So you've decided to go with an elliptical trainer for your home. You are ready to workout on this super-calorie burning machine rain or shine, whenever you want, in the comfort of your own home.
But wait a minute - there are over 40 different elliptical brands out there. How do you find the best one?
Don't panic. You may have lots of choices - but that's not always a bad thing.
If you steer clear of the following mistakes when buying an elliptical you're much more likely to find a good fit for you - and be very happy with your purchase.
So without further ado, here are 3 mistakes you'll want to avoid when buying your elliptical trainer:
#1 Failing To Do Your Research
We live in the internet age. There just is no excuse anymore to go out shopping cold. You have to do your research before you go shopping, period.
There are great elliptical reviews sites out there - some like http://www.MaxTrainerBlog.com that will even focus on specialty elliptical trainers. These will help you compare and rate different elliptical trainers based on your goals, budget and space considerations.
You can also find a myriad of different magazines that also put out ratings every year of various models and give them "Best Buys" or "Recommended Buys" awards.
That's not to say you should go overboard. You should take your time but really don't spend more than a week researching your options.
Pay attention to the features that catch your attention as you research and you're more likely to get a good sense of what you really want in a trainer.
#2 Not Knowing You Need
You have to know what's out there - but you also have to know what YOU need first as well.
If you're 6 foot 2 for example, you do NOT need an elliptical with a short 16 inch stride. You'll be limping and in pain after a week.
Take some time when doing job #1 above to compare the features you see with what you actually need. For example when it comes to stride length most people are most comfortable for an eighteen to twenty inch stride.
A 15 inch stride for example is just too short for most people - especially if you're over 5 foot 8. It's going to feel like you're being forced to run in a too-short gait. And that's not fun.
If you want to work your upper body, you'll also need a trainer with moving upper body arms.
If you tend to get bored easily, you'll want a machine with lots of built-in workouts to challenge you.
Or maybe you're a techno-geek like meet who loves to measure everything. If that's the case you'll need a crosstrainer that also has an online tracking program or app.
So be sure to know what YOU specifically need before you go shopping and you're much more likely to spend money on what you need - and avoid paying extra for what you don't.
#3 Getting Taken In By the Goodies
There are a lot of goodies with elliptical machines today - from built-in tablet holders or TVs to iPod docks to wireless heart rate monitors and even fancy personal trainer workout programs.
While all of that is nice - and for the right person it can be a dream machine - that doesn't mean you can ignore the basics of a well-constructed machine. You want to look for quality first - then the goodies.
So for example you'll want to make sure the trainer has a decent stride length (see above) and enough resistance levels to give you a challenge. You'll want proper ergonomics and well positioned footpedals.
And you also want a machine with a heavy flywheel for a more smooth, fluid motion.
These things are all a lot more important than whether you can track your workouts on an app, trust me.
Look for quality first - then go for the goodies once you've found that.
So those are 3 ways you can avoid making a mistake when going to buy your elliptical machine. Avoid these mistakes and you're more likely to get a trainer that you really love! Good luck and have fun!