How to select home equipment
Exercising at home is convenient; however, insufficient equipment often makes it impossible to perform certain types of exercises. If you decide that home exercise is for you, consider buying one piece of equipment for aerobic exercise and another for weight training, in addition to a selection of accessories for stretching.
Included in the cardio-fitness category are treadmills, stationary bikes, step climbers, elliptical trainers. Before purchasing one of these machines, check the following points. The equipment should:
- be safe and easy to use;
- be sturdy, silent and smooth in movement;
- be equipped with a heart rate sensor (ideally a sensor band strapped to the chest);
- include a display which clearly indicates heart rate, calories burned, level of effort and time elapsed;
- come supplied with a manual which is easy to reach and available in the local language;
- enable you to perform an accurate test to identify the most appropriate effort level;
- be purchased from a supplier which provides technical consulting over the telephone or via internet on custom training programs, as well as direct customer support in case of technical issues;
- come supplied with a manual which easy to read and available in the local language.
Strength training equipment
The market provides many different options, varying from sophisticated, multi-purpose machines to simple benches for training with dumbbells and barbells. If you are a beginner, it is important to know that multipurpose machines are the easiest to use, as they guide your movements on fixed trajectories.If you have previously trained with weights, a bench with dumbbells and barbells might be an effective economical choice for you as they will still allow you to perform a broad range of exercises. It is important, however, to evaluate the machines with the following points in mind:
- the height and workload settings should be easily adjustable to suit the user;
- the equipment should be solid and stable when you are lifting heavy weights;
- if you are using a multi-purpose machine, the weights should move easily, without becoming jammed or creating friction;
- seating should be ergonomic and comfortable;
- the manufacter should provide technical consulting over the telephone or via internet on custom training programs as well as direct customer support in case of defects;
- the manual should be easy to read, available in the language used where it is purchased and come with multimedia material showing how to use it correctly.
In general, avoid advertising traps which promise ‘miracles’ or which guarantee amazing results with just a few minutes training per day or within the space of only several weeks.
Accessories for stretching exercises
There are many specific products available on the market to help increase flexibility. Professional stretching mats and special balls help you exercise safely and have fun at the same time.
To ensure that these accessories are right for you, it is necessary to check that they:
- include materials which are odorless and inert, are developed with technologies that keep their original state intact even after extensive use;
- fit your body frame perfectly, including your stature and weight;
- allow a wide range of possibilities for a exercising all your muscle and joints;
- are practical and easy to transport so you can use them anywhere and at any time;
- are easy to use and come with a clear manual complete with thorough’descriptions and illustrations.