rowing machine, Maybe before you’ve wondered if all machines are created equal. And they aren’t! Here’s the basic breakdown of the various machines and benefits/downsides of each.
Stationary Bike: A great workout for legs and glutes. Perfect for the “lazy days” too. The major downside is that it can be hard on your knees. Secondly, most people don’t put the resistance up high enough and pedal fast enough to actually increase heart rate. If you choose this machine, make sure you are watching to make sure you increase resistance and speed throughout the work out!
Elliptical: Much easier on the knees. Sustainable for long periods of time (usually) and often have moving handles, which makes for a great leg and arm work out. A downside can be that without resistance, this machine can also be too easy for many people. But it is a great alternative to a treadmill when you aren’t in the mood for the pounding feeling.
Stairmaster: Also a great glute and leg work out. Can make you feel like you are literally going to die. It can be a great form of toning and cardio. It can also be hard on the knees or make you dizzy. Also for many people they can only do a few minutes at a time, when in general for cardio, longer periods are better.
Treadmill: Great for running advocates. It is especially useful for days when running outside is impractical, like during heat waves or rain, snow, etc. Great way to get your heart rate up, and also good for abdominals and legs. Downside is again, can be hard on the knees. Also, many complain about having short attention spans on the treadmill and getting bored. Another plus is that you can adjust speed to fast walk and get a good work out that way too.
Rowing machine: Definitely focuses on toning the shoulders and back, muscles that often are not worked during cardio. A huge upside is that it is easy on the knees, requiring almost no use of them at all. It also is great toning as well as cardio. Downside is that you tend to burn more calories when you are standing and involving the major muscles in the legs more.
That’s a super simplified guide to the gym machines! If you have any questions or want any further information, leave it in the comments below!