to seargentmajor. You sound so much like my father. Totally agree that there is always a cheaper option. But if you are a woman and either have to or like to exercise alone for safety purposes sometimes its money well spent.
Let me preface my remarks by saying I am frugal (cheap?)and do not like single purpose dedicated cardio exercise machines either for use or purchase. I think that there are better ways to obtain a good cardio workout without them. The least expensive purchase you can make for cardio exercise is a good quality jump rope.
Before purchasing a stationary or spinning bike I would invest in a real bicycle, training stand and a cycle computer which counts your leg cadence. The cost should be about the same. This give you multiple training options and also something you can use to run errands and just be active on non exercise days.
An elliptical is expensive, takes up floor space and does not mimic any motion we do in our everyday lives. it is strictly a one trick pony. A treadmill has slightly more versatility but again is expensive and takes up floor space.
I suggest things as options you may want to evaluate.
I actually don't like the elliptical (but I will use it every once in awhile to change up my workout). As a short person, I find the handles aren't placed properly for me, and I usually get back pain at some point in the workout - for this, I just don't hold onto the handles). Spin bikes are GREAT! I love the workout you get on that, and if you put your effort into getting in and out of the seat - it does amazing things for your entire body. I also love Rowing Machines, and am disappointed that my gym doesn't have one. I was thinking of picking one up for myself.
I did interval training on the stationary bike last night for 30 minutes..it was a great workout. I like the elliptical but it seems like it takes forever and a day to burn calories on that thing..and I get easily bored on it. My favs are the stepper and arc trainer.
It all depends which piece of equipment motivates you the most. If you like the stationary bike then you will be more apt to use it longer and more often and can increase the tension and visa versa with the elliptical. Elliptical usage can burn more calories - on the the otherhand a person has to be somewhat coordinated to use this piece of equipment. Price varies - what you want to pay for is something that fits your body well so that you will use it - for instance - if you are buying a stationary bike - then you want a seat and pedals that will feel comfortable for your body type.
I enjoy the exercise bike but after reading up heaps on spin bikes am thinking I might consider one of these. Like you I'm getting a bit board with just one piece of equipment .I was actually thinking of getting a rowing machine to help out with the upper body and a tread mill that inclines. After just doing the exercise bike for about 2 weeks I went for a good walk the other day and was amazed at how tight the back of my legs felt. Thought it might be a good idea to combine bike riding with some form of yoga for the stretching.
The elliptical is going to be very similar to your exerglider. Similar movement.
I like both the elliptical and the exercise bike; they can each be used in different ways according to what kind of work out you want. For example - on the exercise bike (if you get a spin bike as opposed to a regular stationary bike) you can get your rear up out of the seat and do most of the pedaling standing up for a more intense leg work-out. Getting out of the seat allows you to increase the resistance on the pedals, which raises your heart rate more, builds more muscle.
The elliptical and bike can be used for intervals, which is a great way to train for cardiovascular health and endurance.
Basically, I'd say you should get the machine you are actually going to use on a regular basis. As for makes and models - well, I'd suggest you do some research online. If you can afford it, pay for a good model that will likely cost you a lot - don't get the cheapest one. With fitness equipment, you get what you pay for.
The best time of day to exercise is whenever you will do it consistently. You don't have to work out before breakfast. That kind of work out doesn't work for me because I need food in my stomach or I get shaky. Everyone is different, so do what feels best for your body.
Just to start... I'm not a fan of the elliptical. So, my opinion may be biased - but that is what an opinion is, right?
Anyway, I prefer the exercise bike because it is a non-weightbearing, no impact exercise. This is great especially for people with knee or leg problems. You get great development of all your leg muscles (including your gleuts!), which in turn gives you better strength in your joints. I also find that I naturally tighten my abs as I increase the intensity, and hit my abs just a tad as well.
I don't care for the elliptical, because I find it took longer to see/feel results, I don't feel the burn as well, and it's easy to cheat.
Whatever you choose, be aware that the ABSOLUTE BEST time to do your cardio is in the morning before breakfast. This will jump start your metabolism for the rest of the day.
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