Consumer Reports rates top treadmills, ellipticals and pedometers

Published Date: December 28th, 2011

Consumer Reports rates top treadmills, ellipticals and pedometers

The Precor 9.31 is the top-rated non-folding treadmill, and also a pricey one at $4,000. At the number two spot is the Landice L7 Cardio Trainer at $3,800 and in third place is the True PS300 at $2,400. Coming in at number four, and less than half the price of the Precor, is the Sole S77 at $1,900.

Folding treadmills tend to be much less expensive than the non-folding types; the LifeSpan TR4000i has the top spot at $1,700, followed by the Smooth 7.35 at $1,600 and the Fitnex TF55 at $1,800.

The top three folding treadmills for those on a budget, according to the report, are the NordicTrak C900 at $1,000, the ProForm Power 995 at $1,000 and the ProForm Performance 600 at $800.

For those who prefer getting their cardio on an elliptical trainer, the No. 1 pick was the Octane Fitness Q37ci at $3,100, followed by the Vision X30 Premier at $1,800 and the Smooth CE 3.6 at $1,300. The report notes that if you're not crazy about monitoring your heart rate and can go without other bells and whistles, you can opt for the Octane Fitness Q37c for $2,600.

Machines were rated on ergonomics, construction, ease of use, safety, exercise range, and if they included a heart-rate monitor and a chest strap.

A survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center of 18,984 people who own 27,825 cardiovascular machines found that treadmills were most popular (38% of machines), followed by elliptical trainers and upright stationary bikes (16% each) and recumbent bikes (11%).

Not that into exercise machines? How about a pedometer? Several studies have shown that having a pedometer to track steps is a good way to stay motivated to exercise, and they're far less expensive than a treadmill. In fact, the top three conventional pedometers came in at $30.

Some pedometers offer more than step tracking; they can tell you calories burned and distance traveled. And besides standard pedometers there are also apps and GPS watches that can do the job, but for more money--the latter run around $130 to $300.

The top three conventional pedometers were the Mio Trace Acc-Tek, the Omron GOsmart Pocket HJ-112 and the Yamax Digi-Walker CW-701. Among cellphone apps the Accupedo pedometer widget for Android phones had the top spot and cost $4; number two was the Pedometer Pro GPS+ for the iPhone at $3 and number three was the Max CA Apps Pedometer TM for the iPhone at $1.

By: Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times

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"Consumer Reports rates top treadmills, ellipticals and pedometers" is posted under: Treadmill News