Updated: October 03, 2012

Happy new year! If Santa didn't bring you the treadmill or elliptical you wanted, don't worry: now's the perfect time to buy one yourself. (Manufacturers always put these machines on sale early in the year, hoping to capitalize on all the people who make fitness resolutions.) But before you shop, check out the February issue of Consumer Reports. The magazine put 36 treadmills and 31 ellipticals to the test, evaluating their safety, durability, and exercise range. Not surprising: pricier models are usually sturdier, have more horsepower, and longer warranties. But guess what? Consumer Reports found an $800 treadmill (the Horizon T202) and a $750 elliptical (the Nautilus E514) that scored higher than machines costing twice that amount.

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