If you’re getting ready to embark on a new exercise routine, choosing the right fitness equipment is a must.
Below you’ll find out more about how to find the best exercise equipment for your fitness goals.
Considerations Before You Buy
Before you invest in exercise equipment, there are several things to think about. First, only consider buying exercise equipment you will use. Also commit to learning how to use the equipment properly so you can avoid injuries and maximize your results. Finally, remember that exercise equipment comes in a wide variety of types and price ranges. Reviewing consumer reviews before deciding what to purchase will help you get high-quality equipment.
A good cardio workout, whether it’s running, cycling, rowing, or walking, will burn fat and calories and investing in equipment will help you stick to your fitness goals even if the weather outside is terrible. Cardio equipment can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands. Keep in mind that you’ll pay more for options that track your heart rate, calories, and time.
Cross-Country Ski Machines
Cross-country ski machines are a great choice when you want to exercise your upper and lower body at the same time. Because it uses a sliding motion, it won’t hurt your joints. Before you choose a machine, try out several styles including those with ropes versus stationary handgrips. Also try different ski motions, including independently moving skis and those where you must move one ski forward to move the opposite ski backwards. Always choose a model with a wide foot bed as this will help you keep your balance.
The circular up and down motion of an elliptical trainer falls somewhere between the motion of a ski machine and a stair-stepper. Elliptical trainers offer a workout that is easy on your joints. Decide whether you prefer to adjust the resistance and grade automatically or manually and try out different speeds and grades to ensure stability. Also decide whether you want a model with levers with handgrips to incorporate an upper body workout. Comfortable handlebars and pedals that won’t slip are a must.
Rowing machines provide an ideal total body workout for your arms, legs, and back. They can take some time to get used to as this type of exercise is difficult, so you may want to try out a model at the gym before you buy. Pulley models provide a more authentic rowing experience than piston models.
Stair-steppers offer a low-impact workout that mimics climbing stairs. If you want to work out your arms, choose a model with levers and handgrips. If you haven’t used a stair stepper before, it’s a good idea to practice at the gym before you invest as they can be somewhat hard on your knees. Options that allow independent foot action and have handrails and large stair platforms are best.
Exercise bikes are among the easiest forms of equipment to use and provide an exceptional cardiovascular workout. Stationary cycling can become uncomfortable if you plan to do it for a long time, so a comfortable model is a must. Always test the seat for comfort and adjustability. If you like the bike but the seat is too hard, see if you can buy a cushioned seat separately.
Treadmills are great for indoor running and walking. If you want maximum protection for your joints, choose a model with a flexible, softer running area. You also want to make sure the running area is wide and long enough to accommodate your stride.
Treadmills with powerful motors last longer, so they are a good investment. In terms of safety, make sure there is an emergency stop capability and that the frame is sturdy and features handrails. Always choose a model that allows you to adjust the speed and grade to challenge yourself.
Ankle weights, which are usually 5 to 10 pounds, are a great starting point for strength building and allow you to do side leg raises, hip extensions, and more. Choose a comfortable option with padding that also have pockets for half-pound or 1-pound weight bars so you can challenge yourself.
If you’re a beginner, a hand weight set with 2, 5, or 8 pound weights is a good starting point. As you gain strength, you can graduate to heavier weights.
Resistance Bands and Tubes
Resistance bands and tubes are a low-cost, portable, space-saving way to gain full-body strength. To choose the right resistance, see how many repetitions you can do. If you can do fewer than eight, the resistance is too high. If you can do more than twelve, the resistance is too low. You can also vary your resistance by placing your hands closer together or further apart.
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