Cardio is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Cardio helps out with losing fat, losing weight, and build endurance. Cardio can be done in many different ways because all the focus needs to be is getting the heart rate up higher than what it is when resting.
Maybe you find yourself in the gym, with a bunch of different options to perform cardio. All the options have just built up a sense being overwhelmed which maybe has left you not doing cardio at all. Cardio does not need to be completely mundane and torturous to be effective.
When looking at the best cardio machines or pieces of equipment, one should consider the following:
- Difficulty/User Friendly
This is not difficulty in performing the exercise as much as it is understanding the machine and what it is telling you back. Many machines are caught up in giving a bunch of information when in actuality all you should be looking at is heart rate, time lapsed, and distance gone.
This is big because if everyone is always using it, this means it is popular for a reason, but this also means you may not be able to use it when you want to. Many people will skip cardio because the machine they want is not available. Find something to get on and get sweating.
Now, any piece of equipment will get old at some point, but finding something that you can simply tolerate to be on is important. You do not need to find something that “fun” or simply awesome to get on and use, because it wont last. Find a piece of equipment that you have no problem being on for 10-20 minutes at a time.
So, when looking at machines that are the most effective for cardio, considering the attributes above and also the overall effectiveness of the machine, the following could be said to be the most effective machines to do cardio (in not any kind of ranking or order):
The treadmill is the grandfather of cardio equipment but always deserves to be on a list like this. It is still maybe the most versatile in what you can do on it, abundant in amount at any gym, and usually very user friendly.
An effective machine that does not require a lot of movement but scorches fat and gets the legs and butt burning, the stair-climber is one of a kind. The down side is also that it literally is “one of a kind” at most gyms and not always available. If you have the opportunity to use it, get on it quick, your body will thank you later.
The “arch nemesis” of the treadmill, the elliptical is actually starting to be seen as more of an effective resort to cardio as opposed to what many used to believe as a lazier resort. The elliptical provides a little less stress on the body as opposed to the treadmill but one can exert almost as much energy using it. If you are looking for more “movement” than a treadmill but not as much as intensity as a stair-climber, the elliptical is the way to go.
- Rowing Machine
Popularized in cross fit boxes, the rowing machine is starting to make more of a presence in gyms all over. The downside to this machine is if it is being used as a stand-alone method to cardio, you may get very bored. Rowing machines seem to be the most used when they are incorporated into a HIIT routine or Tabata form of exercising. They engage the whole body and can give you a great workout.