Home Fitness: Exercise Equipment Choices
There are several considerations when buying exercise equipment and the biggest challenge is perhaps choosing the one that matches your budget, space and fitness level. But regardless of these factors, you are most likely to land on any of the following exercise equipment:
Treadmill is a popular piece of gym equipment that has become the primary choice of anyone who wants to maintain an exercise routine at home. It lets you walk, jog or run anytime of the day, any month of the year – regardless of season and weather condition. A good treadmill costs at about $1500 but it can go as much as $3500, depending on the brand and features. When selecting one, focus on the load capacity, wide belt, incline settings, safety shutoff, smooth action and solid construction.
Elliptical Trainer is a no-impact exercise machine that simulates running and walking without causing excessive pressure on the joints thus decreasing the risk of impact injuries. The machine can be set from low- to high-intensity work out that is suited for all fitness levels. Today, elliptical trainers are the most popular piece of gym equipment. Price ranges from $500 to as much as $4000. Try out different brands when buying one.
Rowing Machines are excellent for those who want a total body workout. Requires little space, the rowing machine simulates the body movement of watercraft rowing targeting both the upper and the lower body muscle groups. Proper posture is required to avoid back strain.
Cross Country Ski Machines provide a full body workout, targeting both the upper and the lower body muscle groups. However, this type of machine is hard to master. So before buying one, make sure that you try it out first and see if it is really for you. People who use a cross country are often the best experienced exercisers with sufficient skills, who want a challenging workout.
Step Machines or steppers are low impact exercise machines that improve cardiovascular fitness and build and strengthen lower body muscles. A good step machine can be very expensive. Choose the right one or consider other alternatives if your budget does not fit.
Stationary Bike is composed of pedals, a paddle and some kind of handle similar to a real bike but used as exercise equipment rather than a means of transportation. A stationary bike is good for new exercisers or for those who like to have a no-impact cardiovascular workout. A quality stationary bike costs between $500 and $1000.
Recumbent Machines are like stationary bikes but with the rider sitting in an inclined position. The main advantage of a recumbent machine over a stationary bike is it provides better lower back support, thus minimizing the stress on the knees. A recumbent machine has the same aerobic effect with that of a stationary bike and targeting the muscles of the quadriceps, hamstrings and gluteus.
Resistance equipment is often known as either free weights or multi-stations or home gyms. Both have pros and cons and purchasing either of the two requires major thinking. Free weights are reasonably priced and require less space but they also require greater supervision and instruction as they are more likely to cause injury. Multi-stations on the other hand are more convenient to use but takes up a lot of space and the price depends on the quality of the machine. Take your pick.