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October 02, 2019

The most effective cardio machines for burning calories

Fitness Cardio

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Woman using a cardio workout machine Ridofranz/istock.com

As the summer barbeques and cook-outs come to an end, the upcoming holidays promise new food temptations—options that certainly don’t skimp on the calories. While the motivation to maintain a beach body might dwindle as temperatures dip, it’s important to find a healthy balance when consuming holiday treats and leftovers. Cardio can be one of the fastest ways to burn these extra calories, but with so many different cardio machines available, it can also be difficult to understand which ones are best for shedding those holiday pounds— especially as a beginner. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most effective cardio machines for burning calories.

Treadmill

The staple of many gym routines, treadmills can be found at virtually any gym, and die-hard runners will often invest in a treadmill for their home. Because there are so many different options for using a treadmill, the calorie burn can be as intense or as minimal as you see fit. Increasing the incline, quickening the speed, and walking backwards can all amp up the intensity and help shed pounds.

Rowing machine

An unexpected calorie torcher, rowing machines use the entire body to mimic the action of rowing a boat. Because the movement uses multiple muscle groups, they increase heart rate and respiration—making it an ideal piece of cardio equipment for fat burning. To burn the most calories using a rowing machine, try exercising at a higher stroke rate. This helps increase aerobic intensity, but experts recommend staying below 20 to 30 strokes per minute.

Indoor cycling

Spin classes have become a popular way to burn calories fast and can also be a great way to meet friends and build a community around common fitness interests. Though an outdoor bike ride can be great exercise, indoor cycling gives you better control of your pace and difficulty level. To burn the most calories on a stationary bike, vary the workout’s intensity in intervals. Alternating periods of high-resistance pedaling with quick, low resistance pedaling triggers post oxygen consumption, which allows the body to continue burning calories even after the workout is finished.

Stair climber

Though sometimes classified as a strength-training tool, a stair-climbing machine also offers a grueling cardiovascular workout. Because stair climbing uses some of the largest muscles in the body, like the quads and glutes, the metabolism quickens, and calories burn more readily. To amplify weight loss and calorie burn, try using the stair-climber for a high intensity interval training workout. This increases the number of calories burned after the workout, and can keep things less monotonous as you put one foot in front of the other.

Elliptical

Not only are ellipticals low impact, making the activity less stressful on the ankles, knees, and back, but they also provide a total-body calorie burning workout. To optimize the calorie burn on an elliptical, embrace the programs included on most newer ellipticals. These are often geared to intensify weight loss, using intervals to automatically change the resistance level, speed, and stride length. You can also experiment with the motion of an elliptical, going in reverse and holding on to the non-stationary handlebars to optimize caloric burn.

With so much equipment available at most gyms, choosing the right machine can feel like a daunting task. Understanding the benefits offered by each piece of equipment can help you choose an option that’s best for your fitness goals. It’s also important to have a conversation with your doctor before starting a new fitness routine to determine a custom workout plan that’s tailored to you.

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