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You know that exercise is important. Cardiovascular exercise has multiple benefits for your heart, your lungs, your mind, your mood, your waistline and more. There are a few problems with cardio, however. Running, jumping, basketball and other forms of high-impact cardio can be tough on your knees and other joints. In addition, getting a good cardiovascular workout outside can be difficult when the weather is bad. Elliptical machines are a great solution to both these problems. They give you an effective low-impact cardio workout in the comfort and convenience of your living room.
Elliptical machines have two pedals that move to recreate a running motion in your legs. Unlike a treadmill, however, your feet don't land on a hard surface; this makes ellipticals a low-impact exercise machine. For this reason an elliptical machine might be a good choice for those with stiff knees, hips or backs, along with foam rollers and inversion equipment. They offer a movement similar to upright or recumbent bikes, except that you're standing instead of sitting. Ellipticals also feature moving handlebars that help give you a great upper body workout.
Elliptical machines can stimulate a variety of lower body muscles, too. Some models allow you to vary the incline, which will let you control the muscles that are targeted. A steeper incline can help target your glutes, while a flat incline will help build your quads. Another way to vary the muscles you're working is by changing the direction of your feet. By changing direction of your strides you can put more stress on the front or back of your legs, also known as your quadriceps or hamstrings. Of course, you can also vary the resistance. Warm up at an easy setting, hit your legs hard at a more difficult setting, then reduce the resistance again to cool down. If you're sore, take a look at our relaxing vibration machines.
Once you've picked out an elliptical machine that works for you, consider a good floor mat to put underneath it. These padded mats will help to protect wood floors, similar to the way treadmill mats work. Take your pick from roll-up mats and interlocking gym flooring. The former rolls up for easy storage, while the latter tends to be thicker and offer more protection.
Whether your goal is to get in shape or to lose weight, make sure you have the equipment you need to make that goal a reality. Snow, rain and other bad weather can make it hard to work out, which is why a cardio machines like an elliptical trainer makes a lot of sense. Put it in your living room so you can watch TV while you workout, or put it in the basement to exercise in privacy. Whatever you choose, take a look at our selection here at Kmart. We offer a variety of choices at great prices.