Every year, people spend millions of dollars on exercise equipment.
Sadly, most of it doesn’t get used as often as it should.
And while part of this can be blamed on a lack of time and motivation, a larger part of it is from buying the wrong equipment.
So before you rush out and get something that could end up in next year’s yard sale, narrow down what you like, what you can afford and what you’ll actually use.
If you go to the gym or you’ve used a hotel fitness room, what piece of exercise equipment do you usually use? Do you use the same type of equipment or do you mix it up? If you find yourself using the same type of equipment at the gym, the cost of a new purchase may be far less than your annual gym membership. The price tag on some equipment may scare you off, but consider how often you’ll use it and the price of the alternative.
Now onto the hard question….What is the real reason that your buying it? Most people enter into a big purchase with the hopes of getting into shape or losing weight. Is that your goal?
If so, look at the equipment that has the most intense cardio activity and therefore burns the most calories per hour. As an example, elliptical machines and treadmills burn a lot more calories than an exercise bike or a strength-building station for the same average effort-level.
If your goal is to have something to use when the weather is inclement and you can’t run outside…a treadmill should be the obvious choice.
If you’re looking for an upper body workout, why not try an elliptical machine? If you’re looking for a strength-building machine, perhaps something like a universal machine or Bow-Flex would fit your needs.
Once you get an idea on the type of exercise equipment that you want, you’ll want to narrow down the model and features. Be careful to evaluate ALL of the equipment’s features. I know that sounds like a given, but let’s take a treadmill purchase, for example. Treadmills come with various motor sizes and tread widths. Personally, I have a hard time running on tread widths that are less than 20” and I get impatient with the slow response times of motors that are less than 2 HP. I’ve discovered this from using various gyms and fitness room’s treadmills.
These are just a few of the factors on treadmills that you may want to consider. Take some time to do some homework and get the piece of exercise equipment that you’ll use the most – don’t let a one-day sale or a pushy salesman pressure you into buying something that isn’t exactly what you want.
Not that you’ve started to narrow down the right piece of exercise equipment for you, it’s time to imagine where it’s going and when it’ll be used. If space is a precious commodity in your home, you may want to look into a folding treadmill versus a non-folding model. If the baby’s nap time is your exercise time… you may not want it to share a wall or a room with the crib ;-). Also, if it requires power be sure to pick a spot with an open outlet. Most equipment will list their dimensions and power requirements. If you have a tight space in mind, try clipping out some newspaper and taping it together to form a footprint to match the equipment’s dimensions. This way, you can move the newspaper footprint around with ease as you brainstorm…long before it shows up on your doorstep!
Exercise equipment is a great investment in your future. So it’s worth taking some time to make sure that you’re buying the right thing for YOU. Use the equipment review pages and buying tips below to help you with your purchase.
Best of luck!!