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How Do I Choose the Best Elliptical Exercise Bike?

Women on elliptical machines.
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  • Written By: Elizabeth Kelly
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 16 April 2014
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Elliptical exercise bikes have become just as popular at home as they are in gyms, and for good reason: a one-hour elliptical workout can burn as many as 1,000 calories, depending on your age, weight and gender. For calorie burning, an elliptical trainer is just as effective as running, but without the harsh impact on the legs and ankles. For at-home workouts, an elliptical exercise bike can be one of the most effective pieces of fat-burning equipment, especially if you choose the right one for your needs. To choose the best elliptical exercise bike, you will need to consider things such as the type of workouts you plan to do, the maximum weight the bike can support, the bike's noise level while in use and any special features that you want the bike to have.

Before choosing any home gym equipment, it is important to first consider what type of workout will be performed most frequently. If you are an athlete who trains multiple times per week at a high performance level, you'll need a gym-quality elliptical exercise bike that can withstand heavy use. If you're a casual exerciser whose elliptical workouts last 30 minutes or less once or twice a week, you might consider purchasing a bike that is less expensive and less durable.

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Always check the weight restrictions before choosing an elliptical exercise bike or any other home gym equipment, especially if you are looking at lower-priced models, which are usually less durable than heavy-duty versions. Some elliptical trainers have a maximum weight load of 200 pounds, making them a poor choice for a heavier person who is seeking to lose weight with elliptical workouts. Keep in mind that the more you weigh, the more you should consider investing in a long-wearing machine.

Special features vary from model to model, and not all of them will be of interest to every elliptical bike user. A portable elliptical exercise bike might be essential if you need to take it with you, but it won't be ideal for every user. If you are calorie-conscious, you might want an elliptical that displays calories burned, and if you are a gadget-lover, you might seek out a trainer that has a hookup for an electronic music device. Be aware that special features can cost more, and you should pay only for those that you need and want.

Other factors to consider are noise and the space you have available. If you have a home gym, space might not be a main concern, but if you live in a small apartments or don't have a spare room, you might require an elliptical exercise bike that can be folded up so it can be stored in a small space. Some elliptical exercise bikes are noisier than others, so always test the floor model before purchasing it is noise is a concern.

Remember that there are as many kinds of elliptical trainers as there are kinds of people who do workouts. Keep your personal exercise needs in mind, and purchase the model that fits your individual workout style. The best elliptical exercise bike for you should integrate perfectly into your home, your lifestyle and your exercise routine.

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