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If you want to lose weight and keep it off, eating a healthy diet and getting regular physical exercise must become the foundation of a new lifestyle. Losing the weight through hard work might not be as glamorous as a quick, supposedly effortless diet, but it makes the pounds come off and stay off faster than if you lose the weight and regain it several times.
The following are three of the best exercise machines to help you lose weight quickly.
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Stationary rowers are one of the best machines for weight loss because they work both your upper and lower body at the same time. But if you want the most benefit out of using a rower (sometimes called a rowing ergometer, or simply an erg) you must go through a slightly longer learning curve than with other exercise machines. Check out Concept2 for basic training and technique videos.
- Extremely low impact, because your feet never leave the footrests.
- Some rowers fold for storage, making them a good home exercise choice for small spaces.
- Works your back, shoulders and the pulling muscles in your arms along with your lower body.
- Some rowers have unique features you won't find on other exercise machines, including the ability to race against a simulated opponent or other nearby erg users.
- Relatively little calf involvement.
- Relatively long learning curve compared to other cardio machines.
- Doesn't work your chest or triceps as an elliptical trainer's moving handlebars do.
- Air-resistance rowers can be too loud for watching television as you work out.
- Relatively few amenities (heart rate monitors, preprogrammed workouts, etc) as compared to other exercise machines.
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Stair Steppers and Stepmills
Stair steppers and stepmills (which resemble a short escalator that you walk up as the steps scroll down toward you) might not look like much of a workout, but if you've ever climbed one too many flights of stairs you know better. Both of these machines offer a low- to medium- impact workout that develops your entire lower body, including your glutes, quads, calves and hamstrings.
- Less impact than running on a treadmill.
- Works your calves better than rowing or pedaling an exercise bike.
- You can easily wear a weight vest or carry a heavy backpack for extra intensity.
- Provide simulation for hiking up hills or mountains; you can lose weight as you train for an upcoming trip.
- Relatively small footprint compared to treadmills, rowers and elliptical trainers.
- Relatively limited range of motion.
- It's tempting to lean on the handlebars. This makes your workout easier, but easier means less effective and fewer calories burned.
- No upper-body component.
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Arm cycles, also known as arm bikes, arm ergometers or upper-body ergometers, work just like an exercise bike for your hands. This is one of the best exercise machines for combining an upper-body workout with weight loss.
- Great exercise option for anybody with limited or no use of their legs.
- Also an excellent option if your legs are too sore or tired for a lower-body cardio workout.
- Good way of warming up your chest, back and arms for upper-body strength training.
- Doesn't work the large muscles of your lower body.
- Can be problematic if you have shoulder injuries.
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Other Ways to Lose Weight
Although these three exercise machines can help you lose weight quickly, they're not the only way to slim down. Check out the first article in this series for more ideas. Strength training also burns calories, builds muscle and helps you shape a sleek body. Finally, if you're having trouble finding the motivation to work out, these tips can help.