Regular exercise and increased physical activity can add years to your life and help you feel and look younger. A well-rounded exercise routine will include a combination of cardiovascular activity and strength training using quality exercise equipment and accessories. The proper selection of fitness equipment and flooring products is an essential component to any exercise regimen for optimum results.
The benefits of cardiovascular exercise cannot be overstated. By performing cardio exercise on a regular basis, your body gains stamina and endurance and becomes more efficient at burning calories. Another benefit is a more efficient metabolism and a strengthening of the immune system. Cardiovascular exercise can also reduce stress and improve self-esteem.
There are several types of cardio equipment on the market today. Treadmills, exercise bikes, and elliptical trainers are the most popular choices for cardio exercise and are excellent for building cardio endurance and are easy to use as well. Remember, when you choose your cardio equipment, choose wisely. Get a quality piece of cardio equipment that will provide you the results you are looking for and fit your specific needs. If you have knee problems, then an exercise bike is an excellent choice. If you prefer walking or running, then check out commercial treadmills with computer control panels and built-in programs. They also offer several types of equipment mats and athletic flooring surfaces to help absorb shock and protect flooring surfaces.
If you want to change your overall look and become more tone, then the importance of strength training should not be underestimated. Strength training has been proven to benefit young athletes to seniors. Women, in particular, see tremendous benefits from strength training. If you desire that “ripped” look, then strength training is absolutely vital if you want to change the visual appearance of your body. Another added benefit is that strength training creates strong muscle and strengthens ligaments and tendons, which serve to support our joints and decrease the possibility of injury from other activities.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could burn more calories throughout the day, even while relaxing? Well, you can make this happen if you strength train. The fact is, the more muscle mass you possess, the more calories you will naturally burn. So get up and start pumping that iron. Don’t forget that muscle weighs approximately 3 times more than fat, so if you have embarked on a fitness regimen of strength training, cardio exercise and a healthy diet don’t be dismayed if the scale goes up instead of down. A good way to measure your progress is by using a tape measure to keep track of your results. Measure your arms, thighs, waist, hips, and calves and keep a weekly log of your progress.
The proper selection of strength training equipment depends on several factors including, age, fitness goals, health, and budget. One of the most common questions in the fitness industry today is whether to perform strength training using free weights or machines.
Free Weight Equipment
The major advantage of free weights is that they are more efficient in strengthening the whole body. You can perform a wide variety of upper and lower body exercises using just a set of dumbbells. A dumbbell or barbell set is also usually less expensive than a weight machine. Using free weights also gives you the ability to imitate real life or sports related motions. Weight machines essentially guide your range of movement; however, free weights provide the user with a free range of motion. This brings us to the disadvantage of using free weights: safety. Free weights require a much greater amount of control by the user to avoid injury to muscles and joints. Proper technique and the use of the correct amount of weight are very important safety concerns when using free weights.
The most popular free weights are dumbbells and barbells. Dumbbells can be either fixed weight or adjustable with weight plates that can be switched out.
A weight machine can provide an excellent, safe workout. The main advantage of strength training using machines is ease of use and safety. Because the machines guide your path of resistance, there is less danger of being trapped or injured. You can also safely exercise without the assistance of a spotter. You may be more inclined to lift heavier because a machine is typically safer than going heavy with free weights. You can also make changes to the weight quickly and easily. Weight machines are typically more expensive than purchasing free weights which is a consideration if you are setting up a home gym; however, the investment can be well worth it when you see the results they can provide.
There are two types of weight machines: Single exercise machines that are designed for a specific muscle or exercise and multi-use exercise machines like a home gym or smith machine. Each of these types of weight machines can have a weight stack or accept weight plates. The obvious advantage to a weight stack or selectorized machine is the ability to quickly switch weights. The stack is usually held in place by a pin, and the simple movement of the pin can add or subtract from the weight stack. Free weight machines require the addition or subtraction of weight plates each time you desire a change.
Let’s not forget the importance of a proper athletic flooring surface to protect your equipment, flooring surfaces, and help absorb shock and static electricity. Ironcompany.com also specializes in athletic flooring surfaces for weight rooms, gyms, locker rooms, and fitness facilities including interlocking rubber flooring, rubber sports rolls, shower tiles, aerobic tiles, fitness mats, equipment mats, and flooring supplies all at great prices.
One of the hottest items on the market today is the smith machine. The smith machine is a counter-balanced Olympic bar with multiple racking positions which allows you to workout safely by yourself. Get yourself a weight bench and you can literally perform a ton of exercises on a smith machine including, squats, bench presses, upright rows, calf raises, and lat pull downs.
The bottom line is this: If you want to be physically and mentally fit then an exercise regimen including both cardio exercise and strength training is an absolute must. Your present fitness level, health, age, interests and convenience are among the factors you should consider when determining the type of cardio and strength training exercise program you will perform. Remember to always consult your physician when beginning any type of exercise regimen. When purchasing exercise equipment you need to consider cost, quality, and the amount of available space. Cardio exercise is necessary to build your cardio endurance and stamina and burn calories. Treadmills and exercise bikes are great choices for commercial gyms as well as small facilities. Free weights are affordable and compact and make an excellent choice for beginners as well as advanced users and provide a more natural range of motion. Single and multi-use weight machines provide a smooth, safe workout and can give outstanding results while offering a more controlled, stabilized movement. A proper athletic flooring surface can help absorb shock and protect flooring surfaces and equipment.
*Information contained in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice. This article should not be interpreted as a general or specific recommendation for a specific exercise or diet regimen or course of action. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before starting any exercise or diet program or routine.
Note from Brigadoon Fitness
It’s that time of year when we are all thinking of beginning an exercise routine in the new year. This article really says a lot about what you should do to get and stay in shape. No matter what your age or ability you should always get a doctors approval before starting. If you are looking to start a healthy diet then do your research first, there are too many fad diets out there that promise to drop pounds in just a few weeks, but those are healthy or sustainable. The same with exercise. If you do too much you may either hurt yourself or you will not keep to it. Research says that it takes 21 to 30 days for anything to become a habit. So don’t get discouraged. Here is a great article to help you start: 10 Steps to Reach Your Fitness Goals