With the start of a new year, many people make resolutions to get fit and lose weight. This usually results in purchasing a membership at a gym, which provides access to weights, exercise machines, and group classes. If the gym scene is not very appealing, there are several different types of equipment that can be purchased to create a home gym. Before purchasing any exercise equipment, it is best to first set exercise goals, and then decide which pieces of equipment will achieve those goals.
If weight loss is the primary goal, combining both cardio and weight training is the best option. Cardio machines include the treadmill, elliptical, bicycle and stair stepper. Not only do these machines promote weight loss, but they also help to build up stamina and increase blood flow throughout the body. Research states that 20 – 30 minutes of cardio, three to four times a week provides optimal fat burning potential. If the goal is to become more toned and muscled, then weight training may be your focus. Weight training involves the use of barbells or dumb bells or access to machines that work for the different muscle groups.
Purchasing machines for all your weight loss or muscle toning needs can be very expensive, as each piece can coast upwards of $500 to $1,000. To alleviate some of the cost, it may be best to search for a machine that provides both cardio and weight training options. While these machines can also be somewhat pricey, they are typically easy to use and can meet the needs of most exercise enthusiasts. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, most all-in-one machines have a setting that provides more of a cardiovascular workout at a lower intensity. If gaining muscle is the goal, then use the settings on the machine that provide for that capability at a higher intensity. Most machines also provide the capability to listen to music or even watch movies or television shows while working out.
Whatever the fitness goal, purchasing an exercise machine to meet those goals is an investment in your health, which is an investment that can last a lifetime!