Bowflex Treadclimber Vs Treadmill – Which Is Right For You?

The Bowflex Treadclimber is a very popular twist on the traditional treadmill. Instead of one main belt, it uses two dual treadles that rise to meet your feet as you walk.

The main benefit of the Treadclimber is that it burns calories up to 3 times faster than walking on a flat treadmill. So you see weight loss results very fast.

However treadmills also give you some unique benefits over the Treadclimber as well.

So which is better for you? Here are some of the main differences you should know to help you decide:

# 1 Calorie Burn

The Treadclimber uses the power of high incline walking to burn calories up to 3 times faster than walking on a flat incline treadmill.

Incline walking uses more of the larger muscles in your legs – which in turn require a lot more calories. So you burn more calories per workout – and drop pounds faster.

This is obviously a huge advantage as it can be inspiring to see results in the mirror so quickly.

# 2 Lower Impact on the Treadclimber

Because the treadles rise to meet your feet, the Treadclimber gives you a lower impact workout than a treadmill. If you're prune to shin splints or running injuries, this is another benefit the Treadclimber gives you over the treadmill.

# 3 Walking or Running?

The Treadclimber was only designed for you to walk on it. It's not built for runners as the maximum speed limit is capped around 4.5 MPH.

You do not need to run to get the fast weight loss a Treadclimber can give you. However if you enjoy running, you'll obviously want to go with a treadmill over a Treadclimber here.

Treadmills for example will range from 0 up to 10 MPH speed limits or more – so you have a lot of room to run!

# 4 Size Matters

Traditional treadmills have more of a rectangular footprint and can take up more space than a Treadclimber, which has more of a square footprint.

Then again, a lot of treadmills today fold up quite easily to save you space.

If you have a small workout area, you may either want to go with a Treadclimber – or a folding treadmill.

# 5 Workout Programs & Heart Rate Monitors

This is one area where you can usually find a treadmill that outshines the Treadclimber. For example, most treadmills come with several built-in workouts that control the speed / incline for you and give you some workout challenge.

They also come with either a grip grip heart rate sensor or even a wireless monitor option.

The only Treadclimber model that comes with built-in workouts and heart rate monitor is the premium TC20 model. The other two models do not include any workout programs – or heart rate monitoring.

So those are some of the main differences between a Bowflex Treadclimber vs a treadmill. Regardless of what you decide, you have some great options in either category.

The main thing is to choose a machine that fits your lifestyle, budget and fitness goals – and of course go for something that gets you excited about using it! Good luck and have fun!

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Olympic Bar Sleeves Maintenance

We covered general barbell maintenance in our last article. Now that you know general care and maintenance of your barbells we'll delve into more thorough cleaning of your Olympic barbell sleeves. The 'sleeves' on a barbell are the rotating ends where your plates are added to the bar. A newer bar should not require such close cleaning and care for your sleeves; this will be for your older, well used barbells. Your barbell sleeves are likely held on by one of two methods- snap rings or a pin and end cap. This article will be covering those types of sleeves. There are bar manufacturers that have it made it so the sleeve does not come off, you will have to contact them directly for any maintenance questions and / or concerns.

First, if you have a snap ring style bar you'll need a snap ring pliers to remove them. You'll need to remove the outer snap ring, the end cap, and the inner snap ring to loosen your sleeve from your bar. You want to grab the two holes in the ring and compress it to remove it from the bar. Your end cap should pop out next, and you can remove your final snap ring.

Secondly, the pinned barbell sleeves. If your sleeves are pinned there's a steel disc, or end cap, and pin keeping them from falling off of your bar. The end cap is approximately 2-inches in diameter, and about 1/2 “thick. To hold the endcap in place a pin runs the diameter of the bar. hole. Once you've got the pin out, the end cap should come off and you can remove your sleeve.

Next you should take a clean rag and wipe off any excess dirt, corrosion and grease on your bar, and inside the ends of your sleeve. If some of the dirt is caked on you may want to use a bit of steel wool to smooth things down. You can use the steel wool again, on the now bare bar, and inside the ends of the sleeve. Be sure to wipe down your bar again to remove any residue from the steel wool.

You should use a Teflon grease on the inside ends of the sleeve, and either end of the sleeve portion of your bar. You want to use a high pressure type of grease that will hold the pressure of the bar. Grease should keep the sleeve spinning longer, and will keep it cleaner than if you used oil. You do not need to use a lot of grease on the bar a little goes a long way. Finally you can put your sleeve back on, remove any excess grease that may be around. Spin the sleeve a few times, again wiping up any excess grease.

As we said in our last article you need to be sure you are otherwise taking good care of your bar. You do not want to let it slam down on the ground after you've removed weights. Do not drop an empty barbell, letting the barbell slam to the ground may damage your bearings / bushings. Remember to remove the weights from the bar when you are done. Storing weights on hanging bars can cause the bar to bend over time. Be sure to check your workout area for any sharp edges that might damage your bar. Use collars at all times to prevent plate movement on the bars. Proper care and maintenance of your barbells can keep them performing well for a life time.

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Health And Fitness Guide: What Are Fitness Activity Trackers

Getting physically fit can be hard and tough, especially for individuals who are not physically active. However, thanks to the profusion of health gadgets in the market today, many individuals find themselves motivated to improve their well-being. One of these gadgets is the so-called “fitness activity trackers”.

These trackers are popular with health buffs as they document the person's activities and provide feedbacks which may be helpful, especially if the person engaged in the exercise has ailments or desires to monitor their activities.

For those who are interested in purchasing a fitness activity tracker, there are some things that must be considered. There are several types in the market; however each one is different and figuring out exactly what one needs will help save time and maximizes the gadget's potential.

Fitness Trackers

Fitness trackers come in various shapes and sizes. Some are manufactured as wrist bands, sports watches or as clip-ons. Depending on the person, clip-ons are perfect for those who want to discreetly monitor their activities. Trackers that have features of sports watches help fitness enthusiasts monitor their activities and provide the user with details such as heart rate, calories burn as well as distance and steps made.

What to Look For in a Tracker

Before purchasing a tracker, it is necessary that one identifies what type of tracker would most benefit them which they can maximize in the long run. One of the things that one should consider is the features included in the tracker. Some have heart rate monitoring capability while others do not. Some devices that do not have the heart rate monitoring feature may have other special features such as blood pressure monitoring or calorie consumption which one might need. Other trackers also have GPS tracking enabled on them, sleep monitoring as well as other features. Do note though that the more features a device has, the more expensive it will cost. As a sports watch can be expensive, a fitness tracker designed as one can have the same features of a sport watch without the extra cost.

Another thing that one should also check is the battery life of the device. Some devices can last for three days, some up to a week while those with batteries included can last for a year. Device compatibility with smartphone apps is also another thing to consider as some devices can be synced with the person's smartphone and help make the data collection easier.

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Olympic Bar Maintenance – Keep Your Bar Working Like New for a Lifetime

So you've got a nice new barbell or even an older, well used barbell and you'd like to have it last for a long, long time, but you just do not know where to start? We've got some helpful pointers for you here. With proper care and maintenance your barbells can last you a lifetime. Bars in both commercial gyms and at home gyms need to be properly maintained to extend their lives.

First, for some barbell basics – You've got Olympic or standard barbells. Olympic barbells have 2 inch, rotating sleeves while standard bars have 1-inch, non-rotating sleeves. Each bar has some type of knurling, or crisscross pattern for better grip. The bars come in 4 basic finishes black oxide, zinc, chrome, hard chrome, or bare stainless steel. Steel rusts when it gets wet, it's as simple as that. The barbell coatings will help to combat rust but will not completely stop rust from occurring. Rust on a bar is not only unattractive, over time it can decrease its performance.

If there is any existing rust on your bar you'll want to get rid of that first. You should be able to take a stiff nylon brush to the rusted areas. If the nylon brush does not get all of the rust off you can use a brass wire brush. Be careful with the stiffer bristled brushes as they can remove the finish on your bar.

The first step to maintaining your bars is cleaning the knurling regularly. You'll want to use a small, stiff bristle brush to clean out all of the chalk and dead skin. Chalk absorbs excess moisture from your hands. If chalk is left on the bars it will hold the moisture against the steel and eventually cause it to rust.

After you've cleaned the knurling on the bar you'll want to wipe down your bar with WD-40 or 3 in 1 oil. The easiest way is to apply the WD-40 or oil to a rag and wipe it even across the entire bar, giving the bar a nice even coat. You may choose to use a soft bristled brush to get the oil into the knurling. This oil coating will help protect the bar from being exposed to moisture. Leave the oil on the bar overnight to give it a chance to soak in. The next day, wipe the bar with a dry rag to remove the excess oil. Be careful not to get WD-40 inside the collars. The WD-40 will displace the grease leaving your bearings and bushings un-lubricated.

You should not need to do much to maintain the sleeves on a newer bar. If you find that your sleeve is not rotating properly you can try to lubricate them with a drop of 3 in 1 oil in the hole of the end cap, and where the collar meets the bar. Let this oil drip down into the sleeve, and wipe up any excess that may drip out. Again, be sure you are not using WD-40 inside the sleeves as this will strip the grease from the bearings / bushings.

Do not forget your dumbbell handles. Dumbbells are really just a barbell with a short handle, and no rotating parts. You want to protect and care for these in the same manner you would a barbell. Clean the knurling with a stiff nylon brush, and coat the dumbbell handle in oil to help protect it from rust. After letting the oil set overnight, wipe off with a clean, dry rag.

Be sure that you are otherwise taking good care of your bar. Remember to remove the weights from the bar when you are done. Storing weights on hanging bars can cause the bar to bend over time. You do not want to let the barbell slam down on the ground after you've removed weights. Letting the empty barbell slam to the ground may damage your bearings / bushings. Prior to using your bar be sure to check your workout area for any sharp edges that might damage your bar. Finally remember to use collars at all times to prevent plate movement on the bars.

You'll want to clean / oil your bars at least once a month, more often if you live in a more humid climate. Be sure to inspect your bars daily, especially if you are in a commercial location where the bars are used often. If you use chalk you'll want to be sure to clean it off daily. Also be sure to check your bars for rust and properly spinning or loose sleeves frequently. It does not take a great deal of time to properly care for and maintain your barbells and dumbbell handles. A few minutes of your time will help to protect your investment and help your barbells to last a lifetime.

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5 Pieces of Fitness Equipment You Never Knew You Had

Everything you need to tone your trouble areas and get fit is right in front of your eyes. You do not need a gym membership and you definitely do not need costly fitness equipment. It just takes a bit of imagination to transform everyday items into body sculpting tools.

1. Hard wood floors and socks: When it comes to home Desor hardwood floors are really in style, but stand on them while wearing a pair of socks and you've unknowingly created a brand new piece of fitness equipment that takes your workout to a whole new level. The hardwood floor under your socks creates a slippery surface that engages more muscles as you try to control your movements. The constant contact with the floor as you glide back to starting position targets your inner thighs and the core in ways a standard fitness routine will never do. Side lunges and scissor plank are two great examples:

Side gliding lunges:

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Keep your hands in front of your chest to help you stay balanced.

Put your weight into your left leg.

As you slowly bend your left knee and squat down slide your right foot out to the side.

As you straighten your left leg, slide the right foot back in. Your right foot is in constant contact with the floor. Focus on bringing your leg back in with your inner thigh.

Complete three sets of 15 reps on each side.

Scissor plank :

Begin in a full plank position with your hands under shoulders and arms straight.

Slide your feet apart, opening legs as wide as possible without sinking your lower back. Squeeze your inner thighs as you glide your feet back together. Complete three sets of 15 reps.

2. Your couch: This multipurpose piece of furniture is not just for lying around. Not only does it serve as a great piece of fitness equipment for all exercise levels and for total body fitness routines, its various elevations (couch cushion versus arm rest) allow you to target different portions of your muscle that you may find harder to tone. Elevating your legs on the couch cushion while performing a push up makes this upper body exercise advanced. It targets the top part of your chest, while simultaneously sculpting your shoulders and your arms. Beginners practice perfect form while standing over the arm rest and leaving in to the push up. Standing allows you to control the amount of bodyweight you're pushing and gives you the benefits of defined arms and chest.

3. Your groceries: Whether it's once a week or once a month, every bit of exercise helps. Groceries are a great arm toning activity. If you do not want to cause attention to yourself do not move. Hold a grocery bag in each arm at 90 degree angles and keep them there for as long as possible. This exercise is known as an isometric hold. The longer you stay in place, the more muscle fibers you recruit and the more fibers you recruit, the nicer your arms will look. It's that simple.

4. Your body: your body is the only all in one cardio and resistance training tool you own. In fact, some would say store-bought fitness equipment is a thing of the past as newer and more creative body movements cut the boredom of exercise. The burpee is a great example of a full body toning and cardio exercise:

Burpee:

Place your feet width width apart. Lower your body into a squatting position as you place your hands on the floor in front of you.

Step your feet back so that you are in push-up position. For added intensity jump back.

Bend your elbows and lower your chest into a push up.

Step your feet into their original position. Stand up, and then jump into the air.

5. The stairs: Stairs are the best butt elevating piece of fitness equipment you will ever own. The main muscle in your bum, the Gluteus Maximus, works at straightening out your hip. Every time your hip is flexed, your Gluteus Maximus has to work at straightening your leg out. That is why stair stepping is so effective. The higher the step the greater the hip flexion and the more your butt works.

It does not end there. Stand upright at the end of the movement and place all of your weight on the leg that you push up. This works another butt muscle called the Gluteus Medius. This muscle tones the side of your butt as it flexes to keep your hips in alignment.

It does not stop here. Almost anything can become your brand new piece of fitness equipment, adding fun and innovation to any fitness routine.

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Potential Benefits Of Warm Water Immersion

History is the mouthpiece of how our civilization has evolved, developed and prospered around water. Ages back people have used water as a healing agent to cure several injuries. In accordance with the same trend, using a beachcomber (hot tub) for resolving health issues has been a recently surfaced fad. Given to the anxious and accelerating lifestyle of modern times a tendency to splurge over restoring peace in life has been on the cards. From among the numerous benefits warm water has over our health a few are discussed below.

The times then and now: a Quick Comparison

To get rid of hypertension, a hot water immersion evokes positive changes in our body. Keeping the point scientifically, a study has revealed that when our body is immersed in water it stimulates radical alterations. In order to match up with the level of surrounding heated water, our body adjusts to its pressure. The consequent result is greater cardiac output and moderate pulse rate, lower down the anxiety level and uplifting mood through secretion of endorphins.

Earlier, herbal bath has been in the trend to detoxify our body and cure the ailing. Today the same process has evolved encircling technological advances. Hot steam bath has following benefits:

• Bolsters circulation of blood and lowers down hypertension
• Deliverance from common aches:
– Menstrual cramps
– Arthritis
– Hemorrhoids
– Inflammation
– Muscles stretch and spasms
• Cures sleeping disorder
• Hydrotherapy nurtures our body holistically

Few bathing essentials: a Therapeutic Revival

In order to complete your rejuvenating experience it is important to take note of certain accessories.

1. To calm and relax down your entire nervous system and olfactory effects, Aromatherapy (essential oils) are impactful. They calm the mind and enhance the therapeutic benefit of a bath. The process involves adding, 15 drops of eucalyptus. It combats common cold or sinus problems. There are also some great essential oils blends that can be added to bathwater to help your individual needs.

2. Adding bath salts to the bathwater triggers healing for any skin condition especially sensitive skin that is prone to infection and blisters.

3. Adding herbs and essential oils can be a soothe tension as it permeates inside promoting healthy circulation of essences. From a wide selection of herbs, rosemary and milk thistle make a great herbal detoxifying bath. On the other hand, Roman chamomile and lavender are apt for relaxation and mental vigor. The process involves soaking herbs in a little pouch for approximately 30 minutes.

4. Mud bath is also ideal for detoxification and skin soothing. Giving herbal and salt bath preference, mud bath can be a good alternative to detoxify toxins. Red mud or clay, often called as 'Fuller's Earth'. Soak in the water for 30 minutes and let its essence dissolve in the water.

We can conclude that Hot Water immersion is effective exercise equipment as it not only soothes our entire nervous system but also helps in fighting back cardio-vascular issues. It stimulates coping responses like our heart stroke volume increases letting us breathe faster to oxygenate the higher blood

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Fitness At Your Finger Tips – Calorie Counting App

Technology is continuously growing and evolving. A symbol of progress, it offers many benefits and effects almost all aspects of our lives. On the other hand, an increased dependence on technology may have a negative impact on personal interactions and physical activity. Lifestyles are becoming increasingly sedentary; we have to make a conscious effort to stay active and healthy. Take charge of your health and explore all the handy and inexpensive tools that technology has to offer. There are vendors that offer free calorie counting apps which are supported with online diet recommendations and free fitness tips. Mobile apps give you the ability to stay on track with your health and fitness goals even when you do not have access to a computer. Whether you are on a weight loss program or watching your protein take for building muscle mass, reliable calorie counting mobile apps help you keep track of calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat intake. Apps that track food and drink consumption can also be used to manage diabetes; blood sugar levels can be controlled with an appropriate carbohydrate intake that meets insulin schedule and dosage.

A balanced diet and regular physical activity are the winning combination for good health. Fitness tracking apps allow you to track daily physical activity and the calories burned. Weight loss occurs when calories burned exceeded calories consumed. Knowing the number of daily calories consumed and burnt helps you achieve weight management goals. Comprehensive fitness databases include all types of physical activity such as cardiovascular exercises, resistance training, hobbies, sports, household chores and occupational activity. Reliable websites by qualified professionals offer the best exercise videos that include detailed instructions and the best fitness tips from certified fitness instructors or physical therapists. Free fitness videos that suit diverse interests or fitness levels like yoga and weight training are easily accessible on the internet.

Specialized websites and mobile apps offer advanced support for ethnic diets; examples include Indian cuisine nutrition information, Indian diet tips, personalized meal plans, and recommendations from a dietitian. Furthermore, users can enter recipes using a mobile app or website and have its nutrition values ​​calculated. Some mobile apps also offer the convenience of shopping lists; users can create grocery lists based on recipe ingredients. Tracking of body measurements like weight and body mass index may also be supported. Health and fitness apps are commonly available for Apple and Android mobile phones and tablets.

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The Best Fitness Tracker

Fitness is important, but it is more important to track your fitness, especially when you are working with set goals. Tracking makes it possible for you to know whether you are making the right progress or whether you need to make improvements to your workouts to make it easier to reach the fitness goals that you have set. Fitness bands are amazing trackers that can come in handy for anyone. However, the Garmin Vivofit band can be considered to be the best fitness tracker of all. The band is simply designed for that perfect and comfortable fit in that it can be worn all day and still remain comfortable for the wrist. The band is water resistant to withstand sweat and it can be worn even for the toughest workouts possible.

The Main Features

The features of any product are what make it what it is and worth the value that it is. The same is the truth for this fitness band. It has amazing features that make it stand out from the rest of the fitness bands that are available in the market.

The move bar : This is an interesting feature which keeps you in the know of just how active you have been through the day. On sensing that you have not been moving enough, a red bar appears on the band. You will see the bar in case you have been inactive for an hour hour. It is part of the programming on this band that makes it the best fitness tracker.

The battery : Most fitness bands in the market need to be charged every day. The Garmin, however has a long life battery that can go for a whole year without needing any charging. Some users may need to charge the band every month but this is still a long enough time compared to the daily charging requirements of other bands. You get the chance to concentrate more on your fitness than the band which is really nice.

Monitoring function : Including monitoring your workouts every day, this band also has a monitoring function that can help you see how much sleep you get every night. Sleep is very important when keeping fit since a lack in enough sleep can lead to breakdown and exhaustion. This can make it harder to keep up with any fitness goals that you have. With this function, you will make improvements as soon as you see a need to, which will be good for your goals and health in general.

Stats trackers : They are also found in other fitness bands and they help in charting calories burned every single day and the metabolic burning rate. It is definitely one of the most important features of any fitness tracker. The charts help you know how close you are getting to the goals you have set.

Other features that make the band the best fitness tracker include being lightweight, Bluetooth connectivity and the pedometer function which can tell you how many steps you take every day and there before how active you are.

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Essential Home Gym Equipments

It might not be too much appropriate to make a list of essential home gym equipments, but it is certainly helpful to give a list of the essential features to watch out for when you step into a gym equipment store to purchase your home exercise equipment.

One important feature to consider is the versatility of the tools. It is advised that buyers try to find home fitness equipments that allows them work out their arms, legs, abs, and thighs. These mufti-utilization pieces allow users to work out on several gym equipments and on several parts of the body. This saves money and brings more fun.

Good home gym equipment should have some steel or aluminum frame. This is essential in order to give strength to the home gym equipment and to also durability as you do not want to think of replacing your equipments few months after the initial purchase. You might want to look out for some guarantee on the equipment when making the purchase.

The following is a list of items needed to make your collection of home exercise equipments classy and effective. They come in no particular order and are only a form of recommendation.

Cardiovascular Training Gear – these tools support weight loss, muscle toning and overall body conditioning. Electric treadmill, rowing machine, and a jump rope are some examples of equipment that fall under this category.

Muscle Strengthening Apparatus – the name says it all. These equipments help build the muscles and help keep the body fit for daily tasks. Some of the equipments here include Dumbbells and resistance bands.

Equipments to aid Muscle Flexibility – Pilates machine, stretch machine, and slant boards are examples of machines one can get under this category. They help reduce the risk of sustaining injuries and allow you use other gym equipments more easily.

Balance Apparatus – These types of equipments include disc pillows, balance dome, and wobble boards. They help improve one's balance and future.

Those are the essentials features you need to watch out for when making your purchase of your home gym equipments. The listed equipments are just some of the many home exercise equipments you can purchase to get yourself armed with great fitness tools. Remember before making any purchase, make sure the equipments are of good quality, test it, and inspect it, prioritize your purchase, and try to consider others that might be interested in using your facility, after all, there is love in sharing.

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Learn How to Remain Efficiently Mobile While Using Crutches

An injury that requires a person to use crutches normally is a result of some type of bone fraction at some point in the leg, foot, ankle or toe. That fractured portion of the leg is reset to the normal position by a orthopedic surgeon. Some injuries require the bone to be reset multiple times due to the structure heals improperly. After surgery, the area where the bone was inured will be wrapped in a cast and allowed to harden.

The cast helps to immobilize the leg from moving so that the reset bone heals properly. The average amount of time it takes for the bone to heal may take between sixteen to eighteen weeks. This time varies and may be extended because of several factors or interruptions in the healing process including: existing health of the patient, nutrition levels in the body, pre-existing diseases like diabetes and frequency of activity of the surgery site. While the bone is healing, it also takes approximately twelve to eighteen months for the bone to remodel into a stronger bone.

The crutches help to assist these patients in moving around while keeping the fractured bone immobile. Many patients consider walking on crutches a hassle because they do not have a free hand to hold other items. They may need the assistance of another person to carry their books, food, paperwork, laptops and other items if both hands are operating the crutches. To help these patients become more efficient, crutch bags help to aide in the process of the patient becoming more independent.

The crutch bags are designed to attach onto a crutch easily. The bag has several deep pockets that may hold important items the patient carries around and utilizes through the day. All of their personal items can be easily destined in the bags without having to burden another person to bring the item to them or follow them around until they get to their next destination. The bag may be attached at the underarm or handgrip. It comes in many colors to match the personality of the patient as well as their outfit of the day.

The pockets of the bag allow the patient to reach all of the components easily and without overly stretching to dig around to finally locate what he is looking for. The size of the top pocket is ideal for holding eyeglasses, remote controls, medicine, sanitary items, small notebooks, phones, books and water bottles. The bottom pocket can hold car keys for easy accessibility, garage door openings, identification, credit cards and cash. All of the bags are also durable so that they may be washed in a washing machine. The bags are also adjustable to be a “one size fits all” capacity so that it may be used with: children, toddler, adult and geriatric crutches support apparatuses. The bags are also easily interchangeable among walkers, wheel chairs and hospital beds.

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Nordictrack Elliptical ACT Review – Still A Good Buy For 2014?

The Nordictrack Elliptical ACT trainer was something completely different when it was first introduced to the home market over 3 years ago.

It was a center drive elliptical – which means that instead of a large flywheel in front or back of the pedals, there were 2 smaller flywheels on either side. This made the machine much more compact – and also made it look more like a commercial gym machine.

Since then, the ACT has been updated with tweaks here and there every year or so.

Is it still a good buy for you? Here's a review of the pros and cons of this popular elliptical trainer to help you decide:

Pros of the Nordictrack Elliptical ACT:

# 1 Center Drive Design Feels More Natural

Because of this design, you tend to stand more upright on the footpedals as you “run”. The footpedals are also a bit closer together than on a front or rear drive machine.

These 2 factors make for a more natural feel – and an overall more comfortable workout. Some people also feel that because you're more upright and not leaving on the handrails as much, you're also burning more calories.

# 2 More Compact Design

The ACT is a very compact elliptical – in fact it is Nordictrack's most compact machine. With a footprint of only 51 “long by 34.5” wide, it's perfect for smaller home gyms, condos or apartments.

# 3 iFit LIVE

This is something you do not find on other brands. The ACT comes with iFit LIVE compatibility. iFit LIVE connects your elliptical to the internet. From there you can download new workouts from Jillian Michaels where she coaches you through your workout.

You can also map out new trails to run using Googlemaps and even track your workouts over time to see how far you've come. You do not need iFit to use this trainer, but it's a great tool if you want to try it for added motivation.

# 4 Adjustable Stride

The ACT has an easily adjustable stride setting. You can choose from 18, 20 or 22 inch strides. Stride is the farthest distance between the pedals – and is largely based on your height.

The adjustable stirde makes this a great option for multi-user households as everyone can choose the stride the feet most comfortable for them.

# 5 iPod Dock

Although this is getting fairly common, it's still a great feature that will make your workouts a lot more fun. You can plug in your iPod and listen to your favorite tunes through the console speakers.

So those are the pros – what about the cons?

Well, there are a few you should be aware of before you buy:

# 1 No Incline Option

Because of the limits of the center drive design, there is no option for incline. You do not need incline to get a good workout – but many people do like it.

# 2 Dual Color Console

The console is bright and easy to read – but unlike the higher end ACT 7 or 10 models which come with multi-color consoles – the ACT console is smaller and dual color only. This means you do lose a bit with the iFit programs and the maps function.

So that's a quick rundown of what you should know about the Nordictrack Elliptical ACT. Is it a good buy for you?

While it does not have some of the bells and whistles of higher end machines, if you're looking for a more compact elliptical with a natural feel and lots of entertaining options – for under $ 1000, it's definitely worth considering.

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Healthy Diet And Fitness Tips For Women

Women have a major influence on the overall health of all the members in a family. This is true whether the woman works inside or outside the home. In most households, women are the key decision makers when it comes to planning meals. They are usually the ones preparing food at home and planning grocery shopping lists. In general, women also tend to be more health conscious and care for other family members. Mothers can help get their children off to a healthy start by teaching healthy food and fitness habits at a very young age. Providing health and fitness tips to women helps the entire family.

A preventive strategy can help delay or reduce long term medical expenses associated with chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. Most homes have a television, computer, or video game system which promotes a sedentary lifestyle. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and weight management are critical for heart disease prevention. Getting regular exercise has become an organized activity even for children. A busy lifestyle also means that we need to plan and schedule time for daily exercise whenever it is walking, yoga, jogging, or weight training at the gym. Yes, weight training does not always mean big muscles; This is a common concern among women. Weight training helps tone the body, strengnthes bones and boosts metabolism. Free fitness tips and instructional videos on weight training and yoga are available online to help educate the public. Online fitness trackers can calculate the calories you burn with different physical activities, a helpful tool if you are on a weight loss program.

Women can set an example for the entire family by eating healthy and exercising regularly. Fad diets that focus on single foods or nutrients are not healthy and result in short term weight loss. Most people regain the weight when they ever revert to old eating habits. A healthy diet for women is well-balanced and rich in nutrients. It not only supports weight management but also includes nutrients for unique needs such as pregnancy, breastfeeding feeding, bone health, and anemia (related to menstrual issues). Nutrition and diet are among the most frequently searched for topics on the internet. Use common sense and good judgment, check your online sources of information. Follow diet tips for weight loss offered by qualified professionals like registered dietitians and doctors. Beware of miraculous weight loss potions, pills and powders; remember that it takes time to gain weight and even more to lose it.

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A Helpful Guide To Treadmill Buying And Features

Purchasing any exercise machine is a cost investment, and treadmills are no different. Since some of the best machines can set you back several hundred dollars it's important to consider all the aspects and make an informed choice.

Read on for the complete treadmill buying guide and to learn about the most important features to consider when making a purchase decision.

Your Budget

The first and probably the most important consideration is to decide how much you want to spend. Treadmill models range in price from as little as $ 299 to over $ 2000. But, it's also important to realize that when it comes to exercise machines for the home you get what you pay for. The cheaper models will not offer as many features or the quality of craftsmanship as the more expensive models.

But, you have to stick to a budget, and so determine what that is and then only look for models that fall within that range, otherwise you will tease yourself with those that are out of reach.

Consider the Size

The next important consideration is to measure the space in your home where you plan to keep the treadmill. For those that live in an apartment this is a most important concern.

Treadmills are offered in a wide range of sizes, both width and length, so make sure that you only shop models that can fit comfortably in your home where you want to keep it on a permanent basis.

Keep in mind that you can purchase more portable models that fold for easier storage, like the LifeSpan TR 1200i Folding Treadmill, this might be a better fit for your home than buying a larger model that has to remain stationary at all times.

Consider Your Body Size

For those who are tall, over 6 feet it's best to get a robust machine that's belt will accommodate longer leg strides.

Also, consider the maximum weight limit as specified by each model to make sure the machine can accommodate your weight.

For those who weigh more than 220 pounds it's best to invest in a machine that comes with a stronger belt and a larger motor.

Motor

The most recommended motor for any machine you purchase is a 2.5 HP continuous duty motor. This type of motor deliveries power relative to its operating speed, because of this, a larger motor is less likely to overheat.

Another important consideration for the motor is to make sure the model comes with at least a 10 year warranty on the motor itself, this indicates its quality and the faith that the manufacturer has in it.

Incline Options

One of the greatest benefits of treadmills is their ability to simulate outdoor running and walking without the need to ever step outside.

Adjustable incline features is an important consideration because they can vary workouts, and they enable users to increase the difficulty levels of their workouts as their fitness levels grow, which, make the machine a much better investment as it can be used for years without the need of a replacement as you get more fit.

Also, a wide variety of degrees in incline settings allows more than one person in the family to use the machine as qualified for their fitness level.

The optimal incline max range to look for is at least 10 °. This range will enable you to have a wide range of programming options.

Speed ​​Options

There is a wide variety of speed options available on various models, with some higher end models offering as much as 15mph, although this is very fast and most average users can be satisfied with a maximum of 10 to 12 mph.

A more important spec to look at is the option to vary the speed with a variety of load conditions, which, can be adjusted by the slope. This provides a lot of variety to workouts and the added benefit of interval training.

The Belt

The belt is one of the most important features of the treadmill, and should be made of polyurethane and nylon-polyester weave.

Also consider its width and length, as these are important to sustain stride and speed increases. The least measures to consider are 20 “wide and at least 60” long.

Treadmills that have too short or too narrow belts will feel too restrictive for running and jogging.

You may be thinking that you only intend to walk, but, remember with regular exercise you are building endurance and your fitness levels will increase and at some point you just might find yourself running!

Frame

A sturdy frame will be made from steel or alloy. This is important to provide a sturdy workout base, and those made with steel are much more resilient and also cheaper than cheaper made models.

Display Console

Consoles are important because this is the main control station where you can view stats and tracking, set speds, inclines and much more.

Today's treadmills offer such a wide range of features on the digital console that it's important to check them and decide which you want, need and will use. Keep in mind, that these features make a difference in the price.

Make sure the treadmill offers a display that is easy to read, access and control before and during the workout.

Preprogrammed Workout Features

One of the best features of treadmills is the ability to pre-program fitness goals and the machine will load a specific workout for those goals, such as, target heart rate.

Also, some treadmill models will determine your optimal heart-rate by inputting your weight and age, it then adjusts to the proper incline so that you get a workout that reaches your target heart zone automatically.

Some of the more expensive machines offer nature imagery that provide a visually stunning display in-line with your workout, for example, beautiful hill scenery when you are running in an incline. They also offer different scenes so that you will not get bored with the same visuals.

More expensive models, like the NordicTrack Commercial 2450 have built in “real life places” and scenery that you follow on the console as you walk or run to eliminate boredom and make working out really fun.

Some even offer an attached HDTV so that you can watch your favorite shows, the morning news or anything you want while working out.

Tracking Features

Tracking features are plentiful, and range from model to model. Some important ones to consider are speed, distance, heart rate, calories and carbs burned.

Cushioning System For Runners

Those who intend to run on their treadmill should look into one that offers a cushioning system to reduce impact on joints and knees.

Best Treadmill Brands

Luckily, there is a lot of choice on the market in treadmill models and brands. So, you have much more of a chance of getting the right machine for the right price. Here is a list of the best and more reputable brands of treadmills:

ProForm

LifeSpan

Smooth Fitness

Horizon Fitness

NordicTrack

Bowflex

Schwinn

Sole

Nautilus

HealthRide

5 Top Rated Treadmills On Amazon

1. Horizon Fitness T101-04

2. LifeSpan Fitness TR3000i Folding Treadmill

3. LifeSpan Fitness TR 1200i Folding Treadmill

4. Proform 505CST

5. Schwinn 860

Final Thoughts

One of the best ways to shop for treadmills is to look at customer reviews, such as, the many that are available on Amazon.

This is a great way to ensure that you are getting a reliable machine, and many reviewers on Amazon write very detailed and comprehensive reviews.

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All About Electrical Muscle Stimulation

The benefits or harps of Electrical Muscle Stimulators (EMS) have been under the scanner for years now and contradictory reports have been published in this regard. While some call it the elixir for supernatural strength, others term it as unnatural and harmful. What these stimulators do is that they replicate the production of electric current inside body through a device which is attached to the electrodes in contact with our skin. This electric current, stimulates the muscles in the applied area to contract and theby strengthening them. However, it is no substitute for exercising andought to be used for injury recovery purposes. Some of the common benefits and arms that come hand in hand with the use of Electrical Muscle Stimulators are as follows:

Benefits

Aids Athletes : High profile coaches have been known to use these stimulators for training the players at various levels. The stimulation helps them to enhance their peak performances in around a fortnight's time and also ensures faster recovery from injuries. Not only is it used for rehabilitation but is increasingly being used in training of runners, football players, body builders and other strenuous athletes.

Faster Recovery : Even a small injury can easily jeopardize the career of a sportsperson and Electrical Muscle Stimulation aids the injured players to recover faster and retain a fitter physique. The results achieved with EMS's are such that the player is able to return to the field with a strengthened body despite being in rehabilitation. Damage to bones, ligaments, tendon etc. are very soothed by these.

Harms

Faux Machines : Since it is a latest technological advancement, the market is thronging with machines which use the basic EMS formula for weight loss and calorie burning. Although calories are burnt through their use yet it is not as systematic as a traditional exercise routine would be. One should not be tempted to use EMS as weight reducing tactics while sitting on a sofa and relaxing. It has to be completed with other forms of physical training.

Others : If not used under proper guidance, the stimulator can also lead to muscle tear if it has been turned too high for one's endurance. The electric current and adhesive on electrodes can also result in skin allergies and irritation. Since the stimulator works on electric current generation, it may interfere with other implanted electrical medical devices. For such users should always consult their doctors before resorting to use EMS. If any of the so far stated cons occurs, one should seek professional help at earnest.

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Home Gym Vs Going To The Gym: What’s Best?

Home Gym

Advantages:

1. Convenience

A big advantage to having a home gym instead of going to the gym is convenience. This means you can train when you want, 24-7 for as long as you want with no time regulations at all. Also your gym is right at your door. So instead of having to get in your car and go to your local gym, you do not have to move anywhere.

2. Hygiene

Another great advantage to having a home gym is hygiene. This means you're the only one using the gym (except you invite others other or your other half or friends use it) meaning it's up to you how clean and sanitary it stays. Obviously keeping it clean would be the best idea! But this means you can use your gym equipment without having to worry if a smelly, sweaty man has used it before you!

3. Expense

A controversial point is price which could be a defiant benefit in the long run. Instead of having to pay a large monthly sum for a gym membership you can invest some money in some home gym equipment and then that be the end of it. And what determines how beneficial it is to do is how often you use your home gym equipment and how you make the most off it. However I see getting a home gym as an advantage because if you ever stop using it, then you could easily sell it in the ever-growing gym equipment market for a decent amount of money-getting most of your original investment back.

Disadvantages:

1. Motivation

A point which is made often is the fact training at home can cause a lack of motivation because you're not around and in the gym banter and atmosphere. Some people may find this gives them a lack of motivation however, some may find it gives them more motivation as they stay focused in their own atmosphere. Whatever ticks your box I guess!

2. Social Aspect

This links in with motivation but some people go to the gym purely to meet new people and to find new friends. By having a home gym you do not gain that benefit. However if this is your single most priority when going to the gym you need to question your priorities as this can get in the way why you are in the gym in the first place.

3. Distractions

One which I think is the largest problem is distractions. As you are at home you are able to keep wondering to the kitchen to get some food and other bits and bobs. Yeah you get the idea. However if you really are motivated to achieve your goals this should not be as issue.

Gym Members:

Advantages:

1. Motivation

Motivation is a great advantage due to the atmosphere of other people in similar situations. It can be a great boost of adrenaline.

2. Range of weight training equipment

Depending on what gym you go to, there is typically a wide array of gym equipment available at your disposal to use. Other gyms sometimes have a swimming pool as well which comes with the gym membership. However having said that the more equipment and facilities available to use, the more expensive the gym membership will be!

3. Expense

Some people may find instead of paying possibly up to $ 1000 for gym equipment you might as well pay annually for the full use of a gym membership with a range of better facilities. It's really up to you which you prefer.

Disadvantages:

1. Expense

Gym memberships are very expensive in general. But the better the gym is, then the more expensive it will be. Also most gym memberships last around a year which you have to renew every year. So while you may not go to the gym all the time or you may fall ill or busy, you still pay for the gym.

2. Gym Rats

Yes gym rats. They are the worst kind to meet. Hog all the equipment, Stink out the changing rooms, Sweat all over the machines. They really are my worst nightmare and for that reason alone I prefer the peace off having my own home gym!

3. Lack of Freedom

This links in with gym rats. If your gym is popular then most likely most of the machines will be in use. So being able to get a good workout while having to wait for machines to be free, and then while using them feeling pressured to get off by other men starring at you wanting a turn? No thank you.

Conclusion

To conclude in my opinion I say getting a home gym wins every day. You basically have the freedom to do whatever you want, when and how you want and all at a fraction of the price of getting a gym membership. But that depends what home gym you get!

Home Gym Recommendations

1-100 $ – Lifeline Jungle Gym XT

$ 100-500 Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym

500-1000 $ – Bowflex Blaze Home Gym

1000-2000 $ – Bowflex PR3000 Home Gym

2000 $ + – Body Craft Xpress Pro Home Gym

Here are my recommendations for getting the right home gym for the right price!

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