When the weather forces your fitness routine inside, exercise machines can help you work out in climate-controlled comfort. But which ones fit your needs the best?
If you’re a walker or a runner, a treadmill may fit the bill. Choose a motorized one with an adjustable incline or pre-set programs to boost your cardio workout.
Stationary bikes are easier on the joints than some other cardio equipment, but keep in mind that they don’t provide weight-bearing exercise, which boosts bone health.
To work your back, shoulders and legs all at the same time, try a rowing machine. Cross-country ski machines mimic the real thing and will also work both your upper and lower body. As you check out different models, look for a wide foot bed for added stability.
Thinking about taking the stairs? A stair-stepper provides a challenging cardio workout. But it’s not the best choice if you have bad knees.
Elliptical trainers are a cross between ski machines and stair-steppers — and they’re easier on the joints. Choose one with arm action to burn more calories.
If you can afford bells and whistles, you might find motivation in a machine that incorporates a monitor. Some systems allow you to view landscapes as you move or even watch a real-action fitness class that lets you feel like you’re part of the action.
Of course, whatever machine you choose, your workout is only as good as the effort you put in.
The American Council on Exercise has advice on picking cardio equipment.