When choosing an elliptical trainer, you'll want to consider a variety of things to determine which elliptical machine will best suit your needs. You should pay attention to the quality and durability, features, brand reputation (important when buying online), and weight restrictions. Oh yeah, you will need to decide how much you're willing to spend also.
The great thing about elliptical trainers is that they are a wonderful alternative to the treadmill or stair stepper machine if you have joint problems. There is much less impact (virtually none) to your legs and knees. They also do not take up a lot of space.
First, you may want to visit your local sporting goods outlets/stores to try out different brands of ellipticals, because comfort on an elliptical trainer is difficult to gauge just by browsing online. Don't be intimidated or pressured by the sales people - you are there to decide which machine is best for you. After all, you're the one paying for it, right?
Once you have decided which machines feel best to you, you'll want to check out the features and pricing. What features are you willing to sacrifice for the sake of your budget? One thing you do not want to sacrifice, and I must stress this, is comfort. Because if you're not comfortable on the machine, then you won't use it, now will you?
So this means that you may decide on a more expensive, quality constructed machine with less features than a cheaper model because it feels more comfortable to you.
Pay attention to the construction and weight requirements of the elliptical machine. If you are going to be using the trainer a lot, you will want a sturdier model that can withstand heavier use. If it is just going to be used occassionally in addition to other equipment, you can probably get away with a cheaper model.
Also please, please pay attention to the weight requirements - you don't want to just waste your money (in an effort to save) on a trainer that is going to break or wear out and not be of any use to you because you did not bother to pay attention to weight requirements. Worse yet, you could actually injure yourself by ignoring these details. It's best to invest a little more.
To help you get more out of your workouts, I would definitely suggest that you try to purchase an elliptical trainer with adjustable incline (simulates different walking and running positions) and upper body attachments or poles. You should also choose a reputable brand that is easy to repair if repairs are ever needed. However, only you can decide which machine is best for your needs.
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