Losing weight is an endless battle for some people, but it doesn’t have to be. The process is by no means easy, but if you aren’t seeing progress, it’s time to change up your approach. If the current methods aren’t working, try something new: a new diet or a new workout routine. For change to happen, you yourself might have to change.
Taking The First Step
The first thing to keep in mind is this: there is no shortcut to weight loss. Any miracle diet that advertises a massive amount of fat loss in just a few days is a scam. While it’s possible to lose a massive amount of weight in a short time, most of that will be water weight, which runs the risk of dehydration and will be gained back quickly. The proper rate of weight loss should be around 2 pounds per week to prevent muscle atrophy, although extremely overweight people can safely lose a bit more. The specific amount varies from person to person.
The next thing to remember is to take baby steps. If you try to take on a huge workout regimen when you aren’t used to working out at all, you’re likely to fail. Start with something small – run for thirty seconds a day. Work your way up until you can run a mile. Start eating an apple in place of a fatty snack. The small steps will allow you to build healthy habits, but it’s important to take them one at a time. A five minute workout every day is better than a thirty minute workout one day of the week.
Lose Weight and Build Muscle
The third thing to keep in mind is that it’s acceptable to lift weights while trying to lose weight. This can help to build muscle underneath the fat; when you burn it off, you’ll have a nice layer of toned, firm muscle underneath that will make you look even better. As an added benefit, lifting weights can work just as well as large amounts of cardio for burning fat.
When it comes to cardio, running on a treadmill or elliptical will help lose weight and net results, but the better approach might be to employ HIIT into your workout. HIIT stands for high intensity interval training; you go all-out for about ten seconds, then move at a resting pace for twenty. Repeat this process for five or ten minutes. While it’s less time spent on a machine than if you ran a mile on a treadmill, you will end up burning more fat and increasing your metabolism for several days to come.
The key to extreme weight loss is an extreme change in the pattern of thought. Dedicate yourself to losing weight and obtaining a healthier lifestyle; not only will you look better, but you’ll feel better too – physically and emotionally. There’s nothing like weight loss and getting fit for gaining more self confidence than you know what to do with.
The best fitness equipment for home use should be designed to provide the user with a balanced workout. Personal trainers recommend using equipment that provides full-body functional training. It is not necessary to purchase expensive gym equipment to get a high-quality workout at home. Even the most simple pieces of equipment can help anyone achieve a great workout without breaking the budget. Achieving and maintaining physical fitness is possible in a home gym without expensive gym equipment.
Setting Goals for Fitness Equipment
Buying the best fitness equipment for home use depends on the goals of the user. While one person may want to increase strength and build muscle, another person may only want to lose weight. With so many options for purchasing home fitness equipment, it is important to determine how the equipment will be used before deciding on specific pieces.
Types of Fitness Equipment
With fitness goals in mind, the best fitness equipment for home use should be the ones that help the user achieve those goals faster. Workouts should be fun as well as productive. It is easy to lose sight of goals and objectives if the workouts are boring and dull. Most exercise equipment is designed with a specific purpose in mind. It is important to choose the ones that are top rated and intended to produce maximum results.
- Elliptical trainers can be used by a variety of people and help with weight loss and cardio workouts. They offer a low impact exercise routine that allows the user complete control.
- Treadmills help people lose weight and offer a complete cardiovascular workout. They work great for those who are runners or for walkers and joggers.
- Step machines also provide a way to lose weight and build stamina and endurance.
- Stationary bikes provide a simple way to reach many health goals.
- Barbells and free weights are inexpensive pieces of equipment that helps build muscle.
Considerations for Fitness Equipment
The first consideration when deciding on the best fitness equipment for home use must be the amount of space dedicated to exercising. Many people decide to start out with just a few pieces of equipment and then add more later on after they establish a regular exercise routine. No equipment will work unless it is used consistently.
That is one basic reason to set personal goals before shopping for equipment. It must be designed to assist in meeting those goals. Another consideration is to make sure that the equipment meets specific requirements that are necessary for a successful workout.
Regardless of the pre-determined fitness goals, the best fitness equipment for home use is a necessity for achieving a successful outcome. It is necessary to purchase equipment that provides a complete and balanced workout. This helps to avoid overworking certain muscles and possibly causing certain health problems such a strained back or pulled muscles. Gym equipment is designed to help the user stay fit and healthy when it is used properly. The very best fitness equipment pays for itself in the long run by rewarding the user with better health.
Any piece of exercise equipment can help you lose weight if you use it properly. However, if losing weight is your primary fitness goal, the elliptical machine is highly efficient at burning fat. It is a safe and effective tool for maximizing weight loss and improving overall health.
An Elliptical Machine gives you a Cardio Workout
- Good for your Heart: The elliptical machine offers the same cardiovascular benefits as a treadmill. It gets your heart pumping and your blood flowing. Regular elliptical training reduces your risk of heart disease, lowers triglyceride levels, and improves heart function. It allows you to get a great cardio workout while experiencing low perceived exertion. This means that you won’t feel like you are working as hard as you actually are. You get maximum benefits with minimal risk.
- Increases Your Resistance: Elliptical machines are extremely beginner-friendly. They carry very little injury risk, so even people with little athletic ability can get a great workout on them. Plus, they are flexible enough to continue to challenge your body as you get stronger. As you increase your resistance, your body will work harder and burn more calories.
- Burns Calories: A workout on this machine burns an average of 800 calories per hour. You can increase this number by working out at a higher resistance setting or by pumping your arms while you pedal. The method know as High Intensity Interval Training provides the maximum calorie burn for this machine.
An Elliptical Machine Builds Muscle
- Strengthens Leg Muscles: An elliptical machine targets and tones your calf, thigh, butt, and hamstring muscles. The circular movements engage all the muscles in your lower body. Plus, this machine gives you the option of pedaling in reverse. This will not only add variety to your workout, but it will also target your leg muscles from a different angle.
- Strengthens Upper Body Muscles: The arm handles on an elliptical allow you to work your arms as well. Not only does this increase your cardio benefits, but it also tones your upper body. Plus, your position on the elliptical requires you to engage your core muscles to keep yourself erect.
- Building Muscle Burns Fat: Your body burns more calories maintaining muscle than it does maintaining fat. So, building muscle makes it easier for your body to metabolize fat. Plus, firm, toned muscles are sexy while fat bulges are not so much. Also, if you are lowering your daily calorie intake in order to accelerate your weight loss, exercise is crucial for maintaining muscle mass. When you eat fewer calories, your body can burn muscle as well as fat unless you exercise regularly.
Elliptical training can be a great addition to any workout routine. It is a good recovery exercise when interspersed with high intensity weight training. It also complements muscle-isolation exercises like crunches. It’s an excellent machine for people who want to lose weight.
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!
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.
- 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!)
- 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.
- Grab a few good friends and head out to a haunted house. The walking (and possibly sprinting in terror) definitely counts as physical activity.
- 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!
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
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. Continue reading
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. Continue reading