We all would like to
lose weight and get in shape with a minimal effort. That's how the fitness
informercial makes billions per year, promising miraculous results without
breaking a sweat.
If you are not fooled
by their claims then you know you have to work at getting in shape and losing
unwanted pounds. So where do you go for a challenging workout? If you are
into walking and running, during the temperate seasons you can get your cardio
exercise in the great outdoors.
But to get a total
workout that is not limited to moderate weather, you will need to either
join a gym or equip your home with fitness equipment. The major advantage
of a home gym is convenience. And it is convenience that can result in a
more focused exercise regimen. Home gyms are growing in popularity. In 2000
over $6.7 billion was spent on home fitness equipment.
Granted health clubs
have the advantage of working out with other like-minded individuals. And
if you are the type of person that needs inspiration from others, the health
club provides that environment. Of course, for singles it is a great place
to meet the opposite sex.
The disadvantages are
time wasted driving to the health club, waiting in line to use equipment
and costly membership fees. I personally like to work out first thing in
the morning. My time is limited due to my work schedule. The extra time required
to drive to a health club would deter regular workouts. Exercise for me is
not a social activity. I want to burn as many calories and strengthen as
many muscles in as little time as possible. In my case exercising at home
is more practical.
Designing a Home
If you decide that
working out at home makes the most sense, the first consideration will be
the location. You may choose the basement. But if it is dark and damp, this
is not an inspiring environment. Another consideration is an extra bedroom
or part of a family room or den. You want an inviting location that is well
ventilated and provides sufficient light. For those that like to keep up
with the latest news or the soaps, a room with a television would be appropriate.
If lack of space is
a consideration, there is fitness equipment like folding treadmill or compact
home gyms that minimize required space.
Selecting the Proper
In determining what
fitness equipment to purchase, you need to define your goals and consider
the type of exercise machines that can help you reach those goals. Numerous
homes are littered with unused exercise equipment that substitutes for clothes
hangers. Too often people buy informercials equipment that is that latest
fad. They discover that the exercise bores them, and that the equipment is
poorly built and does not deliver on the promises.
Another common mistake
is buying cheap equipment that provides an unsatisfactory workout and frequently
requires repair. This is particularly true when purchasing a treadmill. A
cheap treadmill is unstable, noisy and can be a shock to your joints.
There are tips on buying
various types of fitness equipment:
For walkers and runners
a treadmill is a logical choice. And the good news is the recent models are
built for endurance and a pleasurable cardio experience. A Treadmill is the
most efficient equipment to burn calories and lose weight, that is why they
are the most popular.
You'll want a treadmill
with a motor that is continuous duty with a rating of at least 2.0 HP. Continuous
duty motors give you constant maximum power. Non continuous motors are unable
to run smoothly for an extended period of time.
Select a treadmill
that accommodates your stride with an adequate length and width. The deck
should be at least 18" x 53". If you are a runner and tall, you may want
to consider a "stretch" model. The deck should have a reasonable amount of
cushion for minimal impact on your feet, ankles and knees. Several manufacturers
offer extra thick cushioned treadmills as an option.
For variety you'll
want a treadmill with incline control and computerized programming. Incline
control simulates an uphill climb, while the electronics can be programmed
to create a diversity of running or walking experiences.
gyms provide health club quality strength training in the comfort of your
home. Depending on the model you can get over 50 exercises. A home gym offers
a complete strength building workout for the entire body. And as the name
implies, multi-station home gyms allow for more then one person to workout
Look for equipment
that has a natural resistance feel. The quality of the cables and pulleys
will make the difference and will guarantee longevity. That smooth feel is
usually lacking on so-called home gyms that rely on bands or bows rather
then actual weight racks. In addition, you want a gym that has ergonomic
features. The shape and location of pad, pop pin and pivot point should feel
offer a no-impact workout that exercises numerous muscle groups. This is
achieved through the dual cross-trainer arms combined with the foot pedals.
Elliptical trainers provide the following advantages:
Time Efficiency - The
dual action of arms and legs optimizes energy expenditure. Requires less
time to achieve more results.
As with treadmills,
elliptical trainers vary from K-mart specials to health club quality. It
is important to find a motorized machine that has a natural stride and is
built to last.
is a just a short list of potential home fitness equipment. It can be
supplemented with staionary bikes, free weight, steppers, aerobic videos,
rowing machine and countless other products.
Determine your goals
(lose weight, build strength, etc.), then narrow your search to the
appropriate equipment. The selection needs to be based on what will
work for you, not what will be the best for hanging laundry.
can purchase Treadmills, Elliptical Trainers and Home Gyms
Factory Direct at SmoothFitness.com.
Order online and have your own fitness equipment delivered to your home.