If you're looking to burn a few calories and improve your level of fitness, a full-body, cardio workout such as jogging or swimming will give you results. But if you aren't quite at the level of being able to do something so vigorous, a stationary workout can also be effective. Stationary exercises, in which you use a fixed machine, can help you burn calories and tone your muscles.
A stationary bike, also called an exercise bike, helps simulate riding a bicycle without actually moving across the ground. This common exercise machine is a staple at virtually all gyms, and is also available to buy for your home. Maintaining a moderate pace on a stationary bike for an hour will help a 180-pound person burn about 572 calories. Consider this workout if you have joint problems in your lower body, as it provides little to no impact.
Stair machines take many forms, but the common factor is that this exercise machine will help you burn calories while doing an "on the spot" workout. Instead of climbing the stairs in your apartment building, for example, a stair machine simulates this movement for you. A 180-pound person who uses the stair machine for 60 minutes will burn approximately 735 calories.
An elliptical machine provides more of a workout than a stationary bike or stair machine, because it requires the use of your arms and legs working together. As a result, it will help you burn more calories than both other machines. A 180-pound person who spends an hour using the elliptical machine can burn 929 calories.
Many gyms are equipped with rowing machines, which give you an alternative to the high-maintenance sport of rowing. Using a rowing machine is a low-impact workout that helps you lose weight by burning plenty of calories. If you weigh 180 pounds and spend an hour vigorously rowing, you'll burn around 700 calories using this machine.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.