An important consideration when looking at cardiovascular equipment is “do you have the space?” While looking at total square footage and floor footprint is important, don’t forget about ceiling height as well. Some home gyms may be tall on top, some treadmills incline very high and ellipticals typically make ceilings snug due to the rotational stride.
When you are shopping for cardiovascular fitness equipment for your home, also remember that most of the time you are looking at products in large open spaces. Places like large retail stores, fitness studios or fitness club environments can often be deceiving. In a lot of home studios, the cardio equipment is normally needed in smaller spaces like bedrooms or basements with height restrictions.
With ellipticals, in general an 8 foot ceiling is sufficient height in a home for a user up to 6 feet tall. You should allow for a buffer zone of 4-6 inches of clearance when at the tallest point of the elliptical motion. Also take into account adjustable strides on some units which can vary how high your foot revolves. Most units average 6-7 feet in length and 3-4 feet in width. With a wide variety of models to choose from, you are sure to find one that accommodates your space at home.
As with the ellipticals, treadmills also require sufficient head room to allow for incline. Most treadmills measure 6 inches from the ground on average and have an incline between 12-15%. To get the highest point of measurement, fully incline the treadmill with the tallest user to get the height requirement you will need. Generally, 12 inches above your head will give good clearance for running. Most treadmills also need 6-7 feet in length with a 3-4 foot width allowance.
Gotta Try It Out
If you are anything like me, you might get really claustrophobic with little clearance over your head. Make sure you allow for plenty of room. Silly as it may seem, I have seen plenty of client’s basements with cutouts in the drywall for head space. Don’t let this be you. Do your research, visit various fitness equipment stores and even get on the cardio piece of equipment and have someone measure your tallest point.
By Nancy DiMarco, Spartan Fitness Mississauga