Making it to the gym five days a week for a solid workout is a dream for many moms. Setting up a home gym offers more flexibility, allowing even the busiest mom to squeeze in some cardio between diaper changes and bath time. Elliptical trainers are popular in home gyms. Like all gym equipment, the quality and features of elliptical trainers vary significantly. Take time to analyze your needs and the elliptical trainers available before making the purchase.
Price is a major factor when selecting home gym equipment. Saving money becomes more important once you start a family, yet you want a high quality elliptical trainer that will function well and last. Decide on a maximum amount you want to spend on the elliptical trainer purchase. An elliptical machine can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars for a low-end model to several thousand dollars for a gym-quality machine. Knowing how much you want to spend helps narrow down the search.
The physical size of the machine is an important consideration, if space is limited in the home. Measure the space where you plan to place the elliptical machine so you can purchase one that fits easily within the available space. Another size factor is the stride length. Lower quality elliptical machines tend to have shorter stride lengths. Look for an elliptical with at least an 18-inch stride length. Longer strides tend to offer a smooth experience and are more useful as you speed up during exercise.
Compare the type of resistance used by the elliptical trainer machines. A flywheel that creates friction is the most common option. The flywheel resistance is created in one of two ways–a belt or magnetic resistance. The belt tension is found on cheap models. A good magnetic resistance is important to offer a challenge for those who like to train hard.
Test out the operation of each elliptical trainer. Try the different resistance levels available. Note how smoothly the elliptical operates. Look for a smooth, even glide. Get a sense of how each elliptical model feels for you personally. The model that feels good for one person might not work well for another.
Note the differences in the elliptical displays and extra features. Like the price of the machines, the features included on the display consoles vary widely. Low-end models offer only limited options and monitoring of the workout. Higher-end models offer more features, including feedback about speed, heart rate and distance. This information can help you formulate a plan for future workouts. The more detailed display consoles also offer pre-programmed workouts that can help you stay on track and vary your exercise.
Compare the warranties of each elliptical trainer machine. A higher-quality machine is likely to have a longer warranty included. Lower-quality machines usually offer shorter warranties, because they do not want to get stuck replacing the inferior parts. Read the fine print on all the warranties, so you understand exactly what is covered and how you handle any issues.
- running image by Byron Moore from Fotolia.com