Smooth Fitness Blog

Smooth Fitness Welcomes Olympic Gold Medalist Dorothy Hamill to the Family!

March 25th, 2013

Just because Smooth Fitness is the #1 online retailer of home fitness equipment doesn’t mean we’re not always looking for ways to improve. And what better way to do that than with a little help from an Olympic Gold Medalist?

Smooth Fitness is thrilled to announce that Dorothy Hamill, World Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist, has been named a spokesperson for our home fitness equipment. While you might know her as the famous three-time U.S. National Champion in figure skating and inductee of both the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame and the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame, Hamill is also dedicated to promoting health and wellness on a slightly less glamorous level.

“I’m a big fan of lifetime fitness,” says Hamill, adding that home fitness equipment is one of the easiest ways for people to make exercise part of their daily lives. “The Smooth Fitness brand is known for its quality, and its extensive line of exercise equipment means that everyone can find a physical activity that can help them achieve their goals, whether they’re just trying to get in shape or training for a marathon.”

Hamill, who has worked with the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and the International Special Olympics, plans to participate in the sixteenth season of ABC’s hit show “Dancing With the Stars” as the partner of Irish celebrity dancer Tristan MacManus.

As an athlete, breast cancer survivor, and philanthropist, Hamill couldn’t be a more welcome addition to the Smooth Fitness family. Her leadership and commitment to lifelong fitness exemplify the Smooth Fitness mission to help people lead healthier lives, and we look forward to what this partnership will accomplish in the future!

How to Skip the Gym and Still Lose Weight: the Beauty of the At-Home Workout

March 13th, 2013

Whether you’re trying to lose a few inches off your waistline or you just want to keep your heart healthy, you’ve probably never been encouraged to skip the gym in order to achieve your goals. But here at Smooth Fitness, we’d like to suggest that a gym membership isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean you can just kick back, pop some popcorn, and watch the pounds melt away. But investing in home fitness equipment can be a smarter decision than hitting a gym every day – especially if you plan on making fitness a way of life rather than a short-term fad. Read on about the benefits of at-home cardio workouts and buying your own fitness equipment.

  • Money in the bank: Between signup fees, ongoing monthly payments, and hidden annual or contract charges, gyms usually know just how to milk you for all you’re worth. If you’re planning on making fitness part of your lifestyle, all those membership costs really add up over the span of even just a couple years. So while you might shell out $1,000 for a quality treadmill, you’ll be saving tons of money in the long run.
  • In-your-face motivation: We’ve all experienced ignoring the alarm clock when it tries to wake us up for that early morning drive to the gym. But if your elliptical is staring you down every time you walk into your TV room, it’s a little more difficult to make excuses for skipping your workout because it’s raining, because the gym is too far away, because you woke up late, etc. Simply by sitting there where you can see it all day, every day, home fitness equipment provides all the exercise motivation – not to mention convenience – you need to truly commit to an active lifestyle.
  • Power of investment: Knowing you’ve just spent a large amount of money on something can be a pretty powerful impetus. If you spend money on a treadmill or elliptical and then it sits covered up in your basement, you’re going to feel horribly guilty. You can cancel a gym membership at any time, but the “I bought the treadmill, now I have to use it” mentality could be enough to psychologically force you to complete those oft-dreaded cardio workouts.

So next time you start thinking it’s time to get back to your New Year’s resolution by getting back in the gym, think again! Instead, take a look at the affordable treadmills or ellipticals available here at the #1 internet retailer of home fitness equipment, and don’t forget to browse through our selection of comprehensive home gyms and fitness accessories while you’re at it. Smooth Fitness is your resource for everything you need to complete your own home gym collection today!

Smooth Fitness Weight Loss Secret: Everything in Moderation

March 6th, 2013

Most of us have learned it the hard way. As much as we may hate to admit it, no matter how many hours we log on the treadmill or elliptical, we simply won’t shed those excess pounds without adjusting our eating habits. An exercise regimen can’t – and won’t, believe us – do its job unless you supplement it with a healthy diet.

But that being said, it’s time to clear up some common yet problematic black-and-white thinking about what it really means to adopt a “healthy diet.” Because let’s face it: Cutting “bad foods” out of your diet entirely is a nice concept in theory, but it tends to backfire in practice.

Now, it’s certainly true that not all food is created equal, which is why balance and moderation are key. Do we suggest gorging yourself on a family-sized bag of greasy potato chips every day for lunch, or wolfing down half a rich chocolate cake for most dinners? Nah. Do we suggest enjoying a handful of potato chips alongside your sandwich and fruit a few times a week, or savoring a slice of that chocolate cake after your healthy dinner of lean protein and sautéed veggies? Absolutely.

Here’s why: Completely depriving yourself of those fat-filled greasy potato chips or rich chocolate cake can actually make you gain weight. While this seems to defy logic, think of it in terms of physics. Every action requires an equal and opposite reaction, right? The pendulum will always swing back to the other extreme; the more you deprive, the more you will binge to compensate. Since you haven’t been allowing yourself to consume anything conventionally “tasty,” thoughts of doing so will probably consume you until you finally snap under the strain of your diet – and go WAY overboard in the other direction.

It might seem like magic, but indulging in small amounts of your favorite “unhealthy” foods every once in a while might actually help your weight loss plan in the long run – by preventing those feelings of deprivation from turning into enormous, pound-packing binges. So next time you need a little exercise motivation, it’s ok to break off a square of that dark chocolate bar hiding in the back corner of your cabinet.

Just don’t scarf down the whole thing.

Why Cheap Treadmills are Not a Bargain!

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!

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?

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? Read the rest of this entry »

Your Best Investment: Investing In Your Health

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!!” Read the rest of this entry »

The Importance of A Healthy Community

January 22nd, 2013

Have you ever heard the expression “Do as I say, not as I do?” In order for a community to be as healthy as possible, leaders, parents and role models need to set a good example. Different cultures and different areas across the nation have different ideas on what a healthy community is. Read the rest of this entry »

8 Percenter – How To Make Your New Year’s Resolution Stick

January 11th, 2013

Another year gone and another year of New Year Resolutions, so what’s the difference between this year and last? Last year most of our resolutions were long gone within a month. What can we do to make this year different, what are tricks of the trade to allow us to ditch that weight, save more money, go back to school or get that dream job? Statistics show that only about 8% of us stick to our resolutions. How can you become an 8 Percenter? Read the rest of this entry »

The Advantages of Rear Drive Elliptical Trainers

December 17th, 2012

You will notice that all of the Smooth elliptical trainers are rear drive.  That is in comparison to front drive machines.  There are certain ergonomic and mechanical advantages to a rear drive machine.  And in fact, the original elliptical trainers were rear drive.  The front drive machines came into play in order to get around certain patents.  And in many cases the front drive machines were a poor substitute of the original concept.

Mechanical Benefits

The major benefit of a rear drive elliptical trainer is that there are fewer moving parts and consequently there tends to be fewer service issues and less maintenance.   With most front drive ellipticals you have pedals that sit on rollers that run along tracks.  There are two problems with this design.  First, with continual use you may have problems with the stability of the pedals.  There are more joints that can potential loosen.  Second, the tracks tend to gather dust and grime and require regular cleaning and lubrication.  In fact, without proper cleaning the rails can get pitted and dirt can accumulate giving a bumpy feeling.

Ergonomic Benefits

Rear drive elliptical trainers do a better job of positioning the user over the mechanics.  One of the biggest complaints with front drive machines is that the user tends to have to lean forward during the elliptical motion.  When you have to lean you are more likely to have heal lift, resulting in numbness in your foot. 

In addition, the rear design offers a superior elliptical stride. You tend to have more inertia with a rear drive machine.  Precor, the originator of the elliptical trainer built their machines with rear drives specifically for this reason.  You get a smooth and natural elliptical motion that makes the user feel like they are running in the air.  With front drive machines the elliptical motion gets distorted and consequently does not mimic the natural motion of the body. 

Stability

You will find in general, and there are some exceptions, rear drive machines tend to be more stable and provide a more solid feel.  That is because they are often longer in length and the weight of the machine is better distributed between the front and the back.  The disadvantage is they tend to take up more space than front drive ellipticals. 

 Of course, this does not mean a cheap rear drive elliptical trainer is going to be superior to a high-end front drive elliptical.  There are a number of factors that come into play in building a superior elliptical trainer including the overall engineering and quality components.  However, when it comes to comparing rear drive to front drive ellipticals at comparable prices, the rear drive machines often hold the advantage.  

About the Author

Fred Waters has made his career helping individuals find fitness equipment that is right for their body and their budget.  You can check out his elliptical reviews at Fitness Equipment Source, where he praises many of the Smooth rear drive elliptical trainers.

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