Sometimes gyms (and gym equipment) can be daunting. But the last thing we need is a reason to skip our cardio sessions again this week! When we’re faced with a variety of different equipment options to choose from (like the elliptical, stationary bikes, StairMaster, and so on), it’s common to feel confused about which piece of cardio equipment is the best fit for you. All cardio machines have a wide range of benefits, but they all might not provide the best workout for your specific set of health goals. For instance, certain machines are more suited for low-impact exercise, while others are harder on your joints. Keep reading for a quick look at 5 of the most common cardio machines. Be sure to check with your clinician before adopting a new exercise plan!


The Treadmill is your go-to if you’re trying to lose weight or you’re training for a race.

To optimize your workout on the treadmill, integrate an interval plan by switching between jogging and sprinting or walking and jogging. Click here for a 20-minute walking treadmill interval workout. Walking on a treadmill is a great place to start for those of us managing conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. Here are some tips for walking your way to better health.


If you’re looking for a low-impact way to lose weight and build lower-body strength, the StairMaster might be your cup of tea. While it’s similar to walking on a treadmill, it provides more focus on the lower body, and thus results in a higher calorie burn. Click here for 2 StairMaster workouts.


The Elliptical provides an effective full-body, low-impact workout. It’s also a wonderful option if you’re looking to build balance and core stability.

It has minimal impact on the hip, knee, and ankle joints as compared to running on a treadmill, so this makes it a great option if you have achy joints. While the elliptical is “low-impact”, it still provides an awesome, full-body workout. Click here for a 20-minute elliptical workout.

Stationary Bike

If you have a bad back or lower-body injuries, or if your upper body is sore, the stationary bike is for you.

The bike can also be a great addition to an upper-body workout for some added cardio. Also, just like you would on the treadmill and elliptical, alternate between distance rides and sprints to get the most out of your workout. Click here for a 20-minute stationary bike workout.

Rowing Machine

If you’re a bit sore from a previous day’s workout, or you are looking to increase your endurance with low-impact on your joints, the rowing machine has you covered.

The rower is oftentimes overlooked but can give you a great workout in a little amount of time. To get the most out of the rower, knowing how to properly use the machine is necessary. Need a quick 20-minute rowing workout? Click here.


Read Next: 

3 Tips to Keep Moving at a Desk Job

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