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If you stop by any gym, you'll see rows of machines designed to simulate cycling, walking and running, kayaking, rowing, skiing, and stair climbing. Whether motorized or not, sized for heavy-duty gym use or in lighter home versions, these machines offer good cardio workouts that burn calories and fat. What's more, your workout takes place indoors, away from fickle weather.

Cardio workouts can help you accomplish a number of fitness goals, whether it involves weight loss or simply getting your heart rate up every day. Need a quick full-body workout? Hit the rowing machine. Trying to increase your cardiovascular endurance? The treadmill or exercise bike is your friend. Like with anything else in life, you’ll want the best cardio equipment ;to help you achieve whatever it is you’re looking to do.

 

Get smart about treadmills

Treadmills ;offer a safe environment, too, free from the unpredictable footing and adverse weather conditions. Another advantage is they can be programmed for individualized workouts. "You can easily vary the speed and incline to focus on specific goals," says Dr. Tenforde

Most treadmills monitor intensity with hand sensors that measure your heart rate, but that's not the most accurate approach. A better way to gauge your effort is to use what's called the rate of perceived exertion, which involves ranking your sense of how hard you're working on a 1-to-10 scale, with 1 being low and 10 being high. For instance, a rate of 5 to 7 is consistent with a moderate-intensity level where you work hard, but can maintain a conversation and do not overexert yourself.

 

Ellipticals

An elliptical ;trainer or cross-trainer is a stationary exercise machine used to stair climb, walk, or run without causing excessive pressure to the joints, hence decreasing the risk of impact injuries. For this reason, people with some injuries can use an elliptical to stay fit, as the low impact affects them little. Elliptical trainers offer a non-impact cardiovascular workout that can vary from light to high intensity based on the speed of the exercise and the resistance preference set by the user.

Most elliptical trainers work the user's upper and lower body (although some models do not have moving upper body components). Though elliptical trainers are considered to be minimal-impact, they are an example of a weight-bearing form of exercise. They can be self-powered by user-generated motion or need to be plugged in for adjustment of motion and/or for supplying their electronic consoles and resistance systems.

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