In a pre-Peloton era, cardio machines required you to get creative with entertainment. Unless your treadmill, bike, or rower was positioned directly in front of a big-screen TV, you were either watching basic cable channels on a seven-inch, pixelated screen or precariously balancing your tablet or smartphone on a shaky built-in ledge. Now, 20-plus-inch HD touchscreens are the norm. Companies are taking advantage of prime real estate right in front of your eyeballs. They’re making cardio equipment with streaming capabilities right into the hardware, allowing on-console access to your favorite apps.
While getting lost in episodes of Yellowstone can be a welcome distraction to running, riding, and rowing in place, there’s another surprising benefit: It can make you more likely to stick with exercise. Watching TV while working out was associated with greater enjoyment of exercise in a study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine—and enjoyment is one of the best ways to stay motivated when it comes to physical activity, research in Frontiers in Psychology determined. Not only will you maximize your investment in a pricey piece of at-home equipment, you’ll take your gains to the next level, too. Here’s the best cardio equipment with streaming capabilities and TV-like touchscreens.
Best Cardio Equipment With Streaming Capabilities
1. Aviron Strong Series Rower
When you don’t want to actively fend off zombies or zap giant bugs on this rower’s gamified workout platform, you can stream entertainment platforms—including Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, Disney+, and YouTube—on the 22-inch HD rotating touchscreen. Performance stats are discreetly layered atop your favorite show. Meanwhile, the dual-air and magnetic resistance system, which creates an on-the-water feel, generates nothing more than a quiet woosh as background noise.
[Starting at $2,499; avironactive.com]Get it
2. Technogym Ride
Technogym’s top-of-the-line machine was the first bike to offer direct access to apps. You can get Zwift, Strava, TrainingPeaks, and more via the 22-inch touchscreen. But, in addition to immersing yourself in realistic virtual cycling—courtesy of a real gearbox and console-controlled gradient and resistance adjustments—you can ride along to Netflix shows and YouTube videos as well as live sports, event coverage, and more on Eurosport and The Global Cycling Network.
[$4,850; technogym.com]Get it
3. Matrix Fitness Elliptical E30
If ever a machine were built for entertainment, it’s the E30. This elliptical syncs with live studio classes, virtual global workouts, custom routes via Google Maps Street View, and thousands of on-demand workouts with an iFit subscription. The 16-inch console also includes an HD touchscreen loaded with Netflix, YouTube, and other popular entertainment apps. If that’s not enough, play video content on the console by connecting your mobile device via USB.
[$5,299; matrixhomefitness.com]Get it
4. Bowflex Max Trainer 16
The Max Trainer combines the best of an elliptical and a stair stepper, and layers custom workout data over your favorite shows from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and HBO Max (also available on the Bowflex Treadmill 10 and VeloCore Bike). The brand-new 16′′ HD touchscreen display also allows you to tap into the JRNY app. With the app, you can generate customized workouts with real-time coaching. There’s also curated entertainment options that stream while you sweat.
[$2,499; bowflex.com]Get it
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