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Exercise equipment encompasses any device or machine that is used for performing physical activities. Based on the type of exercise, exercise equipments can be divided into two major types, namely, strength equipment and cardio equipment. The former is designed for strength training and includes free weights, weight machines, resistance machines, etc. Cardio exercise equipment is used for losing weight and promoting the heart muscles. It increases the heartbeat rate, which in turn, helps to burn calories and promote heart health. Let's discuss in brief about cardio exercise and types of cardio exercise equipment. 

Cardio Exercise Equipment 

Though physical movements vary depending upon the type of equipment, most cardio exercise incorporates hand and leg motion to raise the frequency of heartbeat. Hence, the most common forms of cardio exercise include walkingrunning and swinging. A cardio exercise schedule should start with 5 - 10 minutes warm-up, followed by 20 - 50 minutes moderate workout and end with 5 - 10 minutes warm-down exercise. Majority of the cardio exercise equipments are designed with display screens for heart rate and amount of miles traveled in the workout

Stair Climbers 
Stair climbers are excellent for cardiovascular and aerobic workout. By using a stair climber, one can get the same benefit as climbing steps. A stair climber 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 in a stair climber, otherwise there are chances of wrist and knee injuries. 

Rowing Machines 
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. Rowing machines 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 so in other equipments. 

Stationary Bikes 
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 upper body workout. A 30-minute daily workout on a stationary bike is sufficient to meet the required cardio exercises for a healthy living. 

Treadmills are equipments designed with a moving belt over a deck. By using 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, specially designed for home gyms. 

Elliptical Trainers 
Elliptical trainers are a slight modification of treadmills. They provide moving handlebars and foot pedals, thus offering joint protection. Elliptical trainers 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 same. Hence, with less effort one can lose weight and strengthen the heart by using elliptical trainers. 

Cardio exercise equipment is available in various sizes. One of the major advantages of cardio exercise equipment is that it can be used in home gyms covering a small space. A regular cardio exercise workout strengthens the heart and promotes the overall health of an individual.


By Ningthoujam Sandhyarani
Published: 5/20/2009
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