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How to Choose a Cardio Machine?

November 13, 2012 - By Mathieu Rousseau

Temps de lecture 3 minutes

Choosing a cardio machine involves weighing the pros and cons of each, as well as keeping in mind our objectives, abilities, and preferences.

Pros and cons chart

Cardio MachineProsCons

Treadmill

 

–  Very effective cardio workout

–  Involves both the lower and upper body

–  Can reproduce daily activities (walking, running)

–  Walking is a very accessible activity, ideal for beginners

–  Walking: the intensity is often not enough to improve cardiovascular ability (except when working higher than 60 % of your maximum beats per minute (bpm))

–  Can be a source of impacts on the bones and articulations

–  Target bpm harder to reach by walking

–  Requires some level of balance

Stationary bike

 

–  Can be both a cardiovascular and muscular workout

–  Ideal for beginners as much as experts

–  Can generally be well tolerated by those with back issues

–  The perfect machine for interval training

–  No impacts on articulations

–  Target bpm easy to reach

–  Involves only the lower body

–  Monotony, less possible variations when compared with other machines

Elliptical

 

–  Can be both a cardiovascular and muscular workout

–  Involves both the lower and upper body

–  No impacts on articulations

–  The perfect machine for interval training

–  Target bpm easy to reach

–  Requires some level of balance

–  Requires a period of adaptation before being used to the movement

–  Does not represent a daily activity

Specifications about some cardio machine

Machines that involve the whole body such as the treadmill and elliptical generally allow to spend more energy. This type of exercise is also ideal as a warm-up before training, both for upper and lower body sessions. Many variations are available on both of these machines: for example, increasing the slope on the treadmill, going backwards on the elliptical, focusing on working with the arms on the elliptical, etc.

For some machines, we have better control over the resistance we work our muscles with, which allows for both muscular and/or cardiovascular work. For example, on the bike we can adjust the resistance to high and use it to build some muscle on our legs.

As for the treadmill, it creates impacts on the bones and articulations. The regular, but not excessive practice of this type of activity can strengthen the bones and prevent osteoporosis. But, to avoid long term consequences, regularly change your exercises by integrating stationary bike or elliptical to your training routine.

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References :

– Ostéoporose Canada. http://www.osteoporosecanada.ca/

How to Choose a Cardio Machine? is a post from Nautilus Plus. The Nautilus Plus blog aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
Copyright © Nautilus Plus 2012

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