(CARLSBAD, CA) –At this time of year, people are always looking for tips on purchasing home exercise equipment. The combination of New Year’s resolutions and colder temperatures shifts the focus to workouts we can do conveniently at home.
Selecting the right equipment remains a very personal decision, which should incorporate your tastes, budget and available space. Before you invest your money in any piece of equipment, there are a variety of things to consider:
What do you like and what are your goals? No piece of equipment will do its job if it sits unused. So, if you really don’t enjoy abdominal crunches, chances are that you won’t use that nifty machine you saw on the infomercial. If you’re unsure what you like, test some equipment out at a friend’s house, health club or sporting goods store. For a complete program, look for equipment that will provide both aerobic and resistance training.
How much space do you have? Know where you plan to exercise before you purchase your equipment. Make sure there is enough light and adequate ventilation, and access to music or a television if you desire. The physical location in your house may influence your purchase.
Who else will be using the equipment? Quality as well as versatility is important if the product is going to be used by several members of the family.
Will you have noise restrictions? Is the exercise room next to the nursery or right above your neighbor’s bedroom? Again, this may influence your choice of equipment.
Does the equipment have a warranty and local servicing? Big item ticket items, such as treadmills can be costly to fix. Before buying, confirm that there is warranty and know exactly what it covers, and for your own convenience be sure the machine can be serviced locally.
And remember, fitness doesn’t require fancy equipment. You can get a great workout with simple, inexpensive equipment, including aerobic steps, dumbbells and resistance tubes and balls.
The following exercise uses a step to strengthen virtually all of the major muscles of the legs and can be incorporated in either an aerobic or strength training workout.
Stand next to your step with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and your knees and toes pointed forward. Place one foot on the step. With your weight in your heels, bend your knees and release your hips behind you as if you are trying to sit in a chair that is a bit too far behind you. Keep your chest lifted and place your hands on your thighs for support.
Pressing down into your heel on the step, straighten your leg and lift your body to a standing position. Extend your free leg on a low diagonal. Squeeze your gluteal muscles as you lift up and focus on keeping your torso lifted tall. Keep your shoulders and hips level and facing to the front. Work your abductor muscles (outer hip) by stabilizing your free leg to the side with your knee turned to the front and your toes pointing downward toward the floor. Slowly lower to your starting position and repeat 8 to 16 times before reversing the movements to work the opposite leg.
Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,500 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in the U.S. and around the globe. Since 1969, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.