Best elliptical machine for your money

Your New Year's resolution to get more exercise may have you weighing whether to get an exercise machine, and a new survey shows that if you buy one, you'll likely use it.

A new Consumer Reports survey finds that 59 percent of the people who own exercise equipment still use it a year after they bought it.

Consumer Reports researches just finished testing one of the biggest sellers: elliptical machines.

Elliptical machines imitate the motion of running without the hard impact, which makes them popular at the gym.

The machines cost anywhere from $800 to more than $3,000, and Consumer Reports tested more than a dozen of the best sellers.

Testers designed apparatus to measure how much force you need to move the pedals at various resistance levels.

"That's important because if a machine has a wide range of resistance levels, you can modify the intensity of your workout," said Peter Anzalone of Consumer Reports.

Testers also assessed the structural integrity of each machine. With a jack, they increased the force on the elliptical's petal.

After a group of trained panelists evaluated the machines, they found that the $2,200 Endurance E400 was the lowest rated elliptical tested.

"It just doesn't give a smooth ride," said Linda Greene.

The top rated machine was the $3,100 Octane Fitness.

"This machine performed well in all our tests," Anzalone said. "It's built well, and it has a nice display that's easy to read."

For far less, the Vision X30 Premier came in second. It costs $1,800 and is easy to access and program, according to Anzalone.

But no matter which machine you buy, it's important to always try it out first.

Elliptical machines can be dangerous for children, so it's important to keep them away.

More information is available here.