The Best Cardio Machines at the Gym

Cardio exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. The Cardiovascular Institute of The South recommends that individuals partake in “vigorous aerobic activities, done three or four times a week for 30 to 60 minutes to optimize heart and lung health.” Many people find going to a local gym the most convenient way to get a good cardio workout and most gyms have entire sections dedicated to cardio machines. The best cardio machines are low-impact to the body, yet still elevate the heartrate.


Treadmills are easily the most popular piece of equipment in most gyms. Treadmills are easy to use and with multiple speed and incline options, customizable to any fitness level. To maximize your workout, make sure your heart rate is elevated when walking or running, run or walk on an incline and try not to use the handrails to hold your weight while using the treadmill.


Elliptical machines provide a great cardio workout with the added benefit of being less stressful on the knee and hip joints than the treadmill. Since the elliptical machine works in a fluid motion, your body gets the cardiovascular workout without the pounding that you get on a treadmill, making it ideal for people with bad knees or people recovering from a sports injury.


If you’ve ever had to walk up a few flights of stairs when your elevator goes out, you know that stair climbing is a great workout. Stairclimbers that actually have stairs are the most effective of the different stairclimbers found in gyms. When using the stairclimber, gently touch the handrails instead of grasping them and try to stay on the middle stairs to “keep up” with the machine.

Stationary Bike

Stationary bikes offer a low-impact cardio workout, perfect for people with joint problems. Stationary bikes can be found in the traditional style or recumbent. Recumbent bikes offer a great cardio workout in a sitting position, making it easy for people with back pains to achieve aerobic health. Many gyms offer spinning classes, incorporating high-energy workouts on stationary bikes set to upbeat music.

About this Author

Laine Doss has been writing for years with an emphasis on fitness, travel and lifestyle issues. Doss has written for “Buzz” magazine,,, and Laine Doss Green Travels. Doss has co-hosted a lifestyles-themed radio show and is a graduate of the Connecticut School of Broadcasting.