How to Save Your Home Exercise Equipment Costs

If you are in the market for home exercise equipment to help prevent stroke and heart attack, you want to avoid paying more than you have to for it. To keep costs down, you will need to be a bit creative.

Before you start looking at different models of exercise equipment, first take the time to consider your goals. Are you interested in focusing on a cardio workout or is your goal to build lean muscle?

You also want to be very honest with yourself about your commitment to a home workout. Many people start this process feeling very committed to exercising regularly and then lose their focus after a relatively short time and stop using the equipment. A treadmill, stair stepper or rowing machine then turns into a very expensive clothes rack, and that was not your intention when you bought the item.

Tips for Saving on Home Exercise Equipment

1. Educate Yourself About Your Options

Your goal should be to find the best value in home exercise equipment. Go online to learn about the different brands on the market and the features that make the higher priced models top of the line. That way, you have a sense of what you are getting when you choose a piece of equipment at a particular price point.

2. Consider Your Level of Fitness

If you are just starting to work out regularly, you may want to choose an exercise machine that is geared towards newbies. Models designed for high-level athletes may have more bells and whistles on them, but you will also be looking at paying more for these features.

Rather than looking for a piece of equipment that has a lot of options on it, think about what you need right now and what makes sense for the next level of fitness you plan to achieve. Consider models that fall into this category. When you get to the point when your exercise equipment is not giving you the level of challenge that you need, you can always upgrade.

3. Look at Used, Floor Models and Refurbished Equipment

Some retailers will offer you a better price on home exercise equipment that has minor cosmetic flaws. Inspect used exercise equipment carefully before making a decision. You will want to try it out before you buy it to make sure that it is in good working order. It’s worthwhile to ask the retailer whether the model comes with a manufacturer’s warranty and what its terms are. You can also consider used home exercise equipment that is in good condition.

Planning is the key to finding the right type of home exercise equipment for your needs. By starting with considering your current level of fitness and goals, you will be able to choose something that will benefit you now. You can always upgrade when you need something that is more advanced.

Getting Started with Strength Training

Strength training benefits for participants are numerous. It can help with losing weight and keeping the numbers on the scale from rising after you get to your target number. Strength training can also help to increase bone density and keep your joints healthy. To gain these benefits, plan to add strength training to your aerobic workout routine.

Strength Training Options

There are a number of strength training options you may wish to consider. If you want to get started quickly and simply, you don’t even need any special equipment to do so. Push-ups, crunches and leg squats are all examples of exercises that will help you build strength while targeting certain muscle groups.

Another option available to people who want to start strength training is to use exercise bands. These are flexible bands that provide resistance when they are stretched and they can be used for a number of exercises. Look for resistance tubing in department and sporting good stores.

Free weights, such as barbells, kettle bells and dumbbells are commonly used for strength training, and for good reason. They are available in a range of weight levels and are easy to store when not in use. Not everyone can or wants to join a gym to work out, and buying some free weights is a reasonable alternative to doing so.

Joining a gym offers the benefit of gaining access to weight machines of various kinds, as well as a selection of free weights. If you aren’t familiar with how to use the equipment or have questions about the weight level you should be using, don’t hesitate to ask the staff for help.

Related: Using an Exercise Ball

Your Strength Training Routine

Before you get started, do schedule an appointment with your doctor. Once he or she has given you the green light to go ahead, plan to start slowly. Your workout routine should include a warm-up phase. Take 5 or 10 minutes to stretch, ride a stationary bike or do some walking.

The weight level you choose should be one that will make your muscle feel tired after 10-12 repetitions. By the time you get to the end of your set, you should find it challenging to hang on long enough to do so.

Resist the urge to rush through the set to get it finished sooner and conserve muscle strength. Lowering the weight should take approximately twice as long as lifting it.

Give your muscles at least a full day to recover in between strength training workout sessions. While feeling a little sore is normal, you shouldn’t be experiencing significant pain or joint swelling. These symptoms indicate you have been overzealous in your workout and that you need to work with a smaller weight.

You can do aerobics to strengthen your heart on a daily basis if you wish, and alternating routines will help you avoid becoming bored with your exercise routine.

Stair Stepper and Stepmill Machines: Great Choices for Cardio Exercise

When it comes to cardio exercise at the gym, you have several options available. Two types of exercise machines that can give you a good workout are the stair stepper and the stepmill.

Stair Stepper

The stair stepper machine, commonly referred to by the brand name Stairmaster, is easy to use. If you are able to climb stairs, you can use the machine. The difference between using the stair stepper and going up a standard set of stairs is that when you use the machine, your body weight pushes the steps down. When you set the stair stepper to a higher level of difficulty, the steps fall faster, which means you need to step down on them faster.

This particular cardio exercise equipment offers a more intense workout than a treadmill, walking or jogging can give you. It’s not a great choice if you have trouble with your knees, though.

If you decide to use a stair stepper for your workout, you can get the best workout by using an interval program. As with any cardio machine, start off slowly and increase the length and intensity of your workout slowly. The handles on the machine are meant to be used for balance only, not to support your body weight. If you have balance issues, the stair stepper is probably not the best choice for you.

Stepmill

Another cardio machine that you might want to try when you go to the gym is a stepmill. When the stepmill is in operation, it looks a lot like an escalator. This is not a machine for newbies, though; using one will get your heart rate elevated very quickly.

The stairs on the unit are quite narrow, and it may take a bit of time before you feel comfortable working out on it. Start slowly so that you can get used to the motion of the machine before you start working at a higher intensity.

Out of the two machines, the stepmill is going to give you the more intense cardio workout. If you are new to working out with cardio machines, start by working out on a treadmill, stationary bike or even the stair stepper machine first. Save the stepmill for when you have mastered the other cardio machines and are looking for a more intense workout.