in shape without leaving the house! Learn the in's and out's to purchasing
There is little doubt that exercise and a sensible diet contribute to a
healthy lifestyle and body. The only question these days, it seems, is
you're going to be able to find time to work out. Fortunately, there's
a variety of equipment available for use inside your home, saving you
having to figure out what to do with the kids while you make the
time-consuming trip to the gym. Home gyms and dumbbells allow you to
tone muscles while elliptical machines and treadmills offer a
cardiovascular workout. Other equipment, such as abdominal machines and
stretching machines, allow for a more specific focus. Consider the
following questions to learn more about the vast array of home exercise
equipment available and how each item can fit into your busy
What strength-training equipment is now available?
What machines provide an excellent cardiovascular workout?
What abdominal machines are available?
4) What other types
of fitness equipment are available?
5) Are there any
special features you'd like your equipment to have?
you've made the decision to begin an exercise regimen, you/ve got
to stick with it if you want to see results. While an occasional
workout is better than none, the only way to truly achieve physical
fitness is through maintaining a regular routine. Try to set a
realistic schedule and stay with it as consistently as possible.
Also,make sure you know how to properly use your equipment. Not only is
proper use necessary to achieve the maximum benefit, it's crucial to
safety as well. Improperly used equipment, or working out on worn out,
damaged machines, could result in anything from a mild muscle strain to
a severe injury.
If your goal is
increase your strength and muscle tone, an all-in-one home gym is a
good place to start. These machines often utilize a cable and pulley
system that allows you to achieve a total-body workout through a
variety of exercises. They generally feature a weight stack with a pin
that enables you to set the proper weight level for the exercise
you’re performing. The more adjustments and settings these
have, the more exercises you’ll be able to do, helping you to
create a more varied training program. If you don’t have room
a home gym or simply want to add variety to your routine, pick up some
dumbbells and barbells. Dumbbells are designed for one-handed use, have
round or hex-shaped ends and are available in a variety of different
weights. Barbells are used in conjunction with weight plates to perform
a number of different exercises. Standard Olympic bars weigh 45 lbs.,
though you can also find lighter ones.
home gyms feature multiple weight
stacks so two people can work out simultaneously
gyms with “spotting”
devices help keep you safe during your workout
weight benches allow you to
perform many different exercises with the help of dumbbells and
dumbbells are less likely to roll away
when resting on the ground
multiple dumbbells and weight
plates for maximum workout flexibility
Equipment: There are a
different machines that can be used to improve cardiovascular health,
including elliptical machines, treadmills, exercise bikes, rowing
machines and stair steppers. Each one provides a slightly different
workout, with treadmills, bikes and stair steppers emphasizing the
lower body while elliptical and rowing machines provide more of a
full-body workout. Always test equipment before purchasing, if
possible. You want to make sure that it operates smoothly and, in the
case of treadmills, has a solid, secure base. Make sure that you
measure carefully to ensure that you have ample room to install the
machine in your home. Prices vary greatly, depending on how many
features a machine has and how technologically sophisticated it is.
Though they may cost a little extra, machines with electronic displays
that allow you to program a variety of different workouts may be worth
the money. The chart below describes each type of machine and details
some of the features to look for and benefits of use.
that move in an elliptical, or ovular,
motion as well as handles that allow you to work your upper body.
a total-body workout
muscle while improving
likely to cause stress to joints
nonslip footpads fit around
your shoes for greater security
and incline can be
increased for a tougher workout
designed to be ridden in place. Generally
features only a single wheel in the front.
arms help provide a
seats and pedal straps
increase comfort and stability
or enclosed front wheels help
prevent little hands and fingers from accidentally getting injured
may be upright, recumbent or
of rowing, placing equal emphasis on
working out the upper and lower body.
that fold take up less space
workout helps minimize
pressure on joints
||Features two steps
designed to simulate the experience of
walking up stairs.
proper posture is maintained,
doesn’t put strain on back
steps provide a better
workout for both legs
conveyor-style belt that rotates at varying
speeds, providing a low-impact running workout indoors.
speeds allow for individually
and interval training
increase the variety of workout options
is more important than “peak performance” when it
keys help prevent accidents
Other Equipment: It seems
there may be more machines available for use on the abdominals than any
other single muscle group. While many of these machines may make claims
that they can rapidly improve your abs in a matter of days,
you’re more likely to experience success if you incorporate
as an additional element in your workout routine rather than relying
solely on them. Some have handles that you grip while rolling across
the floor while others provide head and neck support to reduce strain
and stress while performing crunches. In addition to ab machines, there
are a number of other pieces of equipment that can be used to improve
your fitness level. Yoga and Pilates kits, for example, may include a
yoga mat, instructional video, foam block, soft strap and a bag to
carry everything around in. For a higher-impact alternative, look for
boxing gloves and bags. Boxing is a good way to build both strength and
endurance. Speed bags and heavy bags offer different ways to work out,
letting you choose what’s most comfortable for you. Workout
offer another option, allowing you to stretch, strengthen muscles and
work your abdominals.
and toning abdominal muscles
requires a total-body workout in addition to focused exercises
exercise mats for stretching and
abdominal exercises as well as to provide a cushion beneath weight
machines are ideal for warming
up and cooling down, as they make it easier to stretch nearly every
balls can be used to strengthen
and tone muscles
greens allow you to work on your
short game even when it’s raining outside and are great for
helping you relax
Gloves and Lifting
Available in different
sizes, workout gloves are usually fingerless and provide padding that
helps prevent blisters. Lifting straps are designed for use when
lifting particularly heavy objects, so they’ll come in handy
you’re into heavy-duty weight training.
When you’re in the
middle of an intense workout, the last thing you want is for sweat to
sting your eyes or to lose your grip on a barbell. Headbands and
wristbands absorb sweat before it can get to either place, helping you
stay focused on the task at hand.
If you’re lifting weights, a
weight belt can provide extra support for your back, helping you
maintain proper form and posture to prevent injury.
One of the keys to achieving improved
cardiovascular health is to reach your target heart rate during
workouts. Heart monitors allow you to determine whether or not you have
reached that rate, making it easy to increase or decrease the intensity
of your workout accordingly.