So, are you saying to yourself: What in the world is an elliptical trainer and why not just buy a treadmill? While both are invaluable with starting or restarting a workout regime in your home, there are some differences to know about and topics to consider before buying.

One of the most important reasons to buy an elliptical machine over a treadmill is it provides a cardiovascular yet low-impact workout that is easier on the joints and back. Even if that may not be an issue you have now, unfortunately we are all aging every day, and there may come a time when the lower impact feature will be advantageous for the daily exerciser. Thus, if you want to invest for the long haul, an elliptical trainer may be a better overall choice.

Elliptical trainers not only mimic walking or jogging that may burn up to 750 calories per hour, they also come with moving handlebars for an upper-body workout. The name used for this feature is cross-training. If you are going to exercise, why not use a piece of equipment that does both at the same time! And to make it more fun and when you improve and need a harder workout, some elliptical machines come with an adjustable incline ramp that will challenge your muscles with higher intensity.

So, if you’ve decided an elliptical trainer is for you, here are a few things to put on your checklist:

Measure your workout area, including ceiling height, to make sure you have enough room. Most elliptical trainers are space savers where the average treadmill uses up more space.

What features would you like included in your purchase? Elliptical trainers can cost anywhere from $300 to $4,500. More bells and whistles means a higher price, but elliptical trainers have become so sophisticated they can come with heart monitors, workout programs, heart rate controls, consoles that can display your progress, incline ramps, adjustable strides, foot pedals, and handlebars.

Speaking of adjustable strides, foot pedals and handlebars, if more than one person will be using the elliptical trainer to work out, the adjustability feature is an important one, as is the maximum weight usage. It is a good idea to try out many models - just like you would in buying a car - to see which one works best for all.

Safety is such an important factor, so everyone should read the user manual from cover to cover at least once. This author recommends more than that.

Other things to consider before you get your credit card out are the warranty periods, the company’s customer service ratings, and possible service contracts.

An invaluable resource where hours of research will be at your fingertips for over 21 elliptical trainer brands and 82 different models is Elliptical Review Guide. Elliptical Review Guide has done the majority of the leg work for you. They have explained each model in detail that includes an unbiased review. Their dedication is to make sure you are happy with your new purchase.

Hopefully these tips and items to consider will be helpful in buying an elliptical trainer.

Author's Bio: 

Article written by Nathan Summers at Elliptical Review Guide.