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Archive for the ‘Fitness Tips’ Category


Best In Home Fitness Equipment

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Home Fitness Equipment

In recent years, gyms and fitness centers have grown in popularity all across the country with new ones opening almost every day. The phenomenal growth of these centers is the result of an increasing awareness of the need for better fitness for all ages. Even though gym memberships have grown substantially in the last decade, many health and fitness enthusiasts are cancelling these memberships in favor of working out at home.

 

Reasons for Purchasing In Home Fitness Equipment

Many find they lack the time required to visit the gym as often as they should to achieve maximum results. Having the necessary equipment in the home gives them the opportunity to exercise at their own convenience. As a result, sales of home exercise equipment are continuing to grow. The key to building a successful home fitness program begins with knowing what to look for when deciding on in home fitness equipment.

 

How to Choose the Best In Home Fitness Equipment

Whether choosing one primary piece of equipment or designing a complete home gym, be aware of the many different products and keep a keen eye on quality. There is a big difference in the quality of available equipment. The most expensive ones do not necessarily guarantee quality or durability. A strict budget does not limit the possibility of purchasing affordable in home fitness equipment. There are several areas to focus on when selecting equipment.

 

  • Compare equipment quality and durability.
  • Choose the ones with sturdier designs and desired features.
  • Concentrate on the most enjoyable ones.
  • Choose the equipment designed for maximum results.

 

Guidelines to Follow When Choosing Equipment Types

According to a survey conducted by Consumer Reports National Research Center, about thirty-seven percent of people expected to use their home exercise equipment more frequently than they actually did. The primary reason given by those who used their equipment was that they enjoyed it. It is important to set goals for success and choose equipment that makes a workout satisfying.

 

Common Types of In Home Fitness Equipment

Outfitting a home gym requires thoughtful planning regarding the different types of exercise equipment to include. In 2012, about fifteen percent of Americans bought home gym equipment. The reason for purchasing exercise equipment for many Americans is to help them lose weight. Most people who invest in home exercise equipment for weight loss look for the ones that help them burn calories and provide a good cardiovascular workout. The most popular machines are designed for maximum results.

 

Common Home Fitness Solutions:

  • Treadmills are popular because they can be adapted to any fitness level.
  • Elliptical machines provide the same basic level of exertion as treadmills.
  • Traditional stationary exercise bikes one of the most common items found in home gyms.
  • Recumbent bikes are popular because of the back support they provide.
  • Balance balls and trainers provide balance exercises that improve core strength, coordination and agility.
  • Free weights and solid weight racks are popular home gym items that offer strength exercises

 

Best Home Fitness Equipment

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Best Home Fitness Equipment

Although you may have heard all the raving reviews about a new home fitness machine, your experience could be completely different. Each person has a unique perspective, the best home fitness equipment is not necessarily what the majority selects. As you use different machines at the gym, or contemplate shopping for home fitness equipment, you need to decide on the best machine for you. When you are passionate about a product, you’ll use it consistently.

 

Physical Versatility In Best Home Fitness Equipment

If your car only drove at one set speed limit, it wouldn’t be that useful. The same idea applies to the best home fitness equipment. Each machine needs physical versatility to allow you to improve your fitness level and stay interested. For example, a treadmill should have several inclination settings, simulating uphill jogging, running or walking. An elliptical machine may not incline, but it can have resistance in the arms and legs for a more intense workout each session. These features make a machine move with your body and needs.

 

Best Home Fitness Equipment With Computer Control

Computers have provided even more versatility for the standard exercise machine. When you hop on a treadmill, you can choose a random running course, providing you with hills and declines. The workout isn’t boring and it forces your body to adapt to different experiences. As a result, your cardiovascular system and muscles gain strength and endurance. You can even test yourself with a steady incline, such as a long-distance mountain run or biking experience. Your legs pump harder than normal, improving your physique. Workout equipment that combines advanced computer programming into the workout creates real-life situations.

 

Body Monitoring

Look for the best equipment that offers real-time body monitoring. From heart rate to miles ran, you can have a true account of each workout. Each person has a different target heart rate for optimal fitness and weight loss. If you can keep your heart rate within the target range for an extended period, you truly get the most out of your workout. You can also note if you are pushing too hard or not enough. Acting as a personal trainer, body monitoring keeps you safe and motivated.

 

Comfort Is Key

Although comfort is subjective, the best fitness machines offer specific amenities to keep you on the equipment longer. For example, strategic cup holders give you a place for your water bottle and cell phone. There can also be an input port for your MP3 player. You can use the equipment’s integrated speakers to play your music for increased workout enjoyment. Even a rack for your workout towel is helpful, allowing you to wipe the sweat away easily as you run, walk or jog.

 

Easy Cleaning

Look for fitness equipment that has smooth body designs, rather than intricate crevices. As you workout, you’ll inevitably drip sweat on the machine. Equipment with a lot of contours is difficult to clean, especially if you workout intensely. As a result, it may not be cared for as carefully as a more sleek design. Cleaning the machine periodically encourages you to use it more often, increasing your fitness and health prospects.

 

Ergonomic Design

A perfect machine should hold your weight safely, along with adjustable seats, handles and pedals for ergonomic positioning. For example, you have very long legs. An exercise bike seat needs to have ample adjustable settings to adequately fit your body into the right position. Improper positioning often leads to injury. The handlebars should be ergonomic as well. Cushioning along the entire handlebar provides you with proper grip for a safe workout. Repetitive injuries from poor positioning leads to possible chronic conditions, such as back pain.

 

Matches Fitness Level

The best machine for you is one that matches your fitness level. If you have a chronic knee injury, for example, a treadmill is not a proper machine choice. The impact on your knees as you run is substantial. Instead, select an elliptical machine that allows the knee to bend in a more comfortable position without impact issues. As you improve your fitness, you can possibly trade-in your machine for a different one to increase endurance.

 

Gets You Excited

If running on a treadmill looks and feels boring to you, it will not entice you to exercise each day. It takes a concerted effort to maintain your workout motivation. The best machine for you reflects your interests. If you enjoy cross-country or track, a treadmill is a smart choice. A biking enthusiast benefits from both an elliptical or exercise bike. It is up to you to decide on the best machine.

Selecting the best exercise machine for your needs requires research and personal reflection to find the right match. Mix up your machine workout with other exercise programs, including workout videos, to enhance your experience. The more excited you are about the machine, the more often you’ll use it.

Maintaining Your Fitness Motivation: The Before-and-After Technique

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

We write a lot about exercise motivation on this blog, because at Smooth Fitness, we know that for many people it can be difficult to stay motivated to do what need to be done when we’re tired, busy, or stressed. One effective method to keep your workouts going and your goal within reach is to have your progress continually reaffirmed for you as you go. A great way to do this is to have before and after comparisons.

If your reason for exercising is weight loss, then you’ll want to snap a few photos and record your baseline information—how much you weigh, how long it takes you to run a mile, how much you can lift—whatever it is that you’re using to measure your weight loss and fitness success. Having photos to reference is a particularly powerful way to see progress happening right before your eyes. Tracking your measurements is also a great way to keep tabs on weight loss progress.

If your goal is to improve your health, then your first step will be a doctor’s visit, when you can discuss with your doctor what health issues need addressing, how to address them, and how to safely monitor that progress.

Those trying to improve their athletic performance or train for a major event (like a marathon) will find themselves tracking all kinds of stats. Weight lifted, personal records, the time it took to run x number of miles, heart rate—all kinds of metrics can be used to measure athletic success. Fitness accessories like a heart monitor watch or ankle and wrist weights can help you get there.

If you’re a number cruncher, track your stats in a spreadsheet for in-depth analysis. If you’re more of a visual person, take frequent photos and measurements to refer to—and gradually create an ever-more-powerful motivational tool as you go!

 

Make Halloween Fit Instead of Fat This Year

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

We all know that Halloween is traditionally the day when we all throw health and fitness out the window in favor of snacking on candy and junk food. But Halloween (and the many social activities that come with it) is a great way to work in some extra exercise here and there, which can help you offset the sweet treats of All Hallows’ Eve, should you choose to partake. Read on for a few tips.

  1. Plan out a trick or treating route that will give you a generous walking distance, though you’ll definitely want to check the weather forecast and factor that into your plans. (And remember that the more you walk the more houses you can hit, and the heavier your candy bag grows, the more of a workout you get—it’s a win-win!)
  2. Don’t skip the jack o’lanterns this year! Running around the pumpkin patch and then putting in the elbow grease needed to carve out your creation are great ways to get the heart pumping and burn some calories.
  3. Grab a few good friends and head out to a haunted house. The walking (and possibly sprinting in terror) definitely counts as physical activity.
  4. If you plan to stick to a workout routine through the Halloween season, good for you! Put on a horror flick or a thriller to keep you occupied while you pedal away on your exercise bike or run through your fears on your treadmill.

So there you have it. If you’ve got any additional tips, let us know! Of course, the one surefire way you can avoid sabotaging your diet over Halloween is to stay away from eating too much candy, but at Smooth Fitness we know that everyone wants to indulge once in a while. Have fun, and stay safe!

 

Diving Into A New Workout Routine: Don’t Skip The Checkup

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Here at Smooth Fitness, we love being able to provide people all over the world with the tools they need to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Whether the goal is weight loss or heightened athletic performance, it’s remarkable the impact one can achieve with enough motivation and the right exercise equipment.

But there is something that we also encourage any exercise enthusiast to consider, and that’s the safety of your workouts. Many people who become passionate about their fitness are so enthusiastic initially that they dive in without taking one very important step: going to see their doctor.

For people trying to lose weight in particular, this can be a costly mistake. Often those pursuing weight loss are incredibly motivated when they start out, so they run the risk of serious injury if their bodies can’t handle the abrupt lifestyle change. Since obesity and being overweight are often accompanied by health issues like plaque buildup in the arteries, high blood pressure, joint problems, poor circulation, and much more, subjecting your body to higher levels of exertion than it’s used to can be very dangerous. A fitness checkup can help a doctor determine what a safe level of activity is for you when you’re starting out, as well as ways you can maximize your fitness and avoid injuries if you have specific health issues to keep in mind. What kind of exercise equipment you need, what type of exercise you should be doing, for how long, and how intensely—these are all things a doctor can help you determine.

So don’t put yourself at risk for the sake of jump-starting your workouts. We love seeing people full of workout motivation, but in the end fitness should be a lifelong pursuit, and injuring yourself is not a great way to start out. Don’t forget to check in with your doctor if you’re about to start any kind of new exercise, whether it’s on a treadmill or a home gym.

 

 

Heading Into Cold Season: Exercise and Your Health

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

As we head into the colder fall and winter months, we also head into cold and flu season. Bolstering your immune system takes more than simply keeping warm and taking your vitamins—in fact, consistent exercise is an incredible boon for your health, and can even help strengthen your immune system. Here are three ways you can use exercise and fitness to help stay ahead of the common cold.

  1. Do: stick to your routine, even if it’s cold and dark outside. As with any other time of the year, increased circulation, the release of endorphins and opportunity to release stress all contribute to your overall physical and mental health. Though there are plenty of questions remaining about exactly how exercise helps boost your immune system, it is known that physical activity may help flush out bacteria from the lungs as well as other wastes through sweat and urine. Also, the temporary rise in body temperature may help you fight off bacteria as well.
  2. Do: make sure you fuel your body properly both before and after exercise, and don’t skimp on sleep. No matter why you exercise—whether it’s to lose weight or maintain fitness—you should be providing yourself with proper nutrition and energy for your workouts and recovery. At Smooth Fitness, we can’t emphasize this enough.
  3. Don’t: overdo it. If you exhaust yourself and don’t properly refuel, you can actually wear down your body and become more susceptible to sickness. If you’re already faithful to a workout routine, then don’t fall prey to the ‘more is better’ fallacy—if it already works for you, stick with it, and reap the benefits.

Whether you work out on a smooth elliptical or a treadmill, or if you’re taking advantage of fitness accessories to get a full-body cross-training workout, that exercise will be on your side when the coughing and sneezing starts.

 

Make it Happen: Get Your Fitness Motivation Mojo Back

Friday, September 27th, 2013

We know that it can be pretty difficult fitting your workouts in around family, career, and other demands. As the weather gets colder, our bodies go into hibernation mode, and all we seem to want to do is eat and sleep. But when you’ve got your own fitness equipment at home, there’s really no excuse for falling behind on your home exercise, no matter how cold it is outside or how tired you are.

There are many things that impact how you exercise, and how effective your workouts are. We’ve discussed most of them on this blog—workout nutrition, fitness goals, routine, the fitness accessories and equipment you’re using.  And of course, any health issues or doctor’s recommendations you may have. But a common complaint that sets back millions of Americans, even those with the loftiest of weight loss goals, is motivation. Sometimes, it takes a lot to win back your spark, to reignite what got you on the road of your fitness journey in the first place. Fitness motivations fall all across a spectrum—some people want to be able to keep up with their families as they grow, others have athletic goals, others want to look good in that suit/dress/bikini, and still others simply want to improve their overall quality of life by getting in shape. Many times your motivation is very personal.  Whatever your reasons were for picking up the weights or jumping on your treadmill in the first place, here are a few quick tips to help you get it back if you find yourself falling off the horse.

  1. Visualize it. An image of what you’re working toward is a powerful mental tool. Maybe this means taking regular progress photos to remind yourself of your success so far, or a collection of images that represents places you’ll go/things you’ll do to reward yourself once you reach your goal.
  2. Reward yourself. Set up a rewards system to help keep you on track, and watch yourself earn them with each minute spend exercising or each pound lost.
  3. Get a buddy. A reliable workout friend is priceless. Accountability is a huge factor in getting things done, and this person can also cheer you on when you’re struggling.

How do you maintain your motivation?

 

 

Breathing and Exercise: Optimizing Your Workouts For Better Air Flow

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

We all know that exercise is important for health, but did you know how important it is to make sure you’re breathing correctly while you’re working out? Not only do you need to get your body moving and your blood pumping, but depending on what kind of exercise you’re doing, you’ll need to optimize your breathing technique, too! Whether you want to exercise longer, harder, or faster, you can start with a few basic breathing techniques to improve. Read on to learn more about what it takes to get the fresh air your body needs while you’re sweating it out on your treadmill or elliptical trainer. (more…)

Fitness Isn’t All Weights and Cardio: Remember Your Work in the Kitchen

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

No matter how hard you’ve been working to bring those chiseled abs to the surface, there’s one factor that may be working against you without you even knowing. When you get down to basics, it becomes a matter of calories in vs. calories out, but where you’re getting your calories from matters. No matter whether you prefer to use a smooth treadmill or an elliptical to get your exercise in, diet is something you should be paying very close attention to in order to properly fuel your workouts. (more…)

Weight Lifting and Cardio: Get Both When You Cross Train

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Sometimes, it’s hard to choose. If both options are excellent, how can you be expected to decide just one? We feel the same way about exercise. Cardio and strength training both have their own unique benefits, but it takes a blend of the two to really get a comprehensive workout (and smart nutrition for optimum fitness and health.) So at Smooth Fitness, we invite you NOT to choose.

How is that possible, you ask? It’s simple: start cross training. The beautiful thing about cross training workouts is that they allow you to incorporate cardio, fitness accessories, and strength training however you need to in order to obtain your results. They can be tailored to individual needs, meaning that your cross training workouts will accommodate injuries, illness, and any other physical issues you may have. So you don’t have to feel restricted or held back—because when you cross train, all you’re doing is giving yourself more freedom in your exercise.

Cross-training may be all the rage right now, but it’s anything but a passing craze. We think the many benefits of cross training workouts make it a valuable and effective approach to exercise that will definitely stick around. And from what we’re seeing, fitness enthusiasts love that they can use so many different techniques, fitness accessories and types of exercise equipment to get the results they’re looking for. The great thing about the fitness industry is that it’s constantly moving forward—new discoveries in health and technology can be continually applied to help us achieve better health and life long fitness.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to incorporate your trusty smooth treadmill into a more comprehensive cross training workout routine, don’t hesitate to get in touch! We’d love to help you put together everything that you need to reap the benefits of cross training workouts.

 

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