So I've had lots of questions from people who are finally ready to step it up and get on a healthier track. The main problem they have is how do they achieve those goals and make it happen. Goals like losing weight, toning muscles, or maybe just having More Energy are great, but they only go as far as the plan and resources a person has.
A Healthy Lifestyle is a combination of lots of things from nutrition and sleep to exercise. My knowledge is in the exercise area so to help contribute to your healthy lifestyle, here is a list of different goals and options of Equipment you may want to look into to help you achieve those goals. Don't forget – that Flaman Fitness' staff members are great resources to explore what equipment is best for you and your goals too. They can walk you through the pros and cons of equipment to help you find the right piece.
Goal: Lose Weight
This is probably the #1 goal that I come across working at a Fitness Store. From 100 lbs to 5 lbs, everyone wants to lose a bit of weight. I am a big advocate for having a strength component in your weight loss program because building more muscle means burning more calories. For now, let's focus on cardio equipment as it can be an effective aspect of that program too. So here are some great cardio pieces.
The treadmill is a classic solution. But do you like running or walking? If you do, this is a great option. TIP: Focus on finding a machine that has features you enjoy. Maybe it's an iPod Jack and speakers for a musical workout, maybe you like programs, incline, a cooling fan, etc. Find a treadmill that fits YOU!
This is a great option for someone who can't handle the impact and force running exerts on your body. It's also great to give a different feel to a run if you're not a BIG fan of running. Tip: every elliptical feels different, try them out and find one that feels right for the way your body moves.
CALLING ALL WALKERS! The treadclimber technology makes your body work as if it was climbing stairs so the result is a calorie burn like you were running but you simply have to walk. It also tones up that bum and those legs!
So maybe walking and running isn't your thing but what about Biking? An upright bike is taller and more compact and doesn't have a back rest. A recumbent bike sits back with a back rest so it's comfier, the downside is that you don't get results as fast. However, If you don't like the upright you won't exercise at all, so it's better to use a recumbent and get slower results then purchase an upright and not use it.
Goal: Be Stronger/Tone Muscles/ Build Muscle Mass
Like I mentioned above, strength exercise is crucial to losing weight but some people just want to build muscle or tighten up those muscles or maybe you want to be stronger for daily movements and activities. NOTE TO WOMEN: Don't be scared to lift weights and strength train – you won't look like a body builder and as you strength train you can stop at any time if you feel too buff. What product can you use to make those muscles healthy?
The big difference with a Bowflex is that they have Progressive Weight Resistance. This means at the start of your exercise, use a bench press exercise for example, when your chest and arm muscles are weaker the Bowflex rod doesn't exert the full weight. It only reaches the full weight when the rods are flexed further as you extend your arms and engage your stronger muscles. TIP: different models offer different conveniences and more exercises. Weigh your added convenience and # of exercises of each model vs the price to find the best Bowflex for you.
Home Gyms and Functional Trainers
This is the traditional “Universal" gym. It offers a whole body workout and uses regular solid steel plate weight. They're very straightforward to use and there are posters you can get for them too! TIP: Functional trainers offer more flexibility with the cable systems. Instead of the motions of a typical home gym, you can do exercises that mimic real life tasks like picking a heavy box up off the floor and twisting to put it on the counter to your side. You become stronger for every day tasks and decrease the risk of tweaking muscles and back pain.
GOAL: BOOST METABOLISM/TONE MUSCLES/INCREASE CIRCULATION
This is a newer technology that uses vibration to benefit almost every aspect of your physical health. Click here for a full list of benefits: In summary though, the older you are the more health problems, the more helpful the vibration trainer is. You stand on the machine and hold different poses and exercises to let the vibrations reach the targeted areas of your body you need to work on. It's simple, easy and effective!
GOAL: SMALL EQUIPMENT / SMALL BUDGET
Check out the Accessories that the fitness industry has to offer. These are typically low cost, smaller items that don't take up much space. kettlebells, dumbbells and resistance bands are great strength training options.
Need better agility? Try an agility ladder, reaction ball, wobble board or step hurdle. Maybe you have a workout already and you want to add a new challenge: try ankle and wrist weights or carry a small dumbbells weights to carry while you walk or run.
GOAL: THE ALL IN ONE GENERAL BETTER HEALTH
Get a general Health Plan: You want a workout plan with strength and cardio exercises, a workout schedule, nutrition plan, and equipment.
RIP:60. It has 12 DVDs, equipment, recipes and nutrition guides for 60 days plus a workout schedule. Best Part – it's inexpensive. Check it out here.
Just a note: some of these workouts can be intense so just know you can and should modify to your fitness level to avoid injury.
Whatever your fitness and health goals may be, there is exercise equipment to help you get there. Stay consistent and work hard and you'll achieve what you aim for.