Jumping into a new training season and beating the coming heat of summer are a couple of reasons that owning your own fitness equipment is appealing this spring. If you’re considering taking the plunge on a new machine, how do you decide what equipment will be the best fit for your needs? Treadmills, recumbent bikes, and elliptical trainers are all great options for starting or staying with a training program. Keep reading for a few tips on picking the right machine for you.
Just getting started? Recumbent bikes are a great option for new exercisers or for those looking for the convenience of a no-impact workout at home. Because recumbent bikes use a natural seated position, they also tend to be convenient for exercisers who like to watch TV or read while working out. If you’re feeing a little hardcore, these machines are also a great way to cross-train aerobically with your higher impact activities, letting you continue to burn calories and increase fitness while giving your joints a break. To get the most from your machine: after establishing a base level of fitness (work up to a steady 30 minutes, three times per week), start working in a hill or interval workout once or twice a week to increase your fitness and post-workout calorie burn.
Keeping it Simple? Treadmills will always be one of the most popular exercise options around because nothing else really mimics the simplicity of running and walking. The treadmill is a great choice for everyone from beginning walkers to competitive runners. It gives the pros a chance to train in the comfort of the indoors while keeping track of workout results, and newbies can work with an activity (namely walking) that they’re already well experienced in. Space-saving models will let your home gym fit in the tightest of spaces, making treadmills appealing for those in apartments or smaller homes. To get the most from your machine: If you aren’t already running or walking, start slowly to give your body a chance to adjust to the impact and avoid joint injury. After sticking to your workouts three times a week for two to three weeks, increase your mileage or intensity by about 10% each week in order to build your fitness and endurance.
Serious Results? Elliptical Trainers let you combine the intensity of running with the low impact of cycling. If you’re looking for a demanding workout that won’t wear out your joints, you’ll love your elliptical. You determine the pace of your workout, so you can increase the challenge as your cardio fitness improves. Ellipticals are great for runners looking for a low impact cross training option that will allow them to work similar muscles to those used in running and walking. These fitness machines are also a terrific option if you’d like to work your way up to running or just want to see the weight loss and cardiovascular benefits that a more intense program can provide. To get the most from your machine: After getting started on your program, try adding in some reverse pedaling to work different muscles and neural connections, giving you a bigger impact…without the impact.
Several models of Horizon’s home fitness equipment offer features that will make your workouts more comfortable and fun. With MP3-docking stations, COOLfit® fitness fans, Sonic Surround™ speakers and the ability to upload your workouts online using NikePlus.com, working out at home has never been more enjoyable.
Weigh In: We’d love to hear from you. Have you recently purchased (or are you considering purchasing) a piece of home fitness equipment? What did you go with and why? Feel free to drop us a line here or on Facebook.