Get fit in 2019 with the help of Nordictrack’s elegant and stylish cardio machines
As the Christmas period of festivities and indulgence fades out of view in the rear-view mirror, the forward-thinking among us may already be allowing their mind to wander to January, and the realm of the dreaded New Year’s resolutions. But, when the dust settles, and Mariah Carey and Michael Bublé return to their cryogenic hibernation for another year, how many of us really do succeed in shedding the pounds with our shiny new gym or country club memberships?
According to research published Business Insider, the answer is somewhere between 8 and 20%, depending on your levels of commitment. The main contributor to this collective failure, according to researchers from the Journal of Nature and Science, is that people struggle to reconcile their long-term goals with the difficulty and delayed gratification of the challenge of getting fit. For others, the sheer social anxiety of setting foot into a public gym, perceived in the mind’s eye to be brimming full of stacked dudes and activewear-laden size-zero yoga instructors, can be too much for the Average Joe. Fortunately, there is another solution, which eliminates both of these issues – Nordictrack’s range of use-at-home elliptical machines.
Vast technological advancements in recent years have contributed to an emerging market of home exercise machines that don’t break the bank, but offer comparable results to a gym workout. Scan your mind back to the last time you went to a gym? What God-awful music was blaring out across the sound system? How was the atmosphere? Did you struggle to get a parking space? Well, with these ellipticals, that needn’t matter – you can watch what you like on the TV, exercising from the comfort of your own home, fretting not about any potential parking infractions.
So what is an elliptical workout? Well, the concept is simple – rather than submit your joints to the potentially degenerating stress of pounding a treadmill, or hammering your way up a Stairmaster, elliptical machines offer an exercise experience which aims to minimise strain on key joints. While ellipticals are a fledgling field of study in contemporary sport and health science, there is an encouraging bank of research emerging which suggests that they are as effective for cardiovascular and muscular workouts as, for example, a treadmill, while reducing the long-term impact on joints.
The ellipticals themselves come in all manner of shapes and sizes, with varying price points depending on your ultimate fitness goals. The most affordable piece of kit is the E400 cross-trainer at a mere £399. The unit comes equipped with a tidy 5’’ backlit display to track your progress, as well as a 400m race-track simulator, for those who like their workouts with a competitive edge. Also in-built into the machine is an integrated speaker, allowing you to plug your music source in and turn your home gym into a disco, should you choose, or an audiobook, if you’re after a more refined experience. Like with all ellipticals in the Nordictrack range, the cross-trainer comes with a five-year frame warranty, as well as a two-year parts and labour warranty.
If you’re looking for a beefier setup to achieve your fitness goals, then you can dip your toe into the commercial-grade range of ellipticals on offer. The jewel in the crown of the collection has to be the all-singing, all-dancing FreeStride FS7i, which proudly boasts a three-in-one design to ensure you don’t leave a single muscle group unworked. The FreeStride technology adapts to your movements, which means that you decide how you want it to support your workout. Want it to be a stepper? Then start stepping! Elliptical? Then start gliding! Treadmill? Run, Forrest! As opposed to the common gym-use ellipticals you may have seen with a rails attached to a crank (think your local gym’s cross-trainer), the FreeStride operates with cushioned pedals on belts, allowing for the machine to adapt smoothly to your movements, providing the most ergonomic workout in tandem with your strides.
As you might expect as we move away from the budget option of the E400, the FS7i’s technical enhancements don’t just stop at the nuts and bolts. The unit comes with all the bells-and-whistles: a wireless chest strap to measure cardiovascular performance, 35 workout apps, an in-built fan to cool you while you exercise and a seven inch web-enabled colour touchscreen – which allows you to browse the internet, watch shows, read emails or check your Facebook.
If you enjoy your workouts a little more immersive, the evolution of the iFit offering now allows the user to follow athletic routes throughout some of the world’s most beautiful destinations, tracing the route of an iFit Personal Trainer at your own pace. If that’s not your cup of tea, there’s also feature for you to design your ‘travel’ route through Google Maps, which allows you to then virtually stroll (or hopefully, run!) through the neighbourhoods of your choice using Streetview. Also available through the iFit experience are studio classes – bringing the intensity of a spin class to the comfort of home.
In truth, there are a whole range of exciting, affordable and well-reviewed ellipticals available from Nordictrack right now. So, once you’ve inevitably eaten your own body weight in roast potatoes or emptied the cellar of festive vino, perhaps consider an alternative to the ritual humiliation of hitting the gym in January – and shred the pudding pudge from the comfort of your own home.