What’s the Best Cardio Machine?

What’s the Best Cardio Machine?

What's the best cardio machine? –Tito R., Houston, TX

The rowing machine. Scientists at the University of Dublin found that men burn up to 50 percent more fat on rowers than on stationary bikes. "It's simple math," says Paul Robbins, a metabolic specialist and the director of elite performance at STATS in Arizona. "Rowers work the entire body, and the more muscles you use, the more calories you burn." But that doesn't mean you should use rowers exclusively. A better plan is to divide your time among multiple machines.

Next time you're in the gym, spend 10 minutes each on the treadmill, the Airdyne cycle (the one with handles that pump back and forth), the stair climber, and the rower. "You'll work more muscles from more angles and send your metabolism into overdrive," says Robbins. "You'll also be less likely to crap out after 20 minutes." Researchers at the University of Florida agree. In their study of 61 men and women, they found that people who mixed up their routines enjoyed exercising 15 percent more than those who did not. The former group was also 20 percent more likely to exercise regularly.