Treadmill Buying Basics
Treadmills are a large investment financially and in your fitness, therefore much thought and preparation should go into the purchase of your new treadmill.
Having your treadmill motor blow up or your belt warp severely after only a few months use is not something you want, so here are a few basic treadmill buying tips.
Warranty - Any treadmill brand worth its weight will offer a nice warranty on their product. Usually the motor, parts, and labor will be covered under different warranties. Make sure you get at least a 5 year warranty on you motor. After the treadmill purchase make sure you abide by the warranty and send in any user registrations if required.
Walking Surface - How big is the surface you actually walk or run on? My first treadmill had a 16 inch width that seemed fine in the store, however after further usage I found myself always aware of where the sides were and extra careful not to "step off the edge". Make sure the width of your treadmill will be comfortable for everyone in your household (I prefer 20 inch widths) and also the length is long enough for the long legged members of your family.
Weight Limit - Most treadmills have a weight limit. Too much weight can put a strain on the frame, belt, and especially motor of the treadmill. Make sure your potential treadmill has a weight limit to accommodate all of its potential users to avoid putting undue wear and tear on your new treadmill.
Test Things Out - Get on your treadmill and give it a test drive. Does everything work as the advertisement states? Try the heart monitor if it's a feature, does it appear to be working properly? Is the treadmill quiet to your liking, or will it be an annoyance when home? Are the displays big enough for you to see easily?
Safety - Make sure your new treadmill has an emergency stop mechanism. This can help prevent serious injuries during malfunction or accidents.
Additional Features - Treadmills come in many shapes and sizes with various features. Some additional features you may look for are a water bottle holder, calorie counter, book stand, incline, and preset and programmable workout routines.
Once you've made your final treadmill buying decision, make sure you shop around for the best price for your new treadmill. Getting all the features you want at the price you want makes for happy treadmilling!
Getting The Most Out Of An Elliptical Machine
Do you want to get fit? Do you want to get yourself into a cardiovascular program that will shed pounds off your belly and keep your heart working in tip top shape? Most people would think that the answer to this is jumping on the treadmill or cycling endlessly. However such forms of exercise cause more pain than gain. If you are one of those who knows this very well then you might want to try using an elliptical machine.
In the 80s, the fitness world welcomed the arrival of cross-country sky machines. They were seen as better alternatives to the old-fashioned treadmills and stationary bikes because they allow health buffs to workout more with less time. The cross-country machines were indeed great in this light but a lot people find cross-country ski movements to be rather unnatural and thus more taxing to do. Because of this, innovative fitness machine developers modified the design to adapt to what people usually do with their body - walking, stepping, cycling, or skiing, but now with an elliptical motion, which produces less or no impact. This allows people to workout more and burn more calories without getting tired or burnt out easily.
How effective is an elliptical machine in burning calories?
There are hundreds of elliptical machines in the market and their effectiveness to burn calories varies greatly. Some manufacturers say that within an hour you can burn over 700 calories or more. While this may be true, the optimization of calorie-burning depends upon the user - how much time or how much effort is exerted working out is a primary factor on the elliptical machine's effectiveness. It is safe to say that the rates would be similar to those of cross-country ski machines.
Benefits and Drawbacks with Elliptical Machines
An elliptical machine allows exercises to work out their bodies in shorter periods with less or no strain. Elliptical machines can be used for all fitness levels, from beginner to athletic, and all working out ages. The elderly could well benefit from its use because it produces less stress on the joints. It can be a great alternative to cycling and running machines to prevent boredom from exercise. At home, it can be used while watching the TV or listening to the radio as it generally produces less noise compared to running on treadmills.
The problems with elliptical machines also lie on its benefits. Because it is easy to use, some people tend to overdo their workout. People forget the importance of warming up, stretching, and cooling down. Some exercisers also tend to work their heart rates up to the limits. The lack of impact may also result into the burning of fewer calories when not enough effort is exerted. The variety of models can be confusing to a lot of consumers as compared to buying more basic machines like the treadmill, where the only concern is for it to allow one to run continually.
When buying elliptical machines it is important to first check your budget and then see all models and brands that would match your funds. You should then check the features of each model and see what you think would best serve your purposes. It is important to try working out on the machine as you would normally work out - with proper shoes and clothes on. Most importantly, you should check with your doctor to see if the machine and the exercise it allows you to do would be appropriate for your health level.
Working out can be fun with an elliptical machine! Try and see for yourself.
What You Need To Know When Buying A Treadmill
Aerobic flyers, ab rollers, and other fitness fads may come and go, but the trusty treadmill has stood the test of time.Treadmills are much less likely to end up in next year's garage sale for one simple reason-people use them.
Exercising at home has many perks, especially among today's time-crunched families. Studies have shown that people who have home fitness equipment are more likely to exercise consistently than those who have gym memberships or attend fitness classes. At home, the machine is right there in sight, calling your name. It's much easier to get a quick 20- minute workout when you don't have to find matching socks or fight through gridlock traffic.
One of the main reasons people buy treadmills rather than other machines is because the movement required is something they already know how to do. With all the treadmills on the market, you really have to be a savvy shopper. Your first stop should be the nearest fitness specialty store. To make sure you get the best machine for your money, you should follow some tips.
Measure the space allocated for the machine both horizontally and vertically. You don't want to bump your head on the ceiling every other step.Bring a measuring tape with you to the store. Leave home dressed for a workout. Test the equipment at the level you expect to use it and stay on the machine for at least 10-15 minutes.
Exercise equipment is not supposed to make you seasick. If the treadmill rocks back and forth, forget it. Sturdy construction will not only ensure durability, but also make your workouts more enjoyable. Parts of the machine should be welded together, not held together by nuts and bolts that will soon jiggle loose.
Shoppers may also want to consider purchasing a short-term gym membership to try out equipment. Many gyms offer a one-month trial membership and some even give one- to two-week free memberships.
Added features usually mean added dollars. Fancy programs and heart monitors may serve as motivation, but many people find these addons unnecessary. If you are pinching pennies, look for quality parts and sturdy construction, and skip the virtual racing programs and automated pacers. It is always better to go in knowing what you need, rather than letting a salesman talk you into something.
Sit down with the retailer and review the warranty. Get everything in writing and ask questions. Does the retailer assemble the treadmill? Does it have a weight limit? Be aware that some warranties may be voided if the user is over a specified weight. Keep all the packaging just in case you need to return the machine.
The first thing to investigate on a treadmill is the motor. Depending if you are walking or running, you can easily place 80 to 250 percent of you weight on the treadmill every time your foot hits the belt. It's the motor's job to take a beating and still keep a constant speed.
Overall motor strength is measured in 'continuous' horsepower. But, things get tricky, Some cheaper treadmills advertise a deceptively higher 'peak' horsepower rating to make up for below-average continuous-duty rating.
When inspecting the belt, comfortable length and width should be your main concern. Get a belt that is too short and, with one foul step, you could end up slamming into a wall. But too large a belt makes the treadmill work harder, adding wear and tear to the motor.
Advanced treadmills come with a series of customized workouts that act as your personal training coach. Some offer preprogrammed workouts that automatically adjust grade and speed as you exercise to keep your heart at a steady aerobic rate. There also is space to program several of your own workouts.
Buying a treadmill can be a costly investment. Many fitness experts will tell you that a solid, dependable treadmill costs at least $1,000. But knowing what to look for can save you hundreds of dollars.
Which Is A Better Workout Treadmill Or Elliptical Trainer
We live in a society obsessed with losing weight and getting fit. In response there are countless products on the market that claim to get you in shape. Most are fads that come and go. For example, how many people are still working out with a Thigh Master. But, occasionally an exercise machine is designed that gets results. It promotes fitness and wellness. It helps both novice and fitness enthusiasts reach their exercise goals. It has 'staying' power!
The two most popular fitness machines that fit this qualification are treadmills and elliptical trainers. The tried and true treadmill has been around for years. It remains popular due to its appeal to both novice and seasoned athletes. It is a simple machine that requires no special skills, all you need to do is walk, jog or run.
Although relatively new in comparison to a treadmill, the elliptical trainer is growing in popularity. In shear numbers the treadmill outsells ellipticals, but by percentage the elliptical is gaining in sales. It offers the benefit of a total body workout without the impact.
How do treadmills compare with elliptical training equipment? What benefits do each machine offer? Could either be right for you?
Treadmills are the most popular fitness equipment. They are simple to use and provide an excellent cardiovascular workout. Treadmills allow you to walk, jog or run. In addition, they can simulate hill climbing.
In shear numbers running and walking are the most popular form of exercise. Whether you are a casual walker or a serious runner, a treadmill can accommodate your exercise needs. By setting the speed and incline you can adjust your cardio workout to any level - from casual walking to heart pounding running.
Most power treadmills offer a number of pre-set programs and intensity levels from which to choose. On these particular machines, you may program in your personal information (i.e. age, weight, height, fitness level, etc.). Then, you may choose a pre-set program (such as 'killer hill,' 'interval training' or 'weight-loss'), and the unit will automatically adjust the workout to fit your specifications.
You can bypass the pre-set programs and manually adjust the incline, speed, and the time yourself. And, even if you've chosen a pre-set program, you have the option of changing the incline level or speed level at any time.
Running on a treadmill with a nicely cushioned running surface provides less impact on the knees, shins, ankles, back, and joints than does running on pavement. As a result, the runner who uses a treadmill is less likely to sustain a running injury than a runner who runs upon a harder surface. (Nonetheless, a runner's body will still experience impact when the foot lands on the belt.)
Outdoors, you could possibly trip over a rock or twist your ankle in an unseen hole in the ground. You don't have to worry about unseen road or trail hazards when exercising on a treadmill. You need only maintain your rhythm on the moving belt.
Treadmills not only efficiently burn calories, but their impact reducing surfaces decrease the chances for injuries.
Elliptical trainers are relatively new to the fitness equipment industry. They have increased in popularity during the last few years, and the rate of growth is surpassing treadmills. But, do they deliver what they promise - a low impact, total body workout?
Elliptical trainers allow the user to burn a similar number of calories as they would from walking or jogging - but without the risk of injury to the back, knees, hips, or ankles. The difference in comparison to a treadmill is your feet never leave the foot pedals.
As a result, an elliptical is very low-impact and significantly reduces the pressure on your joints. In fact, whereas exercising on a treadmill requires your body to absorb the impact of walking or running, exercising on an elliptical can be compared to running in midair. Running can result in 2.5x your body weight impacting a treadmill.
Because of the low impact quality of an elliptical trainer, this machine may be the best choice for older people or individuals who are recovering from injuries. That is the obvious reason ellipticals are so popular with us baby boomers. Our joints are starting to tell us they've had enough.
Elliptical machines mimic the normal elliptical motion of the foot, the extension of the leg, and the rotation of the hip during walking or running. This motion uses all the leg muscles, giving you a total lower-body workout.
But what makes an elliptical workout so enticing is you also get a upper body workout (unlike the treadmill, which works only the lower body)! As the feet go through their elliptical motion, the hands grip the moving handlebars, exercising the arms. The movement of the dual handlebars mimics cross-country skiing. This particular type of upper body workout will not result in a bodybuilder's physique. However, because you are including the upper 30% of your body in your workouts, the results will be more efficient exercise in less time.
Because elliptical trainers DO work the upper and lower body simultaneously, the heart rate climbs more quickly. Thus, less time is required to achieve more results. The amount of energy expended is optimized. As the legs are being worked, the back, shoulders, chest, biceps, and triceps are also working...making it possible to burn more calories in less time. (An optimal workout need only be about 20-30 minutes long, if you apply the right amount of resistance.)
Another advantage of elliptical trainers are the foot pedals can be worked in a forward or reverse direction. When you change the direction of the pedals, you'll target your lower body in different ways. It is nice to be able to add versatility to your elliptical workouts, and such a change works to ensure optimal training of the leg muscles.
The intensity level can be adjusted on elliptical equipment to fit your personal level of fitness. Resistance may be added as desired to increase the workload on your legs throughout the forward or backward stride. With such an efficient workout, you can say 'goodbye' to flabby thighs and derrieres!
Studies show working out on an elliptical trainer can trick the body into believing it is working easier than it actually is. Therefore, as you're burning more calories in less time on an elliptical trainer, your body feels as though it doesn't have to work as hard to achieve its goals. This phenomenon is known as the "Rate of Perceived Exertion."
An elliptical device is safe to use (i.e. it stops when you stop). It uses very little electricity and is economical to operate. Because of its low impact, there is less wear and tear of the machine, making maintenance quite low. It has a small footprint, so it takes up less floor space than other fitness equipment. And, as with the treadmill, it allows you to exercise in a controlled environment for more comfort and convenience.
And the Winner Is!
Which is better, a treadmill or elliptical trainer? Both give an excellent cardio workout and when used regularly will burn unwanted calories.
For a walking or running devotee, the treadmill is the machine of choice. Even if you prefer the great outdoors, the treadmill allows you to continue your favorite sport all year long and in the most inclement weather. A treadmill will reduce injuries since you workout on a flat surface that is cushioned. It can add variety to your workout through various challenging programs. And with heart rate control you can optimize your exercising by allowing your heart rate to control the level of exertion.
The appeal of an elliptical is the combined upper and lower body workout, and the low-impact. You exercise more muscle groups, while avoiding the kind of impact that can result in injuries. For those of us whose knees or ankles just can't take it any longer, the elliptical trainer is the obvious choice.
So which one do you choose? Depending upon your preference and needs either can be an excellent choice.
Shopping For Discount Exercise Equipment
Buying discount exercise equipment requires a little imagination. If you're in the market for used or cheap exercise equipment, or just bargains, the web provides a wealth of information on cardio and weight machines, as well as equipment you shouldn't overlook - such as hand held weights, benches, barbell racks, yoga mats, Swedish balls, yoga mats, and more.
Look for discounts in machines such as treadmills, exercise bikes, rowers, and stair climbers especially in close-out models or prior year equipment. You can also find good value in cheap, discounted, refurbished or just used equipment. And don't be afraid to take a look at "Remanufactured" machines - these machines actually have the look and dependability of "New"!
If you are shopping for cheaper exercise machines or discounted equipment, such as refurbished, check to see if it has anything of the following done to it: Powder-coating process (not spray painted - which will lead to deterioration of the equipment over time); re-build and/or replace of all motors, rollers, hydraulics or elevation systems; re-engineer frames and handrails; replace electronics, mechanical and moving parts/components; testing and diagnostics.
If you can't afford electronic exercise machines even at discount prices you can still build a great gym using cheap equipment. Take punching bags for example. Heavy bags are a great way to improve strength and also release aggression. If you can afford a professional one, you can get quite a workout for your investment.
You should also check out cheaper equipment such as mats, rubber tubing, and even jump ropes. Jump ropes aren't just for children anymore, and most professional boxers routinely use them because they also build speed, agility and coordination. A good quality jump rope designed for exercise is not too expensive, and the benefits are tremendous. And yes, you can even find this type of cheap equipment at tremendous discounts for your exercises!
Treadmills Shed Calories
Treadmills are a great way to workout. They give a complete body workout and help in shedding the calories very fast. However they are high impact cardio vascular machines and doctor's advice is needed before you can start working out on a treadmill. Thus it can put strain on the knee muscles and the joints. Hence patients who have arthritis in the knee, or foot and knee problems are advised to stay away from treadmills. Treadmills should be bought only after reading the treadmill reviews as well as treadmill ratings.
Manual treadmills cost a lot less but don't provide too many functions, which the higher end models do. For home use also, many people prefer the powered treadmill as it gives them a variety of workouts in their home. These disadvantages withstanding, the treadmills machines provide a great workout. Whatever be the time of the day and the season, one can easily workout and keep in shape whether at the gym or at home with a treadmill.
Another disadvantage of the treadmill is that many people have been known to fall off the ramp. While exercising, this can cause injury. Hence many of them come with a safety latch, therefore the treadmill machines become more safe. One end of the latch is attached to the clothing of the exerciser, while the other is attached to the machine. If the person goes too far, the safety latch is detached from the machine, which brings the treadmill to the stop. When buying a treadmill, look for the treadmills, which have got good treadmill reviews as well as good treadmill ratings. You can look for these on the websites dedicated to exercise and treadmills as well as magazines. There are many options to choose from. These range from the manual to the powered and the electrical treadmills. They can start as low as $200 and can cost up to $3000.
I Want A Proform Treadmill Are They Any Good
The Proform treadmill is possibly one of the best-known names in exercise equipment. Produced by that behemoth of fitness equipment manufacturing, Icon Fitness, the Proform treadmill is often seen as synonymous with sturdy construction and reliability. While many treadmill experts do indeed rate the Proform range highly, for every positive Pro Form treadmill rating you will find, it seems there is a corresponding review that reports consumer dissatisfaction with the Proform treadmill line.
Some quick research will reveal many a positive treadmill rating for the Proform range. The construction of the Pro Form treadmill range is considered by those in the know to be excellent, and these treadmills are also deemed to offer a good motor. The electronic readouts that they provide are consistently clear and easy to use. As a company with a relatively long history in treadmill construction, Proform treadmills have developed many innovations, such as the adjustable deck cushioning that is available with some treadmills, and the likes of the scissor type arms included in Pro Form's CrossWalk treadmill, which provides the user with the same upper body workout that is afforded by an elliptical machine. These innovations have helped distinguish Proform treadmills from their treadmill competition. But are these factors enough to secure a top-notch treadmill rating?
It would seem that this is not necessarily the case. Despite the many exercising advantages offered by the Proform treadmill, it is not difficult to find many a consumer treadmill rating that reports great disappointment with a Pro Form treadmill purchase. There exists an apparent consumer treadmill rating consensus that Proform treadmills lack the punch that was expected of them, and long term users report myriad reliability problems and poor customer service. Some users have even reported safety concerns with using a Proform treadmill, and even though certain issues have been resolved by the company by adding extra safety features to their newer treadmills, the older models remain as they were, so caution is recommended when purchasing a used Proform treadmill.
Overall, the Pro Form treadmill offers a good package of features, including a range of innovative designs not available with other treadmill brands. Proform are not, however, deemed the most reliable make of treadmill available in today's fitness equipment market place, and with relatively short warranty periods and questionable customer service, the treadmill ratings tell us that a Proform treadmill might not be the wisest investment for the serious exerciser.
The Benefits Of Using A Rebounder
A rebounder is simply a term used for a mini trampoline. The popularity of using this type of device has grown significantly because of all the health benefits associated with using one. People of all ages and health conditions are able to use this apparatus to improve health and fitness.
Rebounders are readily available at sporting good stores, fitness specialty stores, and can be found multiple places online. Choose a model that is sturdy enough with six legs. Models with only four legs can tend to tip over and be dangerous. Choose one where the legs can be unscrewed for easy storage under the bed or in a closet. They are also very affordable, many costing less than a month's membership to a fitness center.
Rebounding can be done by people of all ages and physical abilities because of the low impact on joints. The springs in the system help cushion blows, reducing risks associated with traditional aerobic exercise. Exercises can be as varied as your imagination, but the important thing is to bounce for a period of time to get your heart rate up. There are also numerous videos available to give more regimented workouts by following an instructor.
Using a rebounder stimulates the metabolism, circulates oxygen, and strengthens the heart. It increases the capacity of the lungs and improves muscle tone. It also helps enhance the immune system, aiding in the prevention of illness. This is a great tool to help combat obesity by providing valuable, low impact exercise. Exercise has been shown to reduce tension brought on by everyday stress and pressures. Rebounding enhances this element by being particularly fun. From children to seniors, this type of exercise is greatly enjoyable.
Rebounding can help reduce risk of cardiovascular disease. It can also improve coordination and balance. If you have incontinence problems, rebounding can actually help with this by exercising and strengthening the cells. You can see improved bladder control in a relatively short period of time. It is also an ideal exercise routine for anyone who is recovering from illness or physical ailments such as broken bones or strained muscles. Since bouncing does not work against gravity, there is no undue strain on already damaged muscles and joints. You can help strengthen them without causing more harm.
Rebounding has become widely popular as a form of exercise. There are numerous medical benefits to this type of aerobic exercise as well as the psychological benefits from reducing stress. Because of the low impact, this type of exercise can be performed by people of all ages, weights and physical conditions. This is also one of the most fun forms of exercise. Who doesn't like to bounce?
Stationary Bikes Save You Money
If you have decided to use a fitness facility when riding stationary bikes consider factors that can make that more enjoyable. And consider factors other than price if at all possible. Save money by not eating fast food as often and use the money saved to pay for a club that is better for your purposes or even to rent an apartment with a fitness center over one without. This helps you save money for that fitness center membership and cuts back on the bad foods you eat. Both of which are good for those intending to use stationary bikes
Remember if you join a fitness club that is across town you'll spend valuable time and money just commuting. In the end you'll also lose the stress busting effects of exercise when you're caught in traffic on the way home. You may find that the light enters the room at a more appealing angle in the morning or that you can watch the stars in the evening. Maybe there are people you like to visit with at certain times of day or perhaps crowds to be avoided at other times. Whatever it is that makes you enjoy the very same stationary bike at different times is something that will keep you biking and that consistency will pay off handsomely.
Be sure to take snacks with you to the fitness center, spinning on stationary bikes can really get the appetite going and you'll find it much easier to ignore the temptation of the smoothie bar or a fast food restaurant if you've brought something that is both healthier and tasty that you like. A good food item could be a pita stuffed with lettuce, and other veggies and a package of your favorite salad dressing to top it off. If you want to add a little protein take along some peanuts to eat with it. Don't forget your water bottle.
To find a good facility with plenty of stationary bikes for its clients you can always check online for stationary bikes reviews to see what people are saying.
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