Cardio Fitness Buying Guide

One of the best ways to keep fit is to do regular cardio workouts. This cardio fitness buying guide will help you find the right home exercise equipment for you and your family.

Cardio Fitness 101

It's well known that cardiovascular workouts are a "heart-smart" form of exercise that can substantially reduce the risk of heart disease. But cardio exercise actually provides many more benefits to your body. For example, a cardio workout regime will help you burn calories and manage your cholesterol levels. Regular cardio workouts are also known to help manage stress and promote overall mental and emotional health. All it takes is 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise most days of the week. It's easy for you and your family to get started improving your health through cardio exercise. In no time, you'll notice improved energy and stamina and begin laying the foundation for long-term good health.

Types of Cardio Machines


Rowing Machines

Rowing machines provide a great cardio workout and burn up to 800 calories per hour. They also build strength and tone in the muscles in your arms, shoulders, back and legs. During rowing, your upper body does 25% of the work, while your legs do 75%. Rowing machines work on resistance, which assists you in maintaining controlled movement and proper form during your routine.


Treadmills let you bring your run indoors by realistically simulating outdoor walking and running. A great thing about treadmills is they're designed for all fitness levels, so everyone in the family can use the same machine. Simply adjust the settings to your liking and away you go. If you're new to exercising, start at a leisurely stroll and advance gradually to jogging and then running. Some treadmills have built-in screens for watching TV or browsing the Web, so you can multitask while burning off calories.

Elliptical Machines

With an elliptical machine, you get an effective cardio workout similar to jogging or using a treadmill, but with low impact on your knees, hips and back. For this reason, elliptical machines are often preferred by people with ligament tears or osteoporosis. To use an elliptical machine, you stand on the pedals and move your legs back and forth in an easy gliding motion. Some machines offer dual-action movable arms to grip while pedalling. This adds an upper body workout element to your exercise. Another benefit of elliptical machines is that most models permit pedalling in reverse, which gives your calf and hamstring muscles a more strenuous workout.

Cross Trainers

Cross trainers are a variation of the standard elliptical machine. The key difference is that cross trainers have movable handles or poles similar to ski poles. As you're working your lower legs, you push and pull on the handles to exercise your arms and chest. Compared to standard elliptical machines, cross trainers offer a more complete physical workout.


Yes, they’re small, but steppers provide an effective cardio workout by simulating the action of climbing stairs. This action also burns calories, tones your legs and tightens your glutes. With steppers, you can keep it simple with a basic one-speed model, or get a programmable unit that lets you choose different levels of resistance and speed.

Exercise Bikes

Exercise bikes, also known as stationary bikes, are joint- and muscle-friendly exercise machines that simulate actual bike riding. Wheel resistance is easy to adjust, allowing you to go easy or push yourself, depending on how you feel. Exercise bikes are available in three types: upright, recumbent and spinner. An upright bike positions your body as it would on an outdoor bike, which engages your abdominal muscles to support your upper body. A recumbent bike puts you in a reclined position with your feet pedalling in front. This position offers more back support and comfort, but your maximum pedal speed (and cardio rate) is lower. Spinner bikes simulate the experience of an on-road bicycle because it forces you to work harder to get the bike moving, and the pedals will keep spinning even after you stop pedalling. 

Cardio Equipment Buying Tips:

• Consider the physical activities you enjoy most to help determine what machine to buy
• Pick a model with the features you think you'll use the most
• If you have problem joints or chronic pain, consider lower impact equipment such as elliptical trainers
• Let your fitness goals help guide your equipment decisions

Key Benefits of Cardio Fitness

Heart Health +

Twenty-nine percent of all deaths in Canada are caused by cardiovascular disease. By doing cardiovascular exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, you’ll reduce your risk of heart disease, lower cholesterol levels, and help your heart. Remember, your heart is a muscle, and all muscles need exercise.

Increased Metabolism +

Cardio workouts increase not just your heart rate but also your metabolism. This means you will burn calories faster and your weight will be easier to manage over time.

Weight Management +

As you exercise more, you create more muscle mass, which displaces the stored fat in your body. With more muscle mass to contend with, your body has to burn a greater amount of energy simply to maintain itself. This coupled with an increased metabolism will help you lose weight and keep it off.

Energy and Stamina +

When starting a new exercise regime, you’ll feel slightly tired after your first few workouts. This fatigue is normal as your circulatory system, respiratory system and affected muscles must adjust to the new demands being put on them. As your body gets more efficient at processing oxygen and delivering it to your muscles, your exercise stamina will improve, and you'll have more energy throughout the day.

Mental Health +

Exercise increases the supply of oxygen and nutrients in your blood. This provides benefits not just to your muscles but also to your brain, allowing it to perform more efficiently. You should notice a variety of cognitive improvements, including better memory, problem solving and decision making.

Emotional Health +

Exercise also increases your bloodstream's levels of important chemicals such as norepinephrine that are associated with good emotional health. Through regular exercise, you'll help your body deal more effectively with stress-related issues, including anxiety, poor self-confidence, addiction and inability to relax. So get sweaty and get happy!

Shop Accessories & Related Products:

Cardio Equipment Safety Tips:

• Make sure you have enough space at the rear and sides of the equipment to let you mount and dismount easily
• Give yourself enough headroom to use the equipment freely without crouching or worry of injury
• Keep yourself hydrated while working out
• Stop immediately if you feel dizzy or nauseous
• Remember to take time to cool down and stretch after every workout
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



Store details