While you may have a serious love/hate relationship with the treadmill, cardiovascular exercise is chock full of health benefits. Cardio increases endurance, burns fat and wards of a bunch of serious health conditions including heart disease and diabetes. The American College of Sports medicines recommends that adults get at least 30 minutes of moderate activity at least 5 days per week or at least 20 minutes of vigorous activity at least 3 days per week. Aerobic machines are a popular way to get in a cardio workout, but come with a few pros and cons to consider.
One advantage of cardio machines is they allow you to get an effective aerobic workout it a small amount of space. Miles and miles are suddenly condensed into a corner of the gym or a room at your house. Having endless distance available to you also means there’s no need to map out routes or guess distance, you stay in one spot and all the information you need stays right in front of you.
Since cardio machines are kept indoors they have the advantage of a controlled environment. No matter if it’s snowing, raining, freezing cold or blistering hot outside, you always know weather won’t get in the way of your workout. Having an indoor workout spot is also useful when it comes to safety by letting you avoid scary streets or busy roads, particularly useful for squeezing in an after-hours workout.
An advantage you get with cardio machines that you just can’t get out on the road is the ability to control the speed, incline or resistance of your workout. If you live somewhere with less than ideal terrain, cardio machines allow you to keep a solid pace, add hills, do intervals or anything else you can think of. By having total control you can create, and effectively carry out, custom workouts suited to your needs.
If your someone who loves the open air, getting out into nature or flying past the world around you , indoor cardio equipment can be boring. Being stuck in one place with a clock ticking in front of your face quickly makes a workout become redundant. You can beat boredom on a cardio machine by listening to your favorite music, covering the control panel with a fun magazine or watching a TV show if possible. If a little extra media doesn’t do the trick, play around with those speed and resistance controls to mix things up and make your workout tougher to boot.
Cardio done outside can be as simple is tying your shoes, but getting access to a cardio machine can be a bit more complicated and can leave you with a lighter wallet. It’s undeniable that cardio exercise machines are expensive whether you buy them new, used or pay a nice gym membership for their use. Weigh the cost against the pros and cons of a cardio machine, and how much you'll really us it, to make sure it's worth the investment.
- ACSM Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images