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Archive for the ‘Treadmills’ Category


The World’s First Treadmill

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

Chances are, if you’re a frequent reader of our fitness blog, you’re very familiar with treadmills. You probably have one of your own that you use faithfully, you’ve probably seen every cute cat/dog/parakeet-on-a-treadmill YouTube video, and you most certainly would know all about the history of this glorious fitness machine…right? If not, this is your lucky day—read on to learn more about the world’s first treadmill and some very interesting insights into how far this product has come. (more…)

Open up new fitness possibilities: the benefits of cross training

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

As your #1 internet retailer of home fitness equipment, Smooth Fitness is always eager to share with you all the exciting ways you can achieve your own optimal levels of health and wellness. Home exercise encompasses everything from running hard on your Smooth treadmill to squeezing in some quick mat work before heading into the office, so today we’d like to suggest you add one more workout program to your repertoire: a cross training workout.

The benefits of cross training come into play in situations like when you’re in great shape from running three miles a day five times a week for years, but you’re somehow out of breath and covered in sweat after a few minutes of rock climbing. That imbalance springs from a lack of cross workouts, which you’ll find provide you with some of the best full body exercise you’ll ever experience thanks to their ability to build comprehensive fitness and stamina – in addition to introducing you to constantly varied types of activities that add flavor to your daily workout routine.

Based on the concept that constantly varied activity better prepares your body for general fitness, cross training workouts tackle head-on the problem that working out only one set of muscles leaves the others sorely out of shape. Not to mention, mixing it up with cross training helps prevent injury to those oft-used muscle sets by giving them a well-deserved break. Win, win, right?

In a typical cross workout, you’ll use a combination of cardio aerobic activity with fitness accessories like kettle bells and similar workout equipment, in order to challenge your body in unfamiliar ways. One particularly successful cross training method is high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which refers to an enhanced form of interval workouts that alternate periods of short intense activity with recovery breaks in between. As one of the best workouts you’ll find that blends cardio with strengthening, HIIT training not only gets your heart pumping and burns tons of fat, but also improves your overall conditioning for future cross workouts.

Now that you know what it means to cross train and what this kind of workout program can do for your body and health, stay tuned to the Smooth Fitness blog for more info – like how you can use your Smooth fitness accessories to create your own personal cross workout at home!

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?

Avoid the Pitfalls of the Treadmill-to-Outdoors Switch

Friday, April 5th, 2013

It might not feel like spring with all the snow we’ve seen in places like New York over the last couple of weeks. With temperatures in the mid-50s in Washington DC and low 70s in California, however, it does seem like all that wintry weather might finally be behind us. Which means that many of you home fitness enthusiasts are probably considering trading in some of those evenings on the treadmill for mornings on the trails.

The team at Smooth Fitness is just as excited about spring springing as you are. But transitioning from the soft cushion of a treadmill belt to the unforgiving rigidity of concrete can mean harsh consequences for your body and your psyche. Before you hit the pavement, keep a few things in mind:

  • Losing momentum: If logging 3 miles on the treadmill feels slightly easier than logging three miles around your neighborhood, that’s because it is. It’s not noticeable enough to detract much from your workout, but by propelling you forward, the treadmill belt does some of the running work for you – and that’s without taking into account factors like hills and wind. So don’t be a hero; start off slow and give yourself time to adjust to running outdoors.
  • Problems with pacing: One of the best parts of a treadmill is that it keeps your pace for you. Whether a 5K or a marathon, everyone who’s completed a race knows that pacing is perhaps the most vital aspect of becoming a good runner – and often one of the hardest. Try running with a friend so you can pace each other, or plan a playlist of high-tempo running songs.
  • Pavement pains: There’s just no getting around the fact that running on pavement is terrible for your joints, not to mention it makes you more prone to shin splints and muscle cramps. If there’s a shortage of dirt trails around your area, avoid pavement pains by taking a few minutes to walk, warm up your muscles, and stretch them out before you begin running. Stretching cold muscles is useless, so try to make post-run stretching a habit as well.

Of course, if you’re in the market for a new treadmill, warmer weather doesn’t necessarily mean you should put off buying one until November. April is famous for rain showers and other wet weather that’s less than ideal for a jog in the park, and the 100-degree-plus weather of summer isn’t always the most encouraging, either. Stay prepared for whatever the fickle weather throws your way by browsing through our Smooth treadmill selection for the home fitness equipment that keeps you fit, rain or shine!

The Simple Guide to Cardiovascular Exercise-Making the best use of your Smooth exercise equipment. (Part 1 of 4)

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Victor Tringali MS, CSCS, PES, CPT

Consistent endurance exercise—which can be performed on your Smooth treadmill or stationary cycle 3-7 days a week—causes a long list of cardiovascular improvements.[i]

All healthy adults aged 18–65 years should aim to take part in at least 150 min of moderate intensity aerobic activity each week. Your aerobic activity may be undertaken in bouts of as little as 10 min and, ideally, should be performed on five or more days a week. Beginners should work steadily towards meeting these physical activity levels. In these early stages, even small increases in activity will bring health benefits. During this stage the aim should be adherence and consistency. And progression should be in the form of adding time to the workout. As an example, you might walk or cycle an extra 10 minutes every other day for several weeks before slowly increasing this amount until you reach the recommended levels of activity.

Exercise Intensity

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends an intensity level of 55 percent-90 percent of maximum heart rate for aerobic exercise.[ii] As a beginner you should aim for the lower end (65-75%) of this range. Training Heart Rate can be determined using the following formula:

Step 1  220-age = Maximum Heart Rate (MHR)

Step 2  MHR x Intensity (.55-.65) =Training Heart Rate (THR)

Moderate intensity and vigorous-intensity activity can also be identified without the use of Heart Rate Monitoring by using the 6–20 ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) scale. This is an individual’s perception of his/her effort. In men and women of all ages, an RPE of 12–13 represents moderate intensity.[iii]

The above protocol should be maintained until you are able to complete at least 30 minutes 2-3 times per week. For many beginners this may take 2-3 months.

Small increases in activity will bring health benefits. Aim for adherence and consistency and you will soon be ready for an intermediate training program.

 Train Smart and Good Luck

Victor Tringali MS, CSCS, PES, CPT  

Victor Tringali earned a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from Salisbury University and a Master’s degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion from California University. He has multiple nationally-accredited health and fitness-related certifications-including specialties in Strength and Conditioning, Performance Enhancement, Speed Development, and Personal Fitness training. For more than 20 years he’s designed exercise programs for many population sub-segments-including elite athletes, women, physically challenged persons and senior citizens. He has authored numerous articles and research reviews and has lectured and presented for numerous schools and corporations on various topics of health and fitness.

Victor began a competitive bodybuilding career in 1994. And he continued by winning numerous titles and awards before retiring in 2007. From 2000-2007 he was a well-recognized 5-time National Finalist at the NPC National Bodybuilding Championships and NPC USA Championships. He continues to support the bodybuilding community as a professional judge for the National Physique Committee (NPC) as well as offering coaching, presentations and consulting to physique athletes, health clubs, and personal trainers.

Victor formerly served as an adjunct faculty member at Howard Community College and is currently the Executive Director of Health and Wellness for Drexel University where he designs, develops, and implements policies and programs that affect health and well-being of faculty, staff, and students. He is a professional member of the American College of Sports Medicine, the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and the Wellness Counsel of America.

Certifications and Credentials:

  • World-Class and Nationally-Ranked Bodybuilder
  • Master of Science- Exercise Science and Health
  • Professional Sports Nutritionist
  • Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist –National Strength and Conditioning Association
  • Performance Enhancement Specialist- National Academy of Sports Medicine
  • Speed and Explosion Specialist-National Association of Speed and Explosion
  • Certified Personal Trainer- National Academy of Sports Medicine
  • Professional Judge-(Bodybuilding, Fitness, Figure, Bikini)- National Physique Committee

 

For information about Vic, visit www.teamvic.com

[i] Zuhl, Micah; Kravitz, Len, HIIT vs. Continuous Endurance Training: Battle of the Aerobic Titans; IDEA Fitness Journal Feb2012, Vol. 9 Issue 2, p34
[ii] American College of Sports Medicine. American College of Sports Medicine position stand. The recommended quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining CR and muscular fitness in healthy adults. Med and Science in sport and exercise 1990;22(2) 265-274
 [iii] O’Donovan, Gary; Blazevich, Anthony J.; Boreham, Colin; Cooper, Ashley R.; Crank, Helen; Ekelund, Ulf; Fox, Kenneth R.; Gately, Paul; Giles-Corti, Billie; Gill, Jason M. R.; Hamer, Mark; McDermott, Ian; Murphy, Marie; Mutrie, Nanette; Reilly, John J.; Saxton, John M.; Stamatakis, Emmanuel. The ABC of Physical Activity for Health: A consensus statement from the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences; Journal of Sports Sciences. Apr2010, Vol. 28 Issue 6, p573-591. 

Benefits of Using Treadmill Programs

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

It’s important to stay motivated to workout. Doing the same workout everyday can lead to workout-boredom, which can eventually lead to giving up on fitness goals. It’s not just your mind that gets bored after a while of the same exercise, sooner or later your body will adapt to the workout you’re doing and will be challenged less (if at all). In order to keep you and your body actively engaged in fitness, you should choose a program that fits you and your objectives best. (more…)

How to Choose a Treadmill

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Choosing a treadmill to purchase can be very difficult and confusing these days. With so much contradictive information on the internet, a person looking for a home treadmill for the first time may not have or understand all the available information in order to choose the right treadmill, even after doing research. How much horsepower does the motor need? What’s the difference between peak performance, intermediate duty, and continuous duty? What indicators do I need on a console? These are a few of the many questions people have when searching for a treadmill for their home. (more…)

Winter Training Guide

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

This last stretch of bitter cold, unpredictable snow storms and early night fall can be pretty cumbersome, especially when you want to get outside to train for running season. Winter weather may force you to hop on the treadmill, but after reading this, you’ll thank us for a dose of tough treadmill love.

Depending on your taste, treadmill running may not tickle your fancy because you feel it doesn’t offer the same benefits of running outdoors. However, there are some key advantages and workout schedules that will propel you to the head of the pack this season.

Here is a quick list of benefits before we get to the race training guide:

  • Cushioned treadmills reduce stress on bones and joints
  • They’re great for pace training (for beginners)
  • No need to worry about dodging traffic or other pedestrians
  • Safely run indoors at night
  • Plan and track goals easily

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Don’t Let the Cold Weather Hold Back Your Fitness Goals

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Fitness Magazine wrote a short article on the fitness blues a few weeks back. In it they touched on a few tips for keeping up your fitness when the weather turns, including doing it for yourself, and staying consistent. While the article focuses on two extreme runners who love running outside (in Alaska) the reality is that many of us hate the cold weather. While we’re still in first month of the year, it’s safe to say there is probably a correlation between cold weather and the downfall of people’s new year’s resolutions. (more…)

Treadmill Cushioning Systems Explained

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

smooth fitness cushioning systemTreadmills are packed with a number feature sets and workout options. One feature that often goes unexplained is a treadmill’s cushioning system. Cushioning systems are implemented to reduce joint pain, to better simulate running, and to add extra resistance. Depending on the treadmill brand and cushioning system design just one or all of the latter functions may be possible. We hope to provide readers with a clear explanation of what cushioning systems are and why they are a great addition to any treadmill.
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