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A Beginner’s Guide to Fitness Equipment

Statistics at the time of writing indicated that over two thirds of the UK population are overweight (slightly more in America). The media and the Governments are pushing fitness and healthy lifestyles but what exactly should you do if you want to make the switch? I believe the first step that you have to take is a mental one; there is no point in trying to get into shape for all the wrong reasons. Wanting a good physique may be the push behind media attention but there are many other advantages to using your body to its full potential such as a longer life and general feeling of well being. If you have made the decision to read this article I am assuming that you have also made the decision that you want to get a little fitter. Hopefully you can use this information to complete your goal.

We should look at the basics first. Before you do any exercise you need to make the decision of whether you will attend a gym or buy your own fitness equipment. Expense wise there is really no advantage one way or another since prices and membership fees are always changing. I recommend that you shop around yourselves if you are really going to get into fitness but if you are a new starter and want something to get you going, picking up a cheaper, but good quality piece of equipment may be the best step before you go splashing out on a years gym membership. There are lots of types of fitness equipment out there so I will give you a helpful rundown of what each machine could do for you.

Rowing Machine

Rowing machines are a great choice for all round results. They help increase cardio strength, burn fat and add tone/definition. Rowers are also great for strengthening knee, hip and ankle joints as this is where the load is placed during exercise. Modern rowers incorporate resistance adjustment so that you can create a workout specifically for your level of fitness. Rowing machines tend to come in the low to average fitness equipment cost, you will probably find a good quality rower for between £100-200 with very high quality home ones reaching around £600 giving it another quality for being a ‘basic’ piece of fitness equipment for you to get started on. Rowing machines are one of the best pieces of fitness equipment for a smaller how as they have folding options. This massively reduces the storage space needed and means you won’t loose too much room when you’re not using it.

Elliptical Cross Trainers

Elliptical trainers come in many shapes and sizes but all; essentially, work your body in the same way. By using an elliptical trainer you will benefit from cardiovascular and strength training, specifically targeting the lower body and arms. The elliptical movement will also assist in improving balance and co-ordination making it a great choice for both new and experienced users. Elliptical training is also a great low impact calorie burning exercise and would be perfect for people trying to loose weight in between a hectic lifestyle. One downside of the elliptical trainer category is that they do tend to need plenty of room to be used correctly.A beginner’s guide to fitness equipment.


Treadmills are one of the most versatile pieces of fitness equipment on the market; they are ideal for family use and offer a balanced and easily adjustable exercise regime that improves all round fitness as well as increasing the health and effectiveness of your heart. Walking and running are widely regarded as one of the most natural and effective forms of exercise and by purchasing an adjustable speed treadmill you can have access to both at any time. The great thing about treadmills is that many come with a folding option so you can have a versatile piece of fitness equipment without loosing half a room.


Weights are one of the oldest and most conventional forms of exercise. They are great for toning certain muscles (essentially upper body and arms) but do not really add much benefit for those looking to loose weight. A good fitness strategy for both men and women is to combine them with other forms of exercise, eg. Jogging with body weights or aerobics with small hand weights. This will increase your stamina as well as strengthening you muscles. Weights are relatively cheap and small in comparison to most exercise equipment so they are ideal “second purchase” for your home gym.


Trampolining is a fun, modern way to exercise and is especially effective a burning off calories. Trampolines need plenty of room in a outdoor environment but the huge range around at the moment means you can easily pick up a safe, foldable trampoline from 8 to 14 foot. You can also pick up a cheap fitness trampoline for indoors but this will not be quite as much fun. Trampolines are also great for the family and provides you kids with a great way to do their own exercise.

Commercial Gyms

As mentioned before the cost of one piece of fitness equipment against the cost of gym membership can be a difficult decision to make. One thing to keep in mind is how accessible your fitness equipment will be. If it’s in your house can you easily get it out and have a few hours or will you be unmotivated to clear a room to actually use it? If you join a gym will you actually visit? Or will you slowly decide you have more and more important things to do. There are benefits to becoming a gym member; you will have access to specialists at most gyms who can fully instruct you on how to use all the different kinds of fitness equipment located within as well as handing out tips and advice for your own health. An often overlooked disadvantage centres on how you interact with people. If you are someone who is very self conscious attending a gym may not be the best idea, some can be very busy and often filled with people who may, in comparison, appear much fitter than you. While it is always advisable to hold you head high in life and be proud of yourself and body, you should not suffer a motivation blow because of the people you are exercising with, if you feel you may experience such feelings purchasing your own fitness equipment may be a more preferable path.

About the Author: This article is publish on behalf of Peter Farmer, a webmaster and fitness enthusiast. You can check out his site for the best deals on UK fitness equipment

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