Smooth Fitness Blog

Posts Tagged ‘fitness accessories’


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 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?

 

 

This month’s cross workout with Smooth Fitness equipment!

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Last month, Smooth Fitness introduced you to an intense full-body workout called cross training. This kind of home exercise can come in all shapes and sizes, but the gist of it is to challenge your body by incorporating all kinds of movements into a single workout. That means your cardio exercise is interrupted with spurts of strength training designed to burn more fat in less time. Sounds awesome, right?

It is, but it’s also going to kick your butt, especially if you’ve never attempted a cross workout before. So it’s best to ease into it! Here at Smooth Fitness, your #1 internet retailer of home fitness equipment, we’ve put together a beginner’s cross workout that will hopefully help introduce you to the wonderful world of cross training. Of course, one of the best parts is you don’t have to go to a gym to get all the benefits – this workout can be completed with the fitness equipment you already have at home.

Remember, this is a full-body workout, which means you’re going to get full-body sore. But the more you challenge all your muscle groups, the stronger they’ll become – and the more weight you’ll lose in the meantime. So gather up your Smooth fitness equipment and fitness accessories, and get ready for your first cross workout in the comfort of your own home!

  • To begin, put 30 minutes on the clock, prepare your Smooth treadmill and collect the following fitness accessories:
    • Resistance tubes
    • Pushup bars
    • Medicine ball
    • Warm up with some light stretching or walking on the treadmill.
    • Start the clock. During the first five minutes, complete as many rounds as possible of the following:
      • Five resistance tube pull-ups. Sit with your legs extended straight out in front of you, each hand grasping a handle of your resistance tube. Place the middle of the tube at the bottom of your feet, then pull both handles toward your armpits in a slow, rowing motion.
      • Ten pushup bar pushups. Complete ten pushups using your pushup bars. Using these fitness accessories will help alleviate pressure to your shoulder and wrist joints.
      • 15 medicine ball squats. Holding your medicine ball in front of your stomach, place your feet shoulder-width apart and squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground (from the side, it should look like you are sitting in a chair). Make sure your knees do not pass the threshold of your toes, as this could cause pain and damage.
      • After the first five minutes, run on your Smooth treadmill for two and a half minutes at an mph that should qualify as about 70 percent of your maximum sprint speed. This will be tough, but it’s only a couple of minutes, so stay strong!
      • Repeat these two steps until the 30 minutes are up. You should end up with four 5-minute strength-training intervals, separated by four 2.5-minute treadmill intervals. Remember, there are no rest breaks in between, so make sure you make every second count!

We hope your first cross workout was successful. If you have any questions or concerns before or after completing your home exercise routine, don’t hesitate to contact the Smooth Fitness team for a bit of friendly advice. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals for personal health and wellness!

 

 

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.

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!

Happy Father’s Day from Smooth Fitness!

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Summer is fast approaching, and with it comes plenty of cookouts, vacations and holidays. Don’t look now, but Father’s Day is already coming up this Sunday, so it’s time to start thinking about how to express your appreciation if you haven’t already done so!

Feeling panicked? Don’t worry. The team here at Smooth Fitness, your #1 internet retailer of home fitness equipment, has plenty of unique ideas for how to show your love this Father’s Day. Whether your own dad is young or old, fit or fat, there’s no better way to prove you care than giving the gift of health. Read on to find the best gift ideas for every kind of father! (more…)

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!

Give the Gift of Health this Mother’s Day!

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

When it comes time for Mother’s Day, coming up with new ways to express your love and appreciation can be tough. While mom is sure to love the sentimental card and bouquet of flowers, why not switch it up this year with a gift that keeps on giving?

At Smooth Fitness, we suggest nixing the Mother’s Day clichés and opting instead to give the gift of health this Sunday. Wherever your own mom lands on the fitness spectrum, she deserves a present that celebrates her life while keeping her happy and healthy at the same time. From cardio machines to fitness accessories, we are sure to have something that will fit your mom’s unique fitness needs here at your #1 internet retailer of home fitness equipment.

For the beginner: If your mom is a fitness newbie, she’ll want to start off easy. An elliptical machine is a great way for anyone to ease into regular cardio workouts, thanks to their low-impact nature and multiple program settings that can be customized depending on fitness level. Check out our Elliptical Trainer Buying Guide to determine which of our Smooth ellipticals might be best for your mom.

You might also want to consider purchasing a heart rate monitor alongside any fitness equipment you buy for a mom who’s just getting started on her personal fitness journey. Using a heart rate monitor will allow her to regulate her performance to ensure she’s pacing herself appropriately, as well as track her progress as she becomes more accustomed to working out on a regular basis.

For the busy bee: Many of our moms have full-time jobs, or their hands are full carting the kids to and from school and soccer practice, paying the bills, volunteering, trying to find time for a personal life, or more likely, a combination of all that and more. For the mom who is constantly on the go, you need a gift that fits easily and conveniently in between the responsibilities of raising a family and the obligations of building a successful career.

Our collection of exercise bikes, including the all-new Smooth Fitness SitNCycle, offers the perfect solution: a cardio workout in a hands-free package that allows your mom to answer her emails, make a phone call, check her kid’s homework, or even catch up on some unheard-of leisurely reading all while staying in shape.

For the fitness junkie: If your mom’s already big into fitness, your task might be a little more difficult. Chances are she’s already found the best treadmill or elliptical for her and is fully equipped with all the fitness accessories she uses on a regular basis. But when it comes to health, there’s always room for improvement!

Since she’s been working out regularly for a while, your mom might need an upgrade to her “best treadmill” without even realizing it. Smooth treadmills come in all shapes and sizes, but an advanced runner needs an advanced machine, so check out the selection to see if your mom could use a sturdier belt or larger variety of programs. And to remind her to take care of herself after a hard workout, throw in a foam roller or exercise mat to help relieve any sore or stiff muscles.

This Mother’s Day, ditch the flowers and baked goods for a gift that will really show your mom how much you care. No matter how you choose to celebrate, the team here at Smooth Fitness wishes all our readers and clients a very happy and healthy Mother’s Day!

Add a Little Substance to Your Spring Accessorizing

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

With shorts suits, sporty dresses and low heels ushering in a new season for fashion, spring of 2013 is already shaping up to be an exciting time to splurge on some trendy new accessories. But here at Smooth Fitness, the #1 internet retailer of home fitness equipment, we invite you to invest in a new kind of accessory: one that can help you slip back into those high-waisted cropped palazzo pants you’ve been unable to squeeze into since Christmas, just in time for bikini season. They’re called fitness accessories, and they’ll help you pull off any new style that strikes your fancy this spring.

Find Your Center

  • Ab wheel: Capable of providing one of the best core workouts of any fitness accessory on the market, the ab wheel helps you work muscles in not only your abdominals but also the oft-hard-to-reach lower back – improving your posture all the while.
  • Stability ball: Supported by the Mayo Clinic as one of the best fitness accessories for strengthening your core, the stability ball is a staple in Pilates and yoga classes thanks to its emphasis on incorporating balance and spinal stability into every workout.

Build Your Strength

  • Kettle bells: The main difference between a kettle bell and other forms of resistance training is that you only use one at a time, which offsets your center of gravity and forces your body to work extra hard at maintaining balance. That means you’re challenging all kinds of different muscle groups as well as your heart and lungs – all with just one simple fitness accessory.
  • Medicine ball: Originally used during World War I as a rehabilitation tool for the elderly, the medicine ball has come a long way to develop into one of the most versatile fitness accessories available. Choose between six- and ten-pound medicine balls here at Smooth Fitness to round out your home exercise with a flexible accessory that serves multiple functions in the world of strength training.

Smooth Fitness offers a variety of other home fitness accessories, including balance toners, exercise mats, wrist weights, resistance tubes and more! If you want to achieve the best wellness possible for you, you’ll need a comprehensive collection of home fitness equipment, and a key component of that is fitness accessories like the ones described here. So do your health a favor this spring! New fitness accessories from Smooth Fitness might be just what your home exercise routine has been missing.

Smooth Fitness | Treadmills & Ellipticals

Talk to a Fitness Consultant
888-211-1611
Mon - Fri: 8:30AM – Midnight ET, Sat: 9AM - 9PM, Sun: Closed

© 2000-2013, Smooth Fitness™
Smooth Fitness is a Registered Trademark of Smooth Fitness, LLC.