Home exercise equipment is a huge industry and the buyer’s choices
are vast. If you are among those searching for the right piece of
equipment, consider some of the pointers below:
Making a good buy
Before you buy, ask yourself:
Will I use the equipment regularly? Perhaps the most critical issue
is your commitment. Be prepared for buyer letdown.
Will the piece help me meet my goals? Disregard false claims, like
those that say abdominal exercise machines melt flab from your
waistline. Also, be wary of hype regarding calorie burning. A
reasonably fit person can burn about 400 to 600 calories per hour in
rhythmic exercise that involves major muscle groups (especially the
Is the equipment well made? It’s hard to tell from just looking.
Wear your workout gear to the store and put the machine through its
paces. It should feel solid and durable.
Is it comfortable? A machine can be well made but still feel
awkward. During your in-store workout, pay attention to how your
lower back, joints and muscles feel. A seat should stay comfortable
during a long exercise session. Bars or pull handles should be
padded and feel comfortable, even after many minutes. Also, pay
attention to things like noise level and
ease of using the controls.
What type is best?
Test each type of exercise device and choose the one that feels
best. Some equipment works both the arms and legs, which burns more
calories but may not feel right to you. Walking on a treadmill can
be just as good if you add a few dumbbell exercises.
Do I have room for it? Having to store the equipment, or worse,
having to disassemble it will be a deterrent. Also, exercise
equipment can be noisy and bother people nearby. What is the best
deal? Expect to spend at least a few hundred dollars or be
disappointed. Non-motorized treadmills, for example, are inexpensive
but may be clunky to use. But spending several thousand dollars is
not necessary. Some machines cost more because they measure heart
rate, calories burned, time elapsed, etc. These are nice features
but not absolutely necessary for most people. Programmable machines
that can automatically adjust the workload may not be worth the
price since manual controls, if accessible, work just as
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