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Consumer News

Consumer Reports Tests, Rates Exercise Equipment

(Credit: KDKA)

(Credit: KDKA)

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Sarah Arbogast joined the KDKA team as a Traffic Reporter in November...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — When it comes to exercise, there’s a lot to think about – from what equipment to use to how to keep track of all your hard work.

One of the best and most basic forms of exercise is walking.

Ideally, you should walk four miles a day, that’s about 10,000 steps. A pedometer may help you achieve that.

A Stanford University study shows people who use a pedometer walk about a mile more every day than those who don’t use one.

“It keeps me going. It keeps me really going, I’m telling you,” says John Hvisch, who goes walking to get exercise. “Look at me, look at my age. I’m 86, and I just love it. I just love to walk.”

But with so many pedometers on the market, which one is the best?

Consumer Reports tested out 10 conventional pedometers and three GPS watches.

Pedometers that clip onto your waistband are the cheapest. The Sportline Step & Distance from Walmart is $5. It’s also rated very good for accuracy.

If you’re willing to spend a little more, the Mio Trace for $30 is top rated. It’s easy to use, and rated excellent for accuracy. It also has features like a calorie counter and a stopwatch.

If you’re looking for the high tech option, go with a GPS watch.

“GPS watches use satellites to measure distance, so they’re highly accurate outdoors,” Jamie Hirsh, of Consumer Reports, said. “But for $200 to $300, they might be more than a typical walker really needs.”

When it comes to exercise machines, one of the most popular is the elliptical.

There are more than a dozen designed for home use, and they’ll run you anywhere from $800 to more than $3,000.

Top-rated is the Octance Fitness with a price tag of $3,100.

“This machine performed well in all our tests,” Hirsh said. “It’s built well, and it has a nice display that’s easy to read.”

A less expensive option is the Vision X30 Premier for $1,800.

One machine you may want to steer clear of is the $2,200 Endurance E400. It was the lowest rated by Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports tested the elliptical machines for strength and resistance. But no matter which machine you plan to purchase, make sure you try it out first.

RELATED LINKS:
Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports: Health
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