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Deciding What Fat Burning Exercise

Equipment You Need

by Mandy Gibbons, The Virtual Fitness Trainer


If you are not sure which cardiovascular machine you need or want to purchase then take a look at the following article. Hopefully this will assist you in making the right choice for your fat burning needs.


The Treadmill is very versatile and is pretty much top of the list when it comes to cardiovascular equipment. It suits all types of fitness levels and can be used for everything from fat burning, walking programs, running to fitness testing. There are loads of varieties of treadmills but you need to choose one that suits your needs best, otherwise you won't use it and it will only gather dust. (sound familiar?)

1# Best Choice Treadmill

For a good all-round treadmill, which will cost a bit extra to hire or purchase, go for the following functions when shopping around. Motorised - don't buy manuals because you probably won't use it after the first week. (If you have high blood pressure or a heart condition manual treadmills may put too much stress on the heart)

For an easy to use treadmill go for functions that are all located on the front console of the treadmill, where the screen is. Speed Function, Incline Function for which you can use for "hills and intervals", Manual, Hills, Interval Programs and a Fitness Test Program if possible too. The Pulse rate Function is optional, although I do recommend it if you are very unfit or have any medical conditions.

If you have got these functions you are "set". These basic functions, which most motorised treadmills have, offer heaps of variation for your workouts and for you to advance with your "cardio" program. If you are of a more advanced level such as an athlete you will need to spend extra $$$ to ensure the treadmill caters for an athletes needs.

You can also get motorised treadmills where you have to get on and off the treadmill to adjust inclines etc and where you need to use a handle to wind up the speed. However I have found that, in general, these manual type functions tend to interrupt the cardiovascular session which usually leads to the treadmill being shoved in the junk room of your house and not being used at all. These treadmills are not suitable for running or jogging either.

Indoor Cycles

Indoor cycles are also fantastic and don't take up much room in the house either. Some of them are more light weight than others too, which is convenient when you need to move the cycle from one room to another. This cardiovascular machine can also be used for fitness testing, fat burning and fitness in general. The best part is you don't need to be an experienced cyclist to use one.

1# Best Choice Cycle

Semi-recumbent cycles are great. The seats are like a normal chair "seat" and you can stretch your legs out further. They aren't as hard to lower yourself onto as the fully recumbent cycle. Requirements: Full function console including programs and heart rate monitor. If you don't mind changing the intensity yourself and would prefer to save yourself some $$$ go for semi-recumbent with an intensity dial.

Indoor Upright Cycle. A stationery exercise bike, similar to a normal bike with a narrow seat. Basic Requirements: Rpms and intensity dial. You can usually purchase or hire these quite cheaply. As the price is normally fairly low it'd be worth your while to find out how much extra it is for an indoor upright cycle with functions and programs - don't forget the pulse rate monitor.

Fully-recumbent cycles are also fantastic but can be difficult to lower yourself onto if you have back problems. They also have a large seat and are normally found at most health clubs or for hire. The fully recumbent are quite a bit more expensive than the semi-recumbent, from what I have experienced anyway. Requirements: Rpms and programs essential as these things cost an arm and a leg, so you want to make sure you get your money's worth. Pulse rate Functions are important. Make sure the programs have hills and intervals. The same rules apply for other cardiovascular equipment. Make sure if you are paying big dollars that you have a full function console that contains all programs plus a heart rate monitor.


I don't recommend steppers for beginners, extremely overweight, overweight, low-level fitness or people suffering from lower back pain, heart and or blood pressure conditions. Why?

1 Your heart rate can be raised too high without making much of an effort
2 It can be quite difficult to use when starting out and can be quite off-putting.
3 Most people rock their hips by taking large steps which effects their lower backs and encourages lower back pain.
4 As people tire very quickly on the stepper they tend to either half hang off the equipment from exhaustion or round their backs to the point where they are only causing themselves the risk of injury.

Don't get me wrong - Steppers can be fun, but you need to make sure that correct posture and technique is carried out at all times as well as being at a more advanced fitness level.

Mandy Gibbons,

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