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Archive for the ‘General’ Category


The latest in deadly illnesses: AMA votes to make obesity an official disease

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

If you’ve been following the news lately, you probably heard that the American Medical Association recently voted to declare obesity an actual disease. But you might exactly not understand the ramifications of that decision.

Here at Smooth Fitness, your #1 internet retailer of home fitness equipment, we’re committed to bringing you all the latest news relating to your health and wellness. So we’re happy to elaborate on the AMA’s recent groundbreaking move, and discuss just what it means for our valued customers.

In a nutshell, declaring obesity an official disease means that the nation’s leading organization of physicians has effectively defined – in one fell swoop – more than one third of adults and about 17 percent of children as suffering from a “medical condition requiring treatment.” Despite much debate over whether the ruling will serve to further stigmatize the condition, the AMA ultimately concluded that recognizing obesity as an official disease would force the medical community to become more aggressive about helping their patients maintain a healthy weight.

The AMA is confident that the ruling will prompt the discovery of more effective solutions to the complexities of obesity. But many are concerned that the label of “disease” will shift national focus away from natural weight management methods like healthy eating and home exercise, and toward expensive drug and surgical treatments instead.

As a Smooth Fitness client, you know we’re not big fans of “quick fix” weight loss fads like diet pills or crash diets. From our Smooth treadmills to our kettle bells, our home fitness equipment and fitness accessories are designed to promote healthy, gradual weight loss or maintenance through natural home exercise and a holistic commitment to wellness. But we also understand that obesity is an ever-expanding American problem that hasn’t responded well to past methods. Perhaps the recent AMA decision will be the wakeup call many people need to finally start dedicating themselves to a healthier lifestyle.

What do you think about the recent AMA decision about obesity? Weigh in with your thoughts! The Smooth Fitness team looks forward to hearing from you.

Create your own cross workout with Smooth fitness accessories

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Last week, Smooth Fitness introduced you to a very effective form of exercise called cross training. If you like what you learned, you’ll be interested to discover how easy it is to incorporate cross workouts into your daily home exercise routine – all with the home fitness equipment available for purchase here on our website!

Recall that cross training workouts utilize a unique blend of aerobic and anaerobic activity, fostering functional movements in all areas of strength and conditioning. Brace yourself – your cross workout will demand some pretty extreme physical exertion on your part. But after you notice how much your fitness improves across multiple varieties of exercise, we think you’ll be thanking us after just a few cross training workouts.

So what makes a cross workout so difficult? By combining cardio with strength training, cross workouts require you to develop functional movement proficiency in multiple muscle groups and fitness skills – all in just one workout. In terms of your Smooth fitness equipment, that means running hard – we’re talking sprint level, or at least 80 percent of your maximum speed – on your treadmill or elliptical for intervals of two to four minutes. In between, your “rest” periods should incorporate an ab workout on your yoga mat or exercise ball; arm strengthening with your push up bars or kettle bells; or leg resistance work with slow and even squats, made more difficult with the weight of your medicine ball. You only have a few minutes before you’re back at cardio, so make every crunch count!

Like we said, it’s no walk in the park, but cross training workouts have some serious benefits for your overall health. Best of all, if you’re trying to squeeze in a workout between all the obligations of your busy schedule, cross training is perfect for you: thanks to the high intensity of each exercise interval, most cross workouts can be completed in 30 minutes or less!

In the coming months, Smooth Fitness will provide more specific tips on how to use your fitness accessories alongside your cardio exercise to get the most out of your cross workouts, depending on your goals. So stay tuned to the blog of your favorite source for home fitness equipment and news! We look forward to helping you hone your home exercise routine so you can continue on your path to optimal personal fitness.

Smooth Fitness weighs the costs of popular home workout videos

Friday, June 7th, 2013

Home exercise comes in all shapes and sizes, and as your #1 internet retailer of home fitness equipment, Smooth Fitness generally supports anything designed to promote health and wellness. But when it comes to weight loss, many people will do anything – and we mean anything! – to try to shed a couple pounds. Hey, we’ve all been there, but sometimes the risks of fad weight loss programs can significantly outweigh the benefits.

Consider popular branded high-impact home workout videos, many of which utilize intense progressive training cycles and highly strenuous stamina routines. As a Smooth Fitness client, you probably know at least one super-fit friend who swears by the “push through the pain” mantra of these kinds of rigorous workout videos. But the biggest problem with home exercise programs that utilize high-impact workouts is that fitness should never adhere to a “one size fits all” philosophy.

Even if we (reluctantly) ignore that such high-impact home workout videos can significantly increase your potential for injury and long-term joint or muscle damage, the fact remains that these kinds of extreme routines are simply not sustainable.

  • The You Factor: Because no two people have the exact same body, everyone requires a different exercise routine that is catered to their own physical limitations and fitness goals. Blame genetics, health history and a whole slew of lifestyle factors, but some people will simply never be capable of achieving the kind of lean, mean bodies promised by many of the popular branded workout video programs on the market today. And that’s not something to be ashamed of! You should be working toward your own personal level of optimal fitness, not one prescribed by a professional, paid athlete.
  • The Future Factor: Most high-impact home video exercise schedules offer only one day of rest in an entire week of hardcore workouts. That might sound like the kind of discipline required to achieve a rockin’ set of abs, but without supplementing these harsh sessions with lighter ones, your body is less likely to adapt to more demanding routines later down the line. This is not the way to build a lasting dedication to fitness; in fact, it’s hardly sustainable for the length of time each workout series requires, let alone for the rest of your life.

So, do home workout videos work? Sure, for a select type of person, for a fixed period of time. If you’re able to complete these high-impact workout video schedules consistently, safely and efficiently – and you can keep it up for years to come – we at Smooth Fitness applaud you. But if you can’t, there’s no need to beat yourself up! Successful home exercise can come in any form, from running on the soft belt of a treadmill, to getting your heart pumping on an elliptical machine, to lifting weights in your basement.

Achieving your own best health possible should be your #1 priority. And at the end of the day, you are the only one who knows just exactly what that should look like.

Top 10 Cookout Foods that Sabotage Your Diet – And What to Eat Instead

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Memorial Day is right around the corner, and that means a long weekend full of friends, family and food. With cookout season upon us after that, the team here at your #1 internet retailer of home fitness equipment thought it might be a good time to reflect upon which common picnic and barbecue foods we should all try to avoid if we want to see real results from our home exercise regimens.

1) Hamburger or bratwurst. With up to 25 grams of fat each, a standard hamburger patty or bratwurst is one of your diet’s worst enemies. A veggie burger would be your healthiest choice, but if you’re craving real meat, opt for leaner turkey patties or dogs instead.

2) T-bone steak or ribs. Any meat that’s marbled with visible fat is going to wreak havoc on your arteries. Instead, choose fresh fish like salmon or shrimp, or veg out by grilling up some juicy Portobello mushrooms.

3) Fried chicken. This one’s a no-brainer, but that fatty breading isn’t doing your figure any favors. Grill your chicken breast instead, and marinate with chipotle seasoning or a light vinaigrette.

4) Buttered white bun. Skip the butter, and go for whole wheat if it’s available. And PS – you don’t actually need a bun at all. For an ultra-health-conscious choice, wrap your hotdog in a lettuce leaf. That refreshing crunch comes in a 5-calorie, 0-fat package.

5) Fatty sandwich toppings. Trade the sharp cheddar and greasy coleslaw for lettuce, tomato and onion – as usual, fresh veggies are your most valuable fitness accessory. Then, finish it off with barbecue sauce instead of ketchup or mustard.

6) Potato salad. A good rule of thumb is to avoid anything mayo-based. Obviously, leafy green salad is your best option, with your own health-conscious dressing made from extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and fresh herbs. Not a fan of greens? Try a zesty black bean and corn side dish.

7) Potato chips. Pretzels will satisfy your salt craving at a quarter of the fat content. For dipping, opt for hummus, guacamole or salsa over traditional ranch.

8 ) Lemonade. The artificial sweeteners that make kids love lemonade stands also work behind the scenes to make you pack on the pounds. If the healthier choice of sweet tea just isn’t your thing, it’s best to stick with plain old water, freshened with a lemon wedge or cucumber slice.

9) Beer. There’s nothing like a cold one on a hot summer day, but we hate to break it to you: beer is not the best of fitness accessories. If you can’t stomach the thought of a light brew, go for dry wine like chardonnay or white zin, or a low-cal mixed drink like a gin and tonic or vodka soda.

10) Rich desserts (blueberry pie, chocolate brownies, etc). With plenty of natural sugars and so many different kinds in season for the summer, fresh fruit makes the healthiest dessert hands-down. Try fresh fruit kebobs or a colorful fruit salad to satisfy all flavor palettes.

Of course, this list is by no means exhaustive! If you want your home exercise efforts to pay off, you’ll need to supplement them with a healthy and nutritious diet. For more tips on how to stick to your fitness guns during summer gatherings, make sure you check back frequently here on the Smooth Fitness blog. Whether you’re in the market for new home fitness equipment or just looking for tips on how to stay healthy, the Smooth Fitness team looks forward to welcoming you to the family!

Home Fitness Equipment: Your Ticket to Staying in the TV Loop

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

Who said watching lots of TV means you have to be a couch potato?

One of our favorite things about fitness equipment like Smooth treadmills, elliptical trainers and the all-new SitNCycle is how easily it helps us fit great workouts into our busy lives. There’s nothing like unwinding with a movie and your significant other after a long week at work, and when you exercise at home, you can do just that while still squeezing in your cardio for the day…all at the same time.

Investing in home fitness equipment makes watching TV while staying in shape not only possible, but practically required. What better way to distract yourself from the grueling sweat ahead than by switching on your favorite soap, sitcom, reality show, or drama? With so many popular shows returning bfor the spring/summer season, the team at Smooth Fitness is beyond excited that we’re able to stay up to date on all our guilty pleasures – without the guilt that comes from skipping a workout.

Game of Thrones (HBO): Sunday, March 31 at 9pm E/T

Debuting its third season to a record-breaking 6.7 million viewers, the HBO drama based on George R. R. Martin’s epic fantasy novels has already enjoyed overwhelmingly positive reception from both its international fan base and the critical community. If you haven’t yet entered its morally ambiguous world of social hierarchy, war and politics, there’s no time like the present – this season is expected to be the best yet.

Mad Men (AMC): Sunday, April 7 at 9pm E/T

After premiering with a two-hour “movie” early last month, the sixth season has already thrown plenty of good old-fashioned 1960s drama our way, all wrapped up in a dense and poetic package brimming with humor, sadness, surprise, and characters you love to hate. Rumored to be the second-to-last season of the series, this year’s spring episodes promise plenty of potential for loyal fans and newcomers alike.

So You Think You Can Dance (FOX): Tuesday, May 14 at 8pm E/T

The tenth season will feature big names as guest judges during audition rounds, including Minnie Driver, Stephen “tWitch” Boss, and Adam Shankman. But Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy will return to their traditional seats at the judges’ table for this year’s installment of the interactive reality competition talent show, whose previous winners have included everyone from swing/Latin dancer Benji Schwimmer to ballerinas Eliana Girard and Chehon Wespi-Tschopp.

Arrested Development (Netflix): Sunday, May 26

Despite receiving six Emmy awards and a Golden Globe during its three-season run, not to mention spots on Time Magazine’s “100 Best TV Shows of All-Time” and Entertainment Weekly’s “New TV Classics” lists, the show’s creator Mitchell Hurwitz opted to cancel in 2006. After a seven-year hiatus that dismayed its cult following, the critically acclaimed sitcom will return to fans in an unconventional fourth season on Netflix.

Of course, these are just a few of the gems we’re looking forward to (or already enjoying) for the spring television season this year. What TV shows will you be watching when you hop on your Smooth treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike to exercise at home this May?

Don’t Let Pollen Pollute Your Workout: Five Foods that Fight Spring Allergies

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

There’s only one thing worse for your home exercise routine than flu season: allergy season.

Spring is in the air, but so is pollen. That means all those beautifully flowering trees and plants are releasing tiny, annoying grains that infest your nose with irritants, sending your immune system into overdrive. Since your body is trying to protect you, it mistakenly labels the pollen grains as foreign invaders and starts attacking the allergens by releasing antibodies and associated chemicals, resulting in the runny nose and itchy eyes that slow you down every spring.

Of course, working out inside on your Smooth elliptical or treadmill eliminates some of the adverse effects of allergy season by allowing you to avoid direct contact with the pollen-infused air. But sometimes you just can’t get away from those symptoms. At Smooth Fitness, we feel your pain, and we’d like to share one of the best ways to fight off your allergies this spring season: eating healthy. Believe it or not, many natural foods contain nutrients capable of relieving your allergy symptoms.

1) Dark-colored produce: As if you needed another excuse to reach for the veggies instead of the potato chips, many naturally occurring plant compounds contain antioxidants that prevent damage to your airways. Try beets, berries, cherries, and red grapes for the best results.

2) Spicy turmeric: A yellow spice found in most Indian curries, turmeric offers anti-inflammatory benefits similar to many medicines. If you’re not into curry, you can also add it to soups, stews, or salad dressing – just be sure to avoid anything dairy-based, since it will reverse positive effects with its mucous-forming properties.

3) Leafy greens: For a great source of hesperidin, a phytonutrient with antihistamine properties, go green with veggies like broccoli, spinach, and romaine or red-leaf lettuce.

4) Black, green or white tea: Drinking tea might seem like a no-brainer comfort food when you’re feeling sick, but did you know that these teas also contain an important nutrient called quercetin? With antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties all rolled into one, quercetin is great for improving lung function during allergy season.

5) Tree nuts: Because they are high in magnesium and vitamin E, which alleviate breathing difficulties while boosting immunity, tree nuts like walnuts and pecans are a great way to fend off your spring allergy symptoms. Just don’t go overboard – nuts tend to be high in fat, so portion control is vital if you’re trying to lose weight.

Armed with these five allergy-fighting foods, you should be back on the home exercise horse in no time at all! Whether you’re increasing the resistance on your Smooth elliptical or running faster and longer on your new treadmill, your overall health and fitness can only improve when you incorporate a nutrient-rich diet into your workout regimen this spring.

Why Cheap Treadmills are Not a Bargain!

Friday, March 1st, 2013

The majority of treadmill buyers are individuals who are out of shape, and often overweight. They are looking for a machine that can get them back to their glory days.  Of course, the benefit of owning a treadmill is that you can exercise at your convenience. In addition, you avoid the costs of a health club membership, which can add up over the years.

However, many first time treadmill buyers are looking for a bargain.  In many cases they may not be completely committed to a regular exercise regimen and do not want to invest too much money in a machine that may end up being a costly clothes hangar.  So they end up buying a cheap treadmill that is readily available at various mass merchant retail outlets.   They initially feel good about their purchase, but then come to realize that the machine is not suited to their fitness needs, and that what initially was a bargain can be costly to maintain in the long run.

What do I define as a cheap/bargain treadmill?  Typically it is a machine under $500.  Below is a list of reasons why you should avoid buying a cheap treadmill.

Light Weight – Inexpensive treadmills do not weigh much.  They use light weight components that result in light weight machines.  This means the treadmill tends to be rather unstable, especially if you try to use it for jogging or running, or if you are excessively overweight.  In fact, many of the user weight limits suggested on these machines are wildly over exaggerated. For example, the Exerpertic Fitness Walking Treadmill weighs 100 lbs, and the user weight limit is rated at 350 lbs.  That is absolutely absurd to think a 100 lbs. treadmill can accommodate a user that weighs 3.5 times more than a machine.  I recommend to my readers that if they are going to limit their spending on a treadmill to under $500 they need to weigh less than 200 lbs.

Cheap Components – It makes sense that a cheap treadmill utilizes cheap components.  The parts are not engineered to the exact specifications that you will find on more expensive machines.  To reach bargain price points companies make compromises on the parts. For example, these treadmills have small motors that strain with even moderate use.

Lack of Durability – Obviously, when you use cheap components in a treadmill it is not going to be very durable. The machine cannot take the abuse that more expensive treadmills are capable of.  And inherently treadmills take a lot of abuse.  The constant impact that comes with walking or running takes its toll on a treadmill.  If you have a malfunction the cost to replace the parts and the service can be very expensive.  Your treadmill may be initially cheap, but replacement parts and service will not.

Short Warranty – To gauge how confident the manufacturers are in the durability of their cheap treadmill, you just have to check out the warranties.  You will find that typical coverage is 90 days parts and labor.  After that you are on your own.

Poor Shock Absorption – One of the main advantages of exercising on a treadmill is the reduced impact to your joints in comparison to walking or running on concrete or asphalt.  Unfortunately, you will find that shock absorption is compromised on a bargain treadmill.  And in fact, the design of their shock absorption systems can often be detrimental your joints.

Small Treadbelt – One of the biggest drawbacks to an inexpensive treadmill is the small walking area.  For example, the Exerpertic Fitness Walking Treadmill has a walking surface of only 36” x 16”.  You need to “exercise” caution when exercising or you can easily step off the belt and injure yourself.  In comparison, the Smooth 6.75 has a roomy 20” x 60” running surface.

If you are in the market for a treadmill it is important to evaluate your needs and fitness goals and find a machine that can accommodate both.  You do not want to compromise on the purchase and end up with a treadmill that cannot handle the long haul and will result in a less than satisfactory workout.  For those that solicit my advice on a good walking/jogging treadmill, I typically suggest the Smooth 5.65, which has a 55” x 20” surface, superior shock absorption, an excellent service record, and comes with an industry leading lifetime motor, 5-year parts and 2-year labor warranty. 

Fred Waters has worked in the fitness equipment industry for over 17 years and reviews fitness equipment as a full-time occupation.  At www.Treadmill-Ratings-Reviews.com you can get his treadmill “Best Buy” recommendations that include the Smooth 5.65.

Why Cheap Treadmills are Not a Bargain!

Friday, March 1st, 2013

The majority of treadmill buyers are individuals who are out of shape, and often overweight. They are looking for a machine that can get them back to their glory days.  Of course, the benefit of owning a treadmill is that you can exercise at your convenience. In addition, you avoid the costs of a health club membership, which can add up over the years.

However, many first time treadmill buyers are looking for a bargain.  In many cases they may not be completely committed to a regular exercise regimen and do not want to invest too much money in a machine that may end up being a costly clothes hangar.  So they end up buying a cheap treadmill that is readily available at various mass merchant retail outlets.   They initially feel good about their purchase, but then come to realize that the machine is not suited to their fitness needs, and that what initially was a bargain can be costly to maintain in the long run.

What do I define as a cheap/bargain treadmill?  Typically it is a machine under $500.  Below is a list of reasons why you should avoid buying a cheap treadmill.

Light Weight – Inexpensive treadmills do not weigh much.  They use light weight components that result in light weight machines.  This means the treadmill tends to be rather unstable, especially if you try to use it for jogging or running, or if you are excessively overweight.  In fact, many of the user weight limits suggested on these machines are wildly over exaggerated. For example, the Exerpertic Fitness Walking Treadmill weighs 100 lbs, and the user weight limit is rated at 350 lbs.  That is absolutely absurd to think a 100 lbs. treadmill can accommodate a user that weighs 3.5 times more than a machine.  I recommend to my readers that if they are going to limit their spending on a treadmill to under $500 they need to weigh less than 200 lbs.

Cheap Components – It makes sense that a cheap treadmill utilizes cheap components.  The parts are not engineered to the exact specifications that you will find on more expensive machines.  To reach bargain price points companies make compromises on the parts. For example, these treadmills have small motors that strain with even moderate use.

Lack of Durability – Obviously, when you use cheap components in a treadmill it is not going to be very durable. The machine cannot take the abuse that more expensive treadmills are capable of.  And inherently treadmills take a lot of abuse.  The constant impact that comes with walking or running takes its toll on a treadmill.  If you have a malfunction the cost to replace the parts and the service can be very expensive.  Your treadmill may be initially cheap, but replacement parts and service will not.

Short Warranty – To gauge how confident the manufacturers are in the durability of their cheap treadmill, you just have to check out the warranties.  You will find that typical coverage is 90 days parts and labor.  After that you are on your own.

Poor Shock Absorption – One of the main advantages of exercising on a treadmill is the reduced impact to your joints in comparison to walking or running on concrete or asphalt.  Unfortunately, you will find that shock absorption is compromised on a bargain treadmill.  And in fact, the design of their shock absorption systems can often be detrimental your joints.

Small Treadbelt – One of the biggest drawbacks to an inexpensive treadmill is the small walking area.  For example, the Exerpertic Fitness Walking Treadmill has a walking surface of only 36” x 16”.  You need to “exercise” caution when exercising or you can easily step off the belt and injure yourself.  In comparison, the Smooth 6.75 has a roomy 20” x 60” running surface.

If you are in the market for a treadmill it is important to evaluate your needs and fitness goals and find a machine that can accommodate both.  You do not want to compromise on the purchase and end up with a treadmill that cannot handle the long haul and will result in a less than satisfactory workout.  For those that solicit my advice on a good walking/jogging treadmill, I typically suggest the Smooth 5.65, which has a 55” x 20” surface, superior shock absorption, an excellent service record, and comes with an industry leading lifetime motor, 5-year parts and 2-year labor warranty. 

Fred Waters has worked in the fitness equipment industry for over 17 years and reviews fitness equipment as a full-time occupation.  At www.Treadmill-Ratings-Reviews.com you can get his treadmill “Best Buy” recommendations that include the Smooth 5.65.

Have You Broken Your New Year’s Resolution?

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

As the first month of 2013 has come and gone, how are you doing with your New Year’s Resolutions? Have you saved any money, lost any weight, been ferociously sending out resumes? Or is the better question – have you broken your New Year’s Resolutions? (more…)

Your Best Investment: Investing In Your Health

Friday, January 25th, 2013

What if someone told you they have an investment where you can’t lose? What if this person is your most trusted friend in the world that you would trust with your life, would you listen? What if there is overwhelming evidence that backs up your friends claim? Now that your friend has your attention they proceed to tell you that this investment opportunity could cost you nothing, will change your life forever, and will even make you live longer. Your anticipation is growing ready to hear this great investment opportunity, your friend finally tells you…. “Invest in your Health!!” (more…)

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