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Why Elliptical Trainers Are Growing In Popularity

(category: Fitness-Equipment, Word count: 555)
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If you work out at a health club you probably noticed that in the last few years there are fewer treadmills, because they are being replaced by elliptical trainers. And although treadmills still outsell ellipticals in total numbers, elliptical sales are growing at a faster rate.

What is driving the popularity of elliptical trainers? There are two factors that make elliptical trainers so appealing:

Low Impact Workout

Upper and Lower Body Workout

Benefits of a Low Impact Workout

Most types of exercise require some type of impact and/or reverse action. For example, when you walk each step is impacting force on your ankles, knees and lower back. That impact is minor in comparison to running, which can be as much as 2.5x your body weight. Over the years that constant pounding can result in long-term injuries and strains.

Elliptical trainers reduce the hazards of impact through an elliptical motion.It feels like you are naturally walking or running without any real impact or reverse action, and yet it is a weight bearing exercise that contributes to building muscle and bone density.

If you look at the side of an elliptical trainer you'll notice the shape of the motion is like a flat circular pattern. Budget ellipticals tend to be more circular and bouncy, while quality machines have a flatter circular motion and more of an even stride. Regardless, the elliptical motion significantly reduces the impact to your joints, and that is why elliptical trainers are appealing to older individuals and people with injuries. It is becoming the exercise machine of choice for the "baby boomers."

Benefits of an Upper and Lower Body Workout

The concept of exercising the upper and lower body simultaneously is revolutionary. An elliptical workout utilizes the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, chest, back, triceps and biceps. There is no other machine that offers this benefit. You are not only exercising more muscle group, you are also optimizing your energy expenditure. That means it is taking less time to achieve more results, like burning calories and increasing your cardio capacity. A number of elliptical trainers allow you to reverse the motion, thereby emphasizing resistance to even more parts of your muscles.

By exercising more of your muscle mass you improve fat mobilization, which results in burning more calories and building muscle endurance more efficiently. Certain experts have suggested that this dual action process reduces the perceived rate of exertion. In other words, you are exercising harder without a noticeable difference from a less strenuous workout.

The benefit of an upper and lower body workout, combined with low impact exercising, are the reasons why elliptical trainers are so popular. And there is one other feature that should be noted. In comparison to treadmills, elliptical trainers require considerably less maintenance. That is due to the fact there are fewer moving parts, and less wear from impact.

If you haven't tried an elliptical trainer, get to your local health club or a fitness equipment store and take one for an elliptical spin. Avoid the budget models and test the machines that are at least $1,000+. They have a more natural elliptical motion and are more stable and durable.

You'll find that an elliptical trainer can have a major impact on your health and fitness.

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Stairlifts What Are They And Why Would I Need One

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If there is one constant thing in life, it is the fact that we grow old. No one is exempted from this, unfortunately. In fact, you just might have an elderly family member living in your very own household right now. It is then very important to consider installing stairlifts in the household. This is especially true if your house has two or more floors. But what exactly is a stair lift?

In its most basic form, a stair lift is a device that has been designed for the purpose of assisting elderly or disabled people to reach higher floors of a household. This is also known as a chair lift, simply because the device makes use of a motorized chair that lifts people up and down the stairs of a household. With the installation of stairlifts, people can safely move up and down the stairs, significantly reducing the risks of untoward accidents occurring.

Most of these lifts, including AC stairlifts and DC stairlifts, come with armrests and footrests. These armrests and footrests are strategically positioned on tracks. Because of these safety features, stairlifts are really ideal to have for people whose abilities to move have become limited because of old age, accidents, and diseases such as arthritis, Parkinson's, and Lou Gehrig's disease. Most companies producing and constructing these stairlifts also make sure to include protective covers for the lifts themselves. This way, the lifts would be well-protected from potential damage.

In general, you actually have two choices when it comes to stairlifts. You can go with the AC stair lift, or the DC stair lift. What constitutes a better choice? There are actually several factors to consider here. But it would be better to determine the differences between both types first. The AC powered unit has been strongly criticized because of its stop and start motions that can be quite erratic. However, the modern AC stairlifts have been redesigned to get rid of these erratic movements.

The DC stair lift, on the other hand, has been praised because of its smoother and refined movements. In fact, more users actually prefer the DC stair lift to the AC powered unit. But then, you cannot discount the fact that DC lifts are merely powered by rechargeable batteries. And there will come a time when you will have to recharge your unit. During this time, you cannot use your stairlift. With AC stairlifts, you do not have to worry about this because they are constantly connected to your power supply. In the end, you will have to go with the stair lift that suits your needs the most. This is just about the most effective way to go about the selection process.

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How To Measure Your Treadmill Belt For Replacement

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To measure your treadmill belt for replacement do the following:

If your treadmill is not a major brand and it needs a new belt you may have to special order a belt. Following are instruction for making sure you get a good measurement.

Next to the motor the treadmill belt is the most important part of the treadmill. If it becomes frayed or starts to turn up on the sides then it is time to replace the belt.

The treadmill belt will also split at the seam. You should check the belt on a regular basis to ensure it is safe. If the belt wears thin it can ruin the deck, then you have the double expense of replacing the belt and deck.

There are many companies that sell replacement treadmill belts, and some of them will take special orders. But you must have the correct measurement so your belt will fit. Following is the directions to measure your belt.

1. Place a mark on the edge of the belt, then using a string or tape measure go completely around the belt to get the circumference. This needs to be as close as you can get it.

2. Measure the width of the belt.

Example 102? X 15?

If your belt is so bad that you know it has to be replaced then cut it off and measure the entire length and width of the belt. If it is a very old belt please allow for stretching.

You can also set the rear roller about halfway of the adjusting screws then measure around the front and rear rollers for an accurate measurement. If you can not find a company that offers special order belts let me know.

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Who Else Wants To Shed Pounds In Weeks And Have A Toned And Ripped Body With Fitness Equipment

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Is your weight getting you down? Are you sick of carrying that extra baggage wrapped around your waist? Too embarassed to go to the gym?

These questions are the bane of a lot of peoples' lives, because they either don't exercise! or they don't do it regularly!

Do you want to lose weight and look good with fitness equipment?

Looking for the right home fitness equipment can be daunting, with all the options available to us. But it's not all gloom and doom, you can have that body or fitness you have always wanted, it's just a matter of doing a litttle research, which I hope this short article can provide you and guide in the right direction on which fitness equipment is best for you.

Quite often, the biggest challenge is what fitness equipment to go for. When purchasing a piece of fitness equipment, your choice should be based on the fitness level, physical make up and general interests of the user. Before making the plung and spending all your hard earned money, you should ask yourself a few pertinent questions:

How much do You want to spend?

What is your current fitness level and what do you hope to gain?

Do you have enough space for the fitness equipment?

How much time will I spend on this fitness equipment?

Is this equipment suitable and safe for me to use?

Are you tired of having the local gym extort large sums of money from you? Why not set up a home gym and save yourself hundreds!?

The prices for yearly memberships just seem to be rising higher and quicker than the inflation level every year! a simple solution would be to buy your own equipment and build a gym in the comfort of your home, that way you can save hundreds on that membership and have a long term investment for the future. Whether you want biceps like Arnie, a six pack like Bruce Lee or legs like Jane Fonda there is a piece of equipment available for every exercise you can think of, for everyones budget.

With such a wide choice available, knowing what to purchase can be a little daunting. So after you have asked yourselves the questions I posed earlier, you almost there in finding the perfect accessory you need to get fit.

Abdominal fitness equipment - Are you embarrassed by the ever expanding tyre wrapped around your waist? Do you want to have a six pack? with hundreds of choices on the market, finding the right one can seem a tedious task. You dont have to spend alot to get a washboard stomach. A fitness quest flexaball or a foam roller. But we warned, you may have to purchase a few belts to keep your trousers from falling down after you lose that unsightly belly.

Recumbent cycles - Do you feel the strain on your lower back and knees when cycling? Then why not check out the recumbent cycles we have on offer and add another piece of fitness equipment to your home gym. Recumbent cycles give more support to the lower back and minimize the stress on the knees compared with an upright bicycle. Recumbents provide a cardiovascular workout that uses the muscles of the gluteus, quadriceps and hamstrings.

Treadmills - Fancy going for a run?, but its pouring cats and dogs outside. Not to worry, one of our Treadmills lets you walk, run, up a hill or up a montain regardless of the time of day or weather without leaving your home. Treadmills are a popular piece of aerobic fitness equipment for home use. When purchasing a treadmill, be sure to look for the following features, smooth action, solid build, a steady pace, wide belt, safety shut off, and incline settings. Quality models range from $1500 and up. Th treadmill you consider should be built to take a substantial load because running on one spot will create alot of downward force.

Elliptical fitness equipment - If you are looking for an effective and thorough indoor workout, than have a look at some of our elliptical machines. There are many benefits with having ellipticals, one of them is when you use one, you will notice how impact free your workout will be. With the elliptical machine, there is no impact on the ground, so lower body joints are free from abuse you may get with other workout machines. At the moment it is the most popular item in health clubs and so going and trying one out would be a good idea, just so get a machine that suits you.

Step machines - Mainly used for an aerobic workout, but don't be fooled by its simplicity. There are many exercises you can benefit with as well as different settings to increase the resistance for harder workouts. Finding a high quality step machine can be expensive, however, steppers give an excellent low impact aerobic workout, also strengthening and building the lower body muscles.

Resistance fitness equipment - a good compliment to any home gym. The two most common kinds of weight equipment are Home Gyms or multi-stations and free weights. Free Weights are real value for money, however, they require expert instruction and supervision for proper use to avoid major injuries. Home gyms or multi-stations are generally safer to use but are more expensive, and the price tag often reflects the quality of the machine.

Rowing Machines One of the most complete cardiovascular exercises around has to be rowing. A proper workout on a rowing machine will tone all of the major muscle groups such as your legs, back and arms. The beauty of using an indoor rowing machine is first of all it doesn't involve water. This rower doesn't get you wet, there are no early morning trips to get your machine out of the boat shed. No cold changing rooms and gale force winds for your training session. There are lots of different machines available on the market. Although they generally fall into 2 categories:

Water rowers


Air rowers

The water rower, which contrary to its namesake, do not end up in you getting wet after a vigorous workout. The machines are very beautifully designed and use enclosed water and paddles for resistance as opposed to air. These rowers tend to be quieter than air rowers and are just as much works of art as they are exercise machines.

The air rower comes in many different varieties but the concept 2 is commonly accepted to be one of the best, if not the best. They are engineering masterpieces and are all calibrated to the same standard. So, if you do a certain time on a concept 2 rower, you can rest assured that, that time will be replicated exactly on another concept 2 machine. This is the reason why the world indoor rowing championships use the concept 2.

The bottom line is this: All of these items are good choice if they are equipment that you will actually use. Real thought, consideration and research needs to be done in order to purchase exactly what you need. Remember, you are the only one who knows what you need but with a little helpful advise you can build yourself an excellent gym and achieve the results you have always dreamed of.

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Trampoline Buyers Guide

(category: Fitness-Equipment, Word count: 492)
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If you're looking for a new way to add some fun to your backyard activities this season, why not consider buying a trampoline? Not only are trampolines a lot of fun, but they are also good exercise for you and the kids. And of course, they get the family out of the house, away from the TV, computer and video games and into the fresh air!

There are a couple of things you will want to keep in mind before buying a trampoline. They come in different sizes and shapes to meet your jumping needs, but you will want to buy a trampoline that is in proportion with the outdoor space you have available. You also want to keep in mind how many individuals will be utilizing the trampoline for not only size, but safety reasons also. Once you've got those numbers, you can begin looking for a trampoline that fits your lifestyle and maybe even some accessories to further enhance the fun factor.

Buying a trampoline is easy as there are many websites available that offer helpful buying and overall, general information about trampolines. You can find answers to any questions you might have regarding styles of trampolines, parts, safety concerns and even health benefits. Using the web, you can buy the entire set up online and have it shipped directly to your door!

One good source of information is a company called Fun Spot. They have a wide variety of trampolines and accessories and offer free shipping. Did you know that you can choose different colors for your trampoline's mat? Well Fun Spot lets you pick from four different colored fabrics. They also offer a UV protectant, heavy-duty webbing that is sewn onto the perimeter of the mat and doubles the life of stitching. That's great for saving time and money in consideration of not having to purchase replacement parts as often. Fun Spot claims to have the lowest prices and a trampoline to fit every budget. They also provide you with an 800 number for technical support over the phone. Their website is very informative with lots to see and you can visit them online at is another great website if you decide to look into buying a trampoline. This company is an invited member of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission's Product Safety Circle as well as a recipient of the Family Choice Gold Award. Jump Sport also offers free shipping and they even have a page for assembly tips once your trampoline has arrived. Their website is very educational with links to information on all of their trampolines, parts and accessories in addition to an extensive Safety and Health page.

After doing some research and checking out all of the options, if you have decided to buy a trampoline, you and your family can look forward to having a blast bouncing your way to fun in a healthy and safe way!

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Fitness And Health

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Fitness and health have been closely related ever since fitness was first defined, because this sport involves good physical shape built on good state of health. The state of health of the people who practice various sports is always in attention of the instructors.

However, there are numerous sports which are rather spectacular, but practicing them exposes the sportsmen to particular risks. Such kind of problems can appear even in the sports for amateurs; there is, of course, specific pathology for every sport. Since the body is prone to different health problems, a factor which can provoke them is the volume and intensity of training. Long distance running and jogging are extremely popular forms of training.A frequent health problem in tennis is epycondylitis or 'the tennis player's elbow'. Weightlifting can lead to varicous veins or high blood pressure.

Fitness tries to make every exercise useful for health and body esthetics. The type of training that is recommended is the complex one, including aerobic and anaerobic exercises.

While doing aerobic exercises, the body satisfies its need of oxygen during effort. We are talking here about all types of resistance efforts, like long distance running, ski, rowing, fast walking, swimming, cycling, speed skating, etc. The consequences of these efforts are visible, first of all, at a cardiovascular and pulmonary level. This type of exercises are the most effective in burning calories and this is why they can easily burn fat tissue, as long as they last more than 40-45 minutes without stopping. The energetic support of these efforts comes from the fat acids which are mobilized from the adipose tissue.

The efforts of anaerobic type are responsible for increasing force and muscular mass and for bone resistance. During this type of short and intensive effort the body cannot satisfy the need of oxygen. What happens is the so-called 'oxygen duty', recovered in the breaks between the efforts. The most typical example is the break between two series of exercises meant to work the same muscle.

The effectiveness of fitness trainings is closely related to their weekly practice. There are a minimum number of trainings necessary for visible effects.

For the programs of anaerobic type (force) the experts say that two trainings a week are necessary, each of 30-45 minutes. During these sessions, the whole body is trained every time.

In the case of aerobic training (resistance), their weekly frequency must be increased to three, each between 20 and 60 minutes.

Both types of training must be continued uninterruptedly for at least two or three months. After this period, a one-week active break is recommended. In this time the person must make lighter efforts like walking and gymnastics, the purpose being now recovery and relaxation.

Starting from this minimum frequency, any supplementary training will make progress come sooner, as long as you avoid over-training or over-exerting. Deciding the optimum number of trainings, their volume and intensity depends a lot on the particularities and the possibilities of the person who practices the sport.

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Elliptical Machines Provide Low Impact Total Body Workouts That Even The Novice Can Benefit From

(category: Fitness-Equipment, Word count: 1200)
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Ever since their introduction several years ago, Elliptical Machines have become increasingly popular and more technically advanced. Surveys will indicate that as much as six million people prefer elliptical machines as their choice for home exercise equipment.

If you are looking for an effective and thorough indoor workout, than look no further than an elliptical machine. There are many benefits with having ellipticals, one of them is when you use one, you will notice how impact free your workout will be.

Also a total body workout on one of these machines is challenging enough for serious athletes but at the same time safe enough for beginners and even mothers to be.

Of course, like with any physical activity, expert advise should be sought from your doctor before the use of any exercise equipment.

With the elliptical machine, there is no impact on the ground, so lower body joints are free from abuse you may get with other workout machines.

Exercising with the elliptical, you are sure to get an excellent cardiovascular workout with maximum efficiency. Most of these machines will give you a total body workout, if your machine has dual action handlebars for your arms and foot pedals for your legs.

The Elliptical Vs The Treadmill? Which one is the leader of the pack?

"According to studies, if you exercise on an elliptical machine, the impact on the joints is low or it has no impact and the user will burn roughly the same amount of calories as more strenuous machine like a treadmill. So you get the same results for less effort."

Many of these activities sometimes involve vigorous movement of the bones and muscles and can inflame old injuries and maybe cause new ones. The joints that are commonly affected by an impact form of exercise are usually the knees, ankles, hips and back.

These little statistics probably tells us the reason why elder exercisers with knee problems and rehabilitating users go for an elliptical machine rather than a more vigorous machine like a treadmill. Here are a few of the benefits an elliptical offers:

Research has shown, to maintain healthy bone density, it is necessary to take part in weight-bearing activities such as running, squash, football, and other sports where you remain on your feet.

Elliptical workouts may not seem to be routines that are as benficial as more strenuos, high impact ones on a treadmill. But in actual fact, the whole routine is a weight bearing activity, as your feet are placed on two pedals throughout the workout. So as well as avoiding the toil that comes with a treadmill routine, it is also good for bone density.

Women that are pregnant, those that suffer from arthritis, and recovering accident victims often require a low impact routine, and that is exactly what the elliptical machine provides.

The oval pedaling motion of the machine, as you step up and down on the pedals or platforms, is smooth and flowing. Interestingly. this motion follows same type of elliptical movement that the human foot follows when we walk or run.

Although the movement created is similar to these activities, all the strain and vigorous action associated with them is taken away. The beauty is in the simplicity, your feet never leave the footpad, as well as this being a safer workout, it reduces the stress on your joints..

The elliptical motion feels natural and is easy to sustain. You will find that elliptical machines compliment and enhance normal body movements, making your workouts feel less exertive and more penetrative. Focusing on particular and general muscle groups and giving you an extensive overall body workout.

Studies have also shown that ellipticals work the cardio muscles and burns calories on the same par as Treadmills if not greater, as well as stair steppers. The added bonus is that it feels alot easier to use an elliptical.

The elliptical has some truly unique features, setting it apart fom its rivals. A good feature that an elliptical has over some machines is the variety it adds to the workout. One of the biggest challenges that you as a user faces is to stay motivated and interested in your training program.

With the dual action handlebars we mentioned earlier, the exerciser can choose the option of not using them and focusing just on the lower body. With the precor models, it is possible to change the the cross ramp incline as well as varying the intensity.

However, there is a feature on these machines that seperates the elliptical trainer from many other exercise machines when it comes to variety. That feature is the forward and reversible feature on the foot pedals. Most elliptical machines have a setting allowing you to "go backwards" and work additional muscles that very many other exercise workouts do not target. The fact that you are standing and walking or running in place, the leg muscles as well as those in your buttocks, back, and abdomen are worked effortlessly.

Many ellipticals will allow you to adjust the resistance and change the incline. These adjustments are increased at your own convenience and allow you to gradually increase the resistance and continuously challenge your limits.

Recommended top five elliptical machines to buy.

Precor - Although Precor is generally known for it's commercial machines in gyms all over the world, they also make some less-expensive trainers for the home exerciser. They can be quite pricey, starting from $2,000 and upwards, however, the quality you get makes up for the cost. What sets them apart is that Precor machines have adjustable ramps, they are sturdy and well built, with which cheaper trainers cannot compete.

ProForm 700 - This trainer features dual-action engineering. In real terms, it's got arm handles to work both your upper and lower body at the same time. At around $400, it's a good buy and includes technology so you can hook it up to your computer for new workouts. You also get 6 workouts for maximize calorie burning.

Nordic Track Elliptical - This one is very competitively priced, at around $700. For your moneu you get 6 different exercise programs, Custom Stride pedals, technology, and magnetic resistance. You also get dual action arm handles, a book and water bottle holder and an exceptionally quiet workout. Similar to the ProForm above, except for the adjustable stride...which is excellent if more than one person will be using it.

Reebok Elliptical Trainers - Like the other trainers listed here apart from the precor, the Reebok Elliptical offers dual arm and leg movement and comes pre-programmed with various workouts. Between $400 and $500, this is a good choice for someone on a budget, although you will not get some of the extras offered by other trainers.

Fitness Quest Eclipse 4000 - The eclipse offers a smooth, workout with an electric magnetic system. A nice little bonus is that it has arm handles through which the heart rate is measured for ease of use. Also features reverse motion and programs that cover all fitness goals from fat burning to cardiovascular routines.

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Elliptical Trainers Are Low Impact

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Elliptical trainers provide a great cardio vascular workout but is low impact. That is there is less pressure, which is put on the joints of the legs. Thus it's not as strenuous as a treadmill. Therefore they are ideal for all age groups. Those in there 60s and 70s, who want to keep fit, can also easily use them. There are many versions, and options of elliptical trainers that are available in the market. The cost for an elliptical trainer starts at $300 and can cost up to $3000 dependent upon the functions and the features of the elliptical trainer.

To consider an elliptical trainer, one must make sure that it has a 21? stride. This length is ideal for an average person. There are many elliptical trainers that also come with a 14? stride. These are the foldable elliptical trainers, but can be quite inconvenient. Thus before you actually purchase one, look at reviews of the elliptical trainers and compare the various elliptical trainers that are available in the market. The comparison is done on the basis of cost, the type of material used, the stride length, the functions and the control panel.

Hence its important that before a purchase decision is made, you should have read all the reviews. The showroom and well as many supermarkets also retail the elliptical trainers. Hence you can make a comparison and reviews of the elliptical trainers can help you make an informed decision. The various factors that you should look into are the length of the stride, whether there are arms or not, the price factors, the various levels of intensity, the display of the control panel, the warranty that would be given with the elliptical trainers and your budget.

Of course it will depend on your personal preferences but the above criteria are a good starting point when selecting your first elliptical trainer.

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Incorporating Exercises When On Vacation

(category: Fitness-Equipment, Word count: 519)
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If the vacation is by a beach or a pool then swimming is an excellent sport to take as a daily exercise. It is one of the best to take up whilst away. It will make the body fit and healthy working every muscle and giving you strength and vitality. It will, also, burn lots of calories compensating for all those extra foods eaten. If you cannot swim, then just simple movements such as jumping or walking in the pool will help.


This is another exercise that can easily be taken up on vacation. An hour walk a day can make the world of difference. Take a walk to the beach, to the shops, sightseeing walks or stroll after dinner in the evening. It doesn't have to be a strenuous walk, just easy steps to give you some movement whilst on vacation.

Water Skiing

If you are an avid swimmer and love water sports, then water skiing is a good exercise too. Take the chance and get out there in the water. Show off your talents at this sport. Be a devil!

Pedal Boats

Hiring a pedal boat at the beach can give you some form of exercise if you pedal it. It will work those leg muscles and keep them in shape whilst away. You will not have to worry about having to work out at a gym.

Ride A Bicycle

Hire a bike and pedal around. This is an energetic way to keep you in shape whilst eating your favourite foods on your vacation. It's a brilliant way to tone the body too and burning all those excess calories that have been eaten.

Horse Riding

If this is available as an excursion sport such as taking a ride along a beach or through countryside then take the opportunity of doing it. It's still exercising.


If you are on a skiing vacation, then skiing will be the ultimate exercise here. If you cannot ski then learn. Even the smallest of movements will be helpful.

Wind Surfing

This is, also, a beach one. Wind surfing can keep the body in tone, as you are using your balance to keep afloat. So, if you love this sport then do not hesitate doing it.


If you are able to surf or can take lessons, then this will tone your body no problem. The movement and balancing effect is an excellent form of exercise.

Using a Gym

If your hotel has a gym then definitely take advantage of this. Visit the gym once a day after breakfast or even before. This would be a great way of not having to loose out on your daily regime whilst being away from home. It's not something that most people want to do when away, but it will still keep you in shape.

Overall, I would say that swimming, walking, skiing and pedaling a boat to be the most used form of exercise for the majority of people whilst on vacation, but all of the above are still good ways of keeping yourself fit when away.

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