Cardio exercise is important for anyone looking to lose weight, build muscle, improve their aerobic fitness, or just maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, figuring out which cardiovascular workout equipment is best for you can be confusing, especially when it comes to choosing machines that help you burn the most calories.
When evaluating cardio machines at the gym or in your home, there are several factors to consider that impact calories burned during exercise, such as exercise intensity and duration, machine adjustments, and personal variables like body weight and cardiorespiratory endurance. While the calorie estimates on most exercise equipment are a great starting point, it’s important to remember that these calculations are only as accurate as the person using the machine.
That said, there are some machines that are able to offer the most efficient cardio workouts for burning calories, and the 3 most effective include treadmills, elliptical trainers, and seated stationary bikes. These popular machines each offer a variety of workout options that are suitable for people of all fitness levels, from beginners on a budget to experienced runners.
Treadmills use continuously running belts to simulate outdoor walking, jogging, or running, and they can be modified with various incline settings to increase the challenge of your workout. When used at a sprint speed and with an incline setting that mimics outdoor terrain, treadmills can burn more calories than nearly any other cardio machine in the gym.
Elliptical trainers, also known as cross-trainers, are a popular option for those looking to do low-impact, full-body cardio workouts that are easy on the joints. They typically have smooth, gliding strides and engage the upper and lower body simultaneously, making them great for beginners who are new to exercise and for those with joint issues.
Seated stationary bikes, or stationary bicycles, are another versatile option for a low-impact cardio workout, and they can be modified to incorporate resistance that increases excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), which helps your body burn more calories at rest. They are particularly good for those looking to burn calories in their legs and buttocks, as they can be adjusted to a high incline, which mimics the impact of climbing stairs.
Although it is important to note that changing your body composition requires a combination of strength training, cardiovascular exercise, and healthy diet, each type of cardio machine can contribute to fat loss when used consistently and paired with well-balanced nutrition and adequate sleep. To maximize your calorie-burning potential, it’s best to try out a variety of cardiovascular exercise machines and make the most of each one in order to see the most enduring results.
Milena Estêvão is a YouTuber passionate about sharing her experiences (challenges, successes and motivations) in the fitness activities she is involved in.
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