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It’s no secret that the pandemic has caused people to move less. Between gyms closing and broken routines, it’s hard to find the motivation to exercise.
If you’re looking for a way to clock in more activity, an exercise machine may be helpful. Take this elliptical machine as an example. More than 6,000 Amazon shoppers give this best-selling Sunny Health & Fitness Elliptical Machine at least 4 out of 5 stars. It retails for less than $200 — and it’s so versatile.
Shop: Sunny Health & Fitness Elliptical Machine, $170.99
An elliptical machine is a low-impact trainer. Your feet never leave the pedals, so it’s like you’re walking on air — or pushing through it, depending on your resistance level. It provides a more comfortable way to workout for people with knee or joint problems, without sacrificing intensity.
A study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, which looked at marathon runners, found that most people experience an impact of up to 2.8 times their body weight during a run, affecting joints in the feet, legs and more. Slowing down and walking causes less impact on those joints, but an elliptical provides even less.
This elliptical machine is incredibly smooth thanks to onboard stabilizers. And it’s relatively compact — only 28 inches long, 17 inches wide and 57 inches tall. And, it has small wheels for transporting out of the way when you’re not using it.
With that said, the 11-inch stride length may be a bit shorter than what you’re used to in the gym. But it’s still a great workout.
It has eight levels of resistance, so you can adjust your workout to your liking. Dial it down to use while you watch your favorite show or turn it up if you want a quicker, more intense workout. The handlebars have pulse sensors that can measure your heart rate, which is displayed on a digital monitor, along with time, speed, distance and calories.
Unlike smaller mini ellipticals, this one has handlebars for added stability. The anti-slip foot pads also help to ensure you stay on the machine.
“The motion is smooth and totally quiet,” wrote one Amazon reviewer.
“Although it was expected, I was at first disappointed that the stride length is shorter than I’m used to, but that effectively makes this unit a cross between an elliptical and a stepper. I’m very happy with this piece of equipment, especially for the very reasonable price.”
“The stride is noticeably shorter than a standard machine, BUT you literally get used to it in 30 seconds,” wrote another customer. “The short stride actually makes for a harder workout in my opinion. I feel the burn in the thighs — something I never felt after using a standard one. And it is shockingly quiet. Seriously.”
If you prefer a longer stride, Sunny Health & Fitness also makes a more advanced elliptical with a 15.5-inch stride and an increased max user weight. The Sunny Health & Fitness Advanced Programmed Elliptical Machine Trainer retails for $499.97 on Amazon.
If you’re looking for more ways to workout from home, check out this rowing machine on Amazon that also costs less than $100.
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