Choosing an exercise machine

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It’s that time of year! We’ve endured weeks and weeks of food advertising (and maybe eating!), and now it’s time to think about burning those calories. But what to buy?

Disclaimer: We cannot give personal medical or fitness advice. if in doubt, see you doctor before starting an exercise regime.

Here are some thoughts and ideas


Treadmills are one of the most common types of home gym equipment because of their versatility. They have long treads that make it easy to get your exercise without having to leave your house. Consider the size in terms of length, width, and height, to make sure it easily fits in your dedicated space with enough room to walk around and access the machine. Some have a compact design that folds and stands upright when not in use, making them ideal for houses with limited space.
The size of the deck is also important; smaller decks are good if you only plan to walk on it. If you like to jog or run, choose one with a wider and longer deck that accommodates your stride.
Some models offer built-in extras that help you achieve fitness goals, such as a heart rate monitor, adjustable incline, and some work with apps such as iFit and Passport Virtual Active.

Cross Trainers

A cross trainer, also known as an elliptical, offers a stationary workout station that mimics climbing stairs, running, and walking briskly. One of the perks is it eliminates pressure on the joints because there’s minimal impact since your feet remain firmly planted on the platforms.
When shopping for a cross trainer, look for specific features, including the stride, incline, and power method.

Rowing Machines

Rowing machines mimic the act of rowing that you would do in a boat, and they prove to be beneficial machines if you can stick with them. A rowing machine offers a full-body workout. It’s a low-impact exercise but one that burns a lot of calories. There are four main types of rowers:

  • Hydraulic – works out the arms more than the legs, uses air or fluid inside the pistons to create resistance
  • Magnetic – operates similarly to the cross trainer/elliptical, adjustable arms and seats, larger than the hydraulic
  • Air-resistance – resistance created by the user, smooth experience but noisier than other models, full range of motion, not limited to just one part of the body
  • Water – mimics the action of rowing on water with the greatest accuracy, most expensive type, user creates the resistance with rowing intensity

Exercise Bikes

Exercise bikes give you all the fun of riding a bike, but you can do it inside while watching TV or listening to music. Like cross-trainers and treadmills, they also come in compact models that fold up to conserve space and full-size models that need a designated space. Again these are available as basic exercise machines for losing weight, or if you’re training for a cycling event, you may want one that offers more features.

Some bikes feature an LCD display that showcases your current speed and difficulty level and tracks your time. Built-in programs that include hilly terrains and flat roads help increase your heart rate while targeting specific muscle groups. Since you will be sitting for the duration of the exercise, look for an exercise bike with a comfortable seat. Choose one with a cushion and a wide back for added support.

Buying options

Here are the Best Selling exercise machines at Amazon UK (these links will take you directly to Amazon). More buying information can be found here, again from Amazon.

Treadmills: Best Sellers and Top Rated

 Manual and electric
 Fixed or with adjustable incline
 Folding and compact options
 Wide price range to suit all budgets

Rowing machines: Best Sellers and Top Rated

 Resistance options includes magnetic and air resistance
 Some are foldable for compact storage
 Fixed or height adjustable
 Wide price range to suit all budgets

Indoor Studio/Spinning bikes: Best sellers and Top Rated

 Smartphone/App control options
 Various resistance functions
 Multifunctional console, digital display and more
 Wide price range to suit all budgets

Cross Trainers: Best Sellers and Top Rated

 Some with heart rate monitors
 Toucbhscreen options
 Manual and programmable
 Folding or compact

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