Exercise equipment encompasses any device or machine that is used for performing physical activities. Based on the type of exercise, the equipment can be divided into two major types―strength equipment and cardio equipment. The former is designed for strength training, and includes free weights, weight machines, resistance machines, etc. Cardio equipment is used for losing weight and promoting the health of the heart muscles. It increases the heartbeat rate, which in turn helps burn calories and promote heart health.
Though physical movements vary depending upon the type of equipment, most cardio exercises incorporate hand and leg motion to raise the frequency of heartbeat. Hence, the most common forms of include walking, running, and swinging. A cardio exercise schedule should start with 5 – 10 minutes of warmup, followed by 20 – 50 minutes moderate workout, and end with 5 – 10 minutes of warm-down exercise. Majority of the equipment are designed with display screens for heart rate and amount of miles traveled in the workout.
Stair climbers are excellent for cardiovascular and aerobic workouts. By using a stair climber, one can get the same benefit as climbing steps. It is designed with features to monitor the pace and calorie expenditures. It has handlebars and two pedals for each foot. Proper care should be taken while working out on a stair climber, otherwise, there are chances of wrist and knee injuries.
Rowing machines are less popular in comparison to treadmills and exercise bikes. They are designed with small electronic computers that adjust time, distance, and speed of rowing. They are effective for burning calories and for arm, leg, and back exercises. In fact, these machines offer an overall body workout, along with cardiovascular exercise, which is not the case in other equipment.
A stationary bike, as the name suggests, is designed in the same way as bicycles―the only difference is that it is fixed to the ground. Exercise bikes are effective for lower body workouts as well as knee exercises. Some stationary bikes provide features like handlebars for an upper body workout. A 30-minute daily workout on a stationary bike is sufficient to meet the required cardio exercises for healthy living.
Treadmills are equipment designed with a moving belt over a deck. By using a treadmill, an individual can walk, run or jog in a specific place, without going outdoors. One can also exercise at any time of the day, irrespective of the weather conditions. Treadmills are either manual or motorized, based on the configuration of the equipment. There are also fold-away treadmills that are specially designed for home gyms.
Elliptical trainers are a slight modification of treadmills. They provide moving handlebars and foot pedals, thus, offering joint protection. They are a good option for individuals having pain or injury in the joints. Studies have revealed that the amount of calories burnt by using elliptical trainers and treadmills are the same. Hence, with less effort, one can lose weight and strengthen the heart with this machine.
One of the major advantages of cardio equipment is that it can be used at home in small spaces. Regular cardio strengthens the heart and promotes the overall health of an individual.