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Consumer Reports tests treadmills, ellipticals

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If you already gave up on that New Year's resolution to hit the gym, you can still get in shape by working out at home. Consumer Reports can help. It just tested treadmills and ellipticals and has some money-saving advice. (WLS)

If you already gave up on that New Year's resolution to hit the gym, you can still get in shape by working out at home. Consumer Reports can help. It just tested treadmills and ellipticals and has some money-saving advice.

If you'd rather skip the gym and get your workout in at home Consumer Reports latest tests of ellipticals and treadmills reveal some good news.

"You don't need to get all the bells and whistles. We found you can get a good workout on machines that cost around a thousand dollars," said Peter Anzalone, Consumer Reports.

With elliptical machines, testers measure each one to see how well it fits a broad range of people.

"We've created devices that measure the machine and compare it to the 95th percentile American male and the 5th percentile American female," Anzalone said.

The Diamondback for $2,000 earned top scores. But for a fraction of the price the $800 Schwinn 470 is also a good choice. It's well-made, easy to use and is a good fit for most people.

When it comes to treadmills a sturdy frame and construction is a must-have, especially for runners.

"We're looking at different aspects of the machine to make sure that if there are people who are of different fitness levels it works for the beginner to the advanced person," Anzalone said.

Testers liked the downhill feature on this Sole TT8 for $2,300. If you're not concerned with downhill running and walking this $1,000 Sole F63 is also a good choice and costs half the price. Its large buttons and display make it easy to use and is a good option for runners or walkers.

No matter which treadmill or elliptical you buy, Consumer Reports says it's a good idea to try it out in the store to make sure it works for you.

That recommended Sole F63 treadmill folds up to save space.

Speaking of space, Consumer Reports says measure before you buy your machine to make sure you have enough room. Most treadmills are 77 inches long by 35 inches wide. Ellipticals are about 6 feet long by 2.5 feet wide but can range in length from 50 to 84 inches. You'll also be elevated so make sure you've got clearance above you too.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2017 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumer.org
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