Health and Fitness on a Budget – Exercise at Home

041110-N-0413R-001The health and fitness industry is worth billions, and in the last decade the small, affordable gyms have been slowly eaten up by larger fitness franchises. So with more gyms under the control of a handful of people it’s no surprise that they all charge more from their customers simply because there is no competition. For more and more people the only affordable option is to get fit from home, but there is a huge variety of equipment to choose from so it’s a good idea to do lots of research before you part with any money. Here we will give a general overview of the four main types of cardio machines that you can use from the comfort of home.

Treadmills

Treadmills are the most popular machine out of the four, and you’ll see these at pretty much any commercial gym in various different sizes and capabilities. If you haven’t heard of them before they are basically just a moving surface that is used to run on (without actually going anywhere!), using and electric motor to power it and handrails with a computer console to control it.

Exercise Bikes

Exercise bikes are also very popular simply because they are very simple to use and gives a low impact workout. It is basically just like riding a regular bike, except you can adjust the difficulty on the computer console. These come in two types: standard – which is similar to riding a normal bike with the pedals directly below you, and there is also recumbent – which has the seat lower and pedals are further in front of you, which is kinda like riding a trike.

Elliptical Machines

In my opinion, elliptical machines are a kind of exercise bike/treadmill hybrid but even better, I’ll explain why. Firstly, you are standing upright with two moving pedals below you and the motion is a bit like pedaling and running. The great thing about elliptical machines is they won’t put any impact stress on your knees and also will give a workout of your upper body too, unlike the exercise bike and treadmill.

Rowing Machines

Rowing machines are probably the least popular of the four, and I’m not really sure why; they give the best full body workout from the lot. Just look at the professional rowers in the Olympics and you will see highly toned upper and lower bodies, it’s not a machine for the casual user. Which is perhaps why it’s not as popular: it is much more difficult that the other machines, and you can’t sit there or lean on the handrail whilst watching tv.

Find the Right Machine for you

Now we have looked at the main types of exercise machines there are several things to consider before you buy: firstly, make sure you read reviews, so if you want to get a good treadmill read as many treadmill reviews as you can from other customers to make sure that you aren’t going to end up with a piece of junk. Secondly, make sure that you have enough space at home for the machine that you are getting, so if you buy the biggest machine available but don’t have anywhere to put it then that is a pretty big problem. Lastly, remember to set yourself achievable fitness goals, it helps to keep motivated and you’ll get the body you always wanted.

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