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Gifts That Keep on Giving

In response to an article in our e-newsletter, The Cooperized, a fan wrote a question.

Our treadmill broke a month ago, and we have been looking for a replacement.  I’m hearing people say get a stair stepper or one of those swinging machines, but not to get a treadmill.  What is the best fitness machine for the home? 

To provide the best response, we called the Director of Fitness of Cooper Fitness Center, DallasMary Edwards, to answer. We thought we would share her insight for anyone considering a new piece of equipment for a gift during the holidays or to jump start the New Year.

Great question! I think the “best machine” for home use is dependent on the person’s needs and goals. Think about the following:

  • Do you have knee or hip issues? If so, you need to purchase a machine that is non-weight bearing, like a recumbent or upright bike or elliptical variation.
  • What do you enjoy? Though that seems simple or trivial, purchase a machine that offers a motion you enjoy. Those that hate to run may find less use for a treadmill, but may enjoy all of the programs that an elliptical can offer.
  • What do you have access to outdoors? In other words, if your neighborhood is well set up for walking and jogging, you may want to consider an elliptical. If it is not possible to walk or run in your area, a treadmill or elliptical purchase would be just fine.

The key to the best exercise machine is one that does not cause you pain. I highly encourage use of a heart rate monitor to determine actual heart rate and thus, exercise intensity. The best adaptations and metabolic stimulus are seen when cardiovascular exercise is consistent throughout the week and incorporates a variety of training: low intensity, long duration; medium intensity or tempo effort; and high intensity interval, short duration. This challenges your whole range of cardiovascular capacity (aerobic to anaerobic), as well as provides great mental stimulation due to the change in workout options/routine.

For those of you wanting to know what equipment we have at Cooper Fitness Center— all of our cardiovascular equipment is Precor®, we are partial!

For other last minute gift ideas see: Fitness Band or Pedometer? What’s on Your List? and Kitchen Gadget Gifts.

Happy holidays and Merry Christmas from ours to yours!

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