The best air walker and air glider exercise machines you can buy
- Air walkers, also known as air gliders, are exercise machines that provide a great way to get a full-body, calorie-burning, low-impact aerobic workout at home.
- The Sunny Health & Fitness Air Walk Trainer is not only the best overall but also the budget model on the list; it's smooth, easy to assemble, compact, and economical.
When someone gave me an air walker, I tried it and wondered, how in the world is this exercise? All I'm doing is swinging my feet! After about 10 minutes of nonstop striding, however, I did break a sweat and realized that continuing for another 10 to 20 minutes at a brisk clip would constitute a decent full-body aerobic workout. Air walkers - especially those with built-in resistance - provide low-impact exercise for your leg, arm, and abdominal muscles.
Think of an air walker as the elliptical trainer's low-tech, less glamorous, space- and money-saving cousin. On an air walker, you keep your legs mostly straight as you move them back and forth (or even side to side on some models) as opposed to bending and straightening them while stepping on an elliptical machine. Also, air gliders are smaller and more economical, making them convenient, portable home exercise equipment that doesn't need electricity.
An air walker is powered by your body's motion and weight, so you control its speed and your workout's intensity -the faster, harder, and wider (or higher) you stride, the more intense the workout. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends adults have "at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity." With the air walker, you'll get aerobic and weight-bearing exercise - important for bone density - that's easy on your joints and ears (i.e., quiet enough for watching television, listening to podcasts, etc.).From experience, I can say that striding on an air walker definitely raises the heart rate, burns calories, tones muscles all over (especially the butt!), stretches legs and hips, engages the core, and tests a person's balance as well as coordination. Exercising on an air walker consistently can help you lose weight and strengthen muscles without bulking up.
When choosing an air walker, consider the following:
- Size: You want one that can accommodate your stride length and your weight. Many models fold up for easy storage but if you plan on keeping it set up, make sure it fits your allotted open space.
- Frame: One that's strong, stable, and durable in build, yet smooth and fluid in motion is ideal.
- Resistance: Some models come with adjustable levels of resistance while others offer no resistance. My air walker has no built-in resistance, but I simply tie TheraBand resistance bands around the moving bars connecting the handles to the pedals in order to create resistance. You also can attach bungee cords instead.
- Versatility: In addition to moving front to back, the foot pedals of some models move side to side for additional exercises (great for inner thigh toning)
What's also nice about air walkers as exercise equipment is that they are fairly low-maintenance. Just check for loose screws and oil the joints occasionally.
As with any health and exercise product, follow the instructions and practice safe use. If you have any health-related concerns, consult a medical professional before using.
Here are our top picks for the best air walker in 2019:
- Best air walker overall: Sunny Health & Fitness Air Walk Trainer
- Best basic air walker: Gazelle Edge
- Best versatile air walker: Fitness Reality Dual Action/Multidirectional Cloud Walker X1
- Best outdoor air walker: Stamina Outdoor Fitness Strider
- Best high-end air walker: Gazelle Supreme
Keep scrolling to read more about our top picks.
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