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Choosing and Buying Home Fitness Equipment

How many people do you know who have treadmills, stationary bikes, weight benches or other bits of exercise sculpture littering their houses? How many people actually use them? (You can tell by looking at the number of sweaters hanging from the handles of the bike, or the stacks of overdue library books on the weight bench).

Beauty Tips Girl Friday

It's a sad truth that a majority of the workout machines bought sit around unused, lonely and gathering dust, while their owners sit guiltily on the couch, eating potato chips and watching reruns of The Sopranos. Don't let this happen to you!

  1. Try one of everything. Don't just buy a machine and bring it home having never used it. You can try all sorts of machine on a day pass to a local fitness center, or by visiting friends with treadmills, stairmasters, bikes or Pilates sets. Sample from a wide variety of the equipment out there so you know
  2.  what you like and what you hate. Never buy a piece of equipment if you dislike working out on it (you'd be surprised how many people do just that, figuring that having spent all that money will make them more appreciative of the machine. It doesn't.)
  3. Get it for free or for cheap. There are so many unwanted weight machines out there! The trick is finding one is practically new condition, along with the user manual and someone who knows how to set it up and use it properly. Look at yard sales, ask your friends. Pay a personal trainer to teach you to set it up and use it safely.  
  4. Don't blow it all on bells and whistles. The best piece of equipment you could probably buy is a good pair of walking shoes. You don't need things that are programmable, that light up when you're done or tell you how many fat cells may have been redistributed during your workout. Don't be seduced by expensive bonus items; get something solid that works. Use the extra money for those shoes.  
  5. Buy new equipment from a specialist. You may get a cross trainer a little cheaper at a department store, but from a store that specializes in sporting equipment, you should also get knowledgeable and helpful salespeople. They may even have a staff that does at-home repair if your machine should run into trouble.  
  6. Get a good return policy and a long warranty. See if you can get a 30 day return policy that won't cost you anything. If at the end of 30 days, you've only used the piece a few times, send it right back and there's no damage done to your wallet or your morale. Don't ever keep a piece of exercise equipment out of guilt.

Types of Equipment
Aerobic or cardio fitness

Stationary bikes
Elliptical trainers like the Tony Little Gazelle
Rowing machines
Cross country ski machines
Stair climbers or steppers

Strength Training or Weight Lifting Equipment

Free weights, dumbbells or barbells
Home gyms like the Bowflex
Rubber bands or tubing for resistance
Exercise Ball

Continue reading the next aerobics article on stay home fitness

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