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Choosing Home Exercise Equipment

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Here are tips on buying various types of fitness equipment:

Treadmills

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 exercise 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.

Multi-station home exercise equipment 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 exercise equipment allows for more than one person to workout at once.

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 exercise equipment that relies on bands or bows rather than 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 natural.

Elliptical exercise machines offer a non-impact workout that exercises numerous muscle groups. This is achieved through the dual cross-trainer arms combined with the foot pedals. Elliptical exercise machines provide the following advantages:

Time Efficiency - The dual action of arms and legs optimizes energy expenditure and requires less time to achieve more results.

Weight Bearing Exercise - Builds bone density and burns calories more efficiently. Inhibits the onset of osteoporosis.
  • No Impact - Safe for joints. Ideal workout for people with back, knee, hips and joint problems.
  • Low Maintenance - Less impact means less wear and tear.
  • Small Footprint - Does not take up valuable floor space.

    As with treadmills, elliptical exercise machines 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.

    This is just a short list of potential home fitness equipment. It can be supplemented with exercise bikes, free-weight exercise equipment, steppers, exercise 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.

    02/25/02


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