Defining Factors For Home Fitness Machine Purchases

For many of us there are two primary places to work out – through a gym membership or in a home gym with fitness machines.

When you first contemplate taking control of your health and fitness, the thought of working out in a public gym with all those muscular and able bodies is daunting. So why not buy some home fitness machines and begin your weight loss at home?

But wait! Before you shell out a big investment in equipment there are a few points I want to warn you about to help you make the best selection for your needs and goals. And, I’ll even save you future hassles and money in the process. Every week I watch the national flyers and evaluate costs and products, factoring in shipping or delivery, warranties and durability. That is why you’ll find my purchase recommendations change so often – I’m looking after you.

Let’s first cover the basics and then I’ll show you the best deals based on my review.

  1. Performance and Quality – Even though I can help you find the best price, based on manufacturer’s suggested retail, you will always get what you pay for. Home fitness machines are available in three levels of quality but the variances in price between mid-range and top-notch aren’t drastic. So I suggest you buy the best that you can afford and end up with equipment that lasts or has resale value once you decide to start working out at the gym. Suggested Treadmills: Nautilus T514, (more coming soon).

  2. Intended Usage – When you buy an exercise machine, choose the one that you’ll be most excited about to use. Do your best not to let price, color or salesmen sway you. With a firm budget and necessary features in mind, don’t sway or be persuaded by commercials.
  3. Home Gym Space – If the area you’ve designated for home gym space is restrictive, make sure that your new exercise equipment will work in that space. Look for machines that fold away (and be sure to check the folded size) so you can do other exercises like free weights or yoga as your body transforms.
  4. Based on Your Personal Needs – Are you a senior? Morbidly obese? Suffering from past sports injuries? These are all factors to consider before setting up the home gym. Previous injuries and other health situations may require a pre-consultation with your medical doctor or at least a fitness trainer. As an example, if you have weak knees you might not be suited for a stair climber. Another? Those with bad backs probably shouldn’t jump right into cross-country ski machines or rowers.
  5. Safety Features – Aside from built in heart rate monitors and such, consider other safety features if children will ever have access to your home gym.
  6. Difficulty Factors – It can be tricky to match the machine to your needs today and your needs in the future. You don’t want to choose expensive exercise equipment that is too difficult to master but on the other side of the coin you don’t want to choose one that you’ll outgrow in a month’s time. Shop for, and purchase, home gym equipment that matches your current skill level but has enough features to challenge you later as well.
  7. Warranty – I can’t stress this point enough. Home gym equipment takes a beating when you’re dedicated to being fit or losing weight. It has to be tough enough to stand your eagerness or at least well warrantied to have the equipment fixed for free if it breaks down. The only items Pedometers.org approves of has a minimum 5 year warranty on frames and motors. I don’t suggest settling for anything less.

Sleep, Stress, and The Effects of Each on Your Metabolism

Women as well as men have to work hard these days to balance work, family, hobbies, social commitments and volunteer activities – the steady fast pace isn’t great for our metabolisms however.

First and foremost as a nation we aren’t getting enough sleep per day and this one factor can undermine all of your other efforts to increase your metabolism, burn more calories and keep you healthy. Too many tasks on our plate are the most often cause. While getting enough sleep improves metabolism, if you are regularly sleep deprived you will have less energy to perform even the easiest exercises.

Plus, the sleep deprived lower their own metabolism. Without enough strength to efficiently break down food, perform strength or interval training, breath deeper and so on, the metabolic rate is damaged and only one thing can help to give it a boost or get it back on track – more sleep!

Am I suggesting that you get fit by sleeping instead of exercising? Yes if you are currently not getting enough regular sleep and need to get back on track to healthy living. For the first few weeks try taking casual walks at the end of your day and ensure you rest for at least 7 hours every night. Make healthy living your priority and you will find that you will be rewarded by a happier body, a slimmer physique and a higher metabolism. Sleep is part of healthy lifestyle choices.

Are you an incurable insomniac? You’ll still need to get yourself into bed for at least seven hours per day. No reading, television watching or listening to MP3s through headphones either. This time must be reserved for resting. Eventually, once your body realizes that you mean business, you will start sleeping for most of those seven hours. Try any non-prescriptive tip you can find until you discover what’s keeping you up at night and vow never to do it again.

Some tips to get you started are: don’t eat late at night, drink 6-8 ounces of warm milk before bedtime, turn off that television, learn yoga or meditation, have a warm and fragrant bath before bedtime, don’t drink caffeine drinks after noon, don’t perform high aerobic exercises close to bedtime.

Over the years many people I’ve spoken to about the sleep and metabolism connection state that yoga and meditation helped them the most. Learning how to relax through either or both of these activities is also another of the key influence of your metabolism, namely dealing with stress.

Experts believe stress can send unwanted signals to our body, signals that lead to slower metabolism. Essentially, when the body is under constant stress, it releases stress hormones that flood the system. These stress hormones actually tell the body to create larger fat cells in the abdomen (belly fat). The result can be both increased weight and a slower metabolism.

Now that you see how stress can wreak havoc on your body as well as your metabolic rate, isn’t it time to change some things in your life? You’ll be happier, healthier and thinner for it in the end.