Your Guide to Buying Gym and Fitness Equipment
Do you like sports? Do you want to buy fitness equipment for your home? What are the most important equipment to have at home?
Sports and fitness is one of the most important activities as it has many benefits on our physical state and health; as well as on our mental and psychological state. We have learned this during our childhood since one of the most important quotes we took in primary school was: “A healthy mind in a healthy body.”
With the evolution in natural and medical sciences, and our increasing desire to stay in shape, sports became one of life’s pillars! Many doctors are advising patients to exercise more to avoid certain diseases and stay in a good health; therefore, going to gyms and clubs became a routine to people!
But with the increasing work pressure and not finding enough time to go to the gym, people started to buy some of the equipment for their homes so they can exercise there; thus saving time and effort! The question here is what are the general requirements for buying gym equipment for your homes?
Through this article, we will list the specifications and features of treadmills and bikes and how to choose what you need as these two are the most important home equipment.
What is a Treadmill?
A treadmill is an electric gym equipment that has a rubber band that you can walk, jog, or run on! It is one of the efficient machines that help you burn calories and work on cardio by walking and running.
It is available in a wide variety in the market and it is important to know the features and specifications before making a purchase so that you can make the right decision which meets your needs and is within your budget.
Determining Treadmill Motor Power
To begin with, we must point out that there are many treadmills in the market that do not have a motor and works in accordance to the force exerted on it by the exercise type. This type is considered cheaper and does not need a lot of maintenance (only periodic), but on the other hand, it requires muscle effort as it relies on the user’s movement. The person might need to run to attain the required speed before starting to slow down to walk (the belt takes the speed of the user).
As for a treadmill powered by a motor, it operates on an electric motor that generates a continuous current. This type usually has two motors: the first powers the band to start spinning, and the second works on speed control; it maintains the speed set by the user and does not decrease or increase it, unless the user changes the speed! This, in turn, means that it does not slow down if the user changes the speed their walking or jogging in, and so it motivates the user to keep moving unless they slow it down or speed it up by the control screen or buttons next to the handle.
Generally, treadmills with a motor are more expensive and needs continuous maintenance. It also has more features like: the ability to listen to music through a DVD or CD, heart rate monitor, speed control, distance, calories, etc… and all this information is placed on a screen on the machine – usually between the handles.
If you choose a treadmill powered by a motor, the most important factor here is the motor’s power. You can determine the needed power by knowing the type of usage: you only want to walk? Or you want to walk and run? Also, the user’s weight! Usually, heavier users require more power – at least two horse powers!
Choosing the Correct Rubber Band
The treadmill’s belt is available in different dimensions ranging between a width of 41 centimeters (16 inches) and 56 centimeters (22 inches), and a length of 114 centimeters (1 meter and 14 centimeters) and 168 centimeters (1 meter and 68 centimeters). The length here is the visible length (the one you see when walking or running).
Choosing the correct dimensions depends on the user’s height and weight, and usage type (walking, running, or both!).
People who are heavier need a wider belt and tall people need a longer belt.
People who are interested in buying a treadmill need to know about the machine’s speed! Most treadmills have a speed ranging between 0 and 16 kilometers per hour, and in some machines it might reach 19 kilometers per hour. The latter is usually what athletes have!
Most studies show that people who use the treadmill at home usually walk on an average speed between 5 and 10 kilometers per hour. Speed control on these devices are basically buttons on the main control and the user can change the speed accordingly (we are talking about treadmills with motors here).
There many other features that may interest the user but they can all be listed as extras like: number of programs in the machines; meaning that you need to check the main specifications first and the rest can be listed as additional options that may interest certain people.
What is a Gym Bike?
The gym bike looks very similar to air bicycles when it comes to the design and it also has the same effect on muscles. However, some bikes may train different body parts!
It is known that bicycles usually work on the lower body and as mentioned above, it is available in different types, making this – choosing a type – the most important factor to consider when buying one!
Gym bikes can be divided into three main types: Upright Bike, Elliptical Cross-trainer bike, and Recumbent Bike.
Upright bikes are very similar in design to air bikes. The user sits on the seat (that looks like a normal bike seat) and takes an upright position, holds the handles (still handles) and start paddling!
This type gives the person the same type of exercise they will get from riding a normal bike, and works on the lower body parts!
The elliptical cross-trainer bike is the more advanced type, as it has movable handles, and so the user moves both hands while paddling. Therefore, this type trains both the lower and upper body at the same time!
This type has different designs depending on the manufacturer! Some looks like the normal air bikes and some does not. Nonetheless, this type – in all its designs – will give the same result after training.
The recumbent bike allows the user to get the exercise while having a back brace. The user sits down and reclines their back taking a position similar to the driving position. Just like upright bikes, recumbent bikes train the lower body but it is suitable for people with back pain.
This type has adjustable seats and so you would not need to worry about its size!
After choosing a type, you have to take the following step:
Choose Paddle Types
Gym bike paddles can be divided into four types that are: Direct Tension, Flywheel, Air, and Magnetic.
When using gym bikes there has to be resistance (as they are still) and hence the exercise occurs when you start paddling against the resistance.
Direct tension paddles allow the user to manually adjust the resistance by controlling the handles and lever. Flywheel paddles has an ease to it as the user will paddle to create kinetic energy and beat the resistance.
Air paddles requires the user to paddle against the resistance generated from the wheel through a fan, and so the faster you paddle, the more air resistance you will get. Magnetic paddles are the most common type and usually found in gyms. It forces the user to paddle against the magnetic resistance generated from friction or electric power.
When it comes to price, direct tension paddles are the cheapest, then the flywheel which are the most common for home gym equipment. Magnetic bikes are the most expensive.
Summary; A Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body
Some people try to create a small gym in their house by getting light weights, chairs and beds that are specified for exercising. The market has many different designs and types of weights and equipment and so you need to ask a specialist when you make a purchase!
If you want to buy a treadmill, we advise you to choose what you need, with or without a motor, and then choose the belt’s dimensions (length and width), and finally the extra features!
If you want to get a bike, then we advise you to choose the type you want and then choosing the paddles type (resistance) you prefer. After determining those factors, we guarantee that you will make the correct buying decision!
Finally, do not forget the important thing here, which is to exercise. Do not buy gym equipment only to place them at home as that does not mean you will exercise!
Be smart before making a purchase, and remember: a healthy mind is in a healthy body!