The Rowing Machine – Are You Overlooking Its Fitness Potential?

The rowing machine, better known as an ergometer, is often neglected as a potential fitness equipment. You will find proof of it at the gym. While you wait your turn at the treadmill, the rowing machine sits in the corner waiting to be used. Let's accept the fact. The sight of it is not very inviting. It looks tough and strenuous.

But, did you know that the rowing machine could have your secret weapon to fitness? Still not convinced?

Well then, here are 5 reasons to take it seriously.

What is a rowing machine?

The rowing machine is an exercise equipment that mimics the action of rowing a boat. As far as the structure is concerned, it has a long frame fitted with a braked fly wheel at the front. It is the flywheel which offers resistance in the form of air, water or magnets. There is a handle affixed to the flywheel by means of a strap, chain or rope. The sliding seat creates the right sitting angle. The foot pads hold the feet in place and reduce the strain on knees and ankles. The control panel on the front measures the calories burned, distance, speed and power.

What are the benefits of a rowing machine?

1. Calorie Buster

If you are looking to trim your figure by shedding a few pounds, the rowing exercise is what you need to pay attention to. A woman weighing 130 pounds can burn 500 calories in an hour on an average. It is more than what you can burn on an elliptical bike.

2. Muscle toning

The machine engages major muscle groups in the upper and lower body allowing for a full body workout. It works the arms, shoulders, the back, the core (six pack abs anyone?) And the legs (quads, calves and glutes). The exercise strengthens the muscles groups. By increasing resistance further, you can work towards building and toning muscle.

3. Increase stamina

As you push your body to achieve more by increasing resistance, you build endurance. This is because the body makes physiologic adaptations making it easier to perform the same exercises at a higher level in future. This way your exercise produces better results.

4. Strengthen cardiovascular function

It provides you with a serious cardio workout. An exercise session on a rowing machine elevates your heart rate and gets your lungs pumping, increasing the oxygen uptake. Thus, you work on building cardiovascular fitness. To add, it burns carbohydrates to fuel the activity. You can adjust the resistance level enabling you to reach the target heart rate at the same time keeping you within a safe limit. Some also feature a chest strap to monitor your heart rate.

5. Low impact

Adding a rowing machine to your exercise routine is particularly beneficial for older individuals as it is a low-impact activity. It does not put too much strain on the frail joints and back.

To make sure you get the best benefits from the rowing machine , use the correct sitting and exercising posture. A wrong posture in any exercise increases the risk of injury. If you plan to buy one for your home, consider foldable designs are they space-saving and hence more practical.

So, a rowing machine is not only for off-season rowers. You can use one for your overall fitness too!

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Fitbit Surge Fitness Superwatch Review

One of the fastest growing markets in health and fitness right now are fitness watches. The newest era of wearable technology brings in some very impressive fitness gadgets, and the Fitbit Surge is at the top of its category. In this article an experienced Surge wearer will give the down low on this fitness superwatch.

Features

The Fitbit Surge has capabilities such as GPS tracking, continuous wrist heart rate monitoring, workout tracking, and sleep monitoring, all packed into the functional and sleek watch design.

How it Stands Out

The Surge stands out for multiple reasons. The heart rate monitor is one of the first of its kind to offer constant, and very accurate heart rate monitoring without the use of any separate chest strap. The surge also boasts a very accurate and useful daily step, calorie, elevation, and distance calculator.

A stand out feature for the Surge is its multi sport capability to track the users exercise metrics during numerous types of activity, such as hiking, biking, running, rowing, weightlifting, yoga, and many more. The battery lasts several days to a week depending on how often the users tracks their workouts and the overall design itself is sleek and fashionable for fitness enthusiasts.

What Needs Improvement

The main issue that arises with long term use of the Fitbit Surge is skin irritation from repeated wear. The Surge band requires washing at least every other day in order to ensure that bacterium does not build up on the band. This is a general issue across many other types of fitness bands and watches, and is easily mitigated by washing the band each time you take it off.

Why You Should Get One of Your Own

The Surge is a magnificent piece of wearable technology that really will inspire its wearer to exercise and track their progress. It makes tracking your workout and daily lifestyle easy enough, so any person can make the right kind of changes with their life in order to live healthier. As an added bonus, with the Fitbit app integration, users can add other friends who wear Fitbit technologies and enter weekly and daily fitness challenges which boosts morale through friendly competition. You can challenge friends during individual workouts, daily challenges, or even week long challenges. Quite the Fitbit is a great way to encourage yourself to workout and live a fit life, while enjoying it and being much more educated than you would be otherwise.

Overall, the Fitbit Surge is a fitness product ahead of any other in its category, and well worth the money for any person who cares about fitness in their life. It does not take a fitness fanatic to optimize what this watch can do, it was built for everyone.

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The Perfect Fit for Getting Fit

Imagine a (not-so imaginative) world where the goals of getting more people to workout AND more people to spend time enjoying the outdoors could both be reached with one solution. Now imagine if this ONE solution also created healthy citizens in your community. Instead of trying to get more people to join your local health clubs, what if you bought outdoor fitness equipment to your parks or walking trails and let your citizens use them for free? This will help increase the opportunity for the public to use recreational and fitness facilities at no cost.

When actively taking part in the initiative to create a happier and healthy community and park system, it's important to choose equipment that offers various exercises in order to give users a strong, balanced workout. Today's outdoor fitness equipment offers people the same fitness benefits as indoor facilities – at their own pace, on their own schedule and with no membership fees. Since the majority of users are of the 90% who do not belong to a gym, the equipment caters to those who typically do not have the time or financial means. It is not meant to take the place of indoor equipment and training centers. It is, however, designed to focus on general flexibility, cardio and muscle strengthening. It is second nature to see colorful playgrounds, picnic tables and park benches in public spaces, outdoor fitness equipment purely provides another site amenity option.

The Science Behind It

In addition to the traditional health benefits, placing fitness equipment in the outdoors also offers nutritional and health benefits as well. Sunshine and fresh air can help with osteoporosis and vitamin D deficiencies. Mental health studies prove that simply being outdoors can also help lower tension and depression levels, with even more studies showing improvement in moods and general well being. Specific studies done on the benefits of exercising outside suggest that the change of scenery can help long workouts and alleviate the tedious activities involved.

Indoor and Outdoor Working Together

The question of “why” is asked by many when beginning to consider placing outdoor fitness equipment in their community. While, at first glance, indoor gyms and outdoor fitness areas may appear to disagree with each other, they can actually work together nicely if placed appropriately. It is important to note that the people using outdoor equipment are usually not the same people holding a membership to an indoor gym.

Despite many news stories and studies expressing the benefits of regular exercise, only about 10% of Americans actually use their local fitness centers. While reasons range from busy lifestyles to high membership fees, the largest hurdle to overflow is appearance and intimidation. The thought of working out next to someone who is more physically fit can have a huge impact on whether an individual takes the first steps to a healthier lifestyle. Outdoor fitness courses are designed to provide levels of challenge for older children and adults. The events can be laid out along a pathway or configured to fit your area. Sign packages explaining the various events and suggestions for physical programs and warm-up / cool-down routines are generally included and there is typically a choice of color options.

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The Advantages of Using a Rowing Machine

A rowing machine provides the exact same kind of workout its name suggests: it's just like a rowing boat, as one would with oars. Considering that, the fact that a rowing machine provides a low-impact cardiovascular workout, is not tough to infer.

At first sight, to the layman, a rowing machine is highly likely to appear just like any other equipment located in a gymnasium. One would assume its purpose would be to work any of the numerous muscles found in the human body. That's where the viewers are in for a surprise.

The benefits of a rowing machine provides more or less the epitome of a healthy lifestyle. For most people, it's a machine which aids them in losing weight, but it does in fact, much more than that.

Apart from possessing the advantage of not being highly pricey, it provides a workout for the whole body, and even strengthens the bones beyond the muscles. It tones one's muscles thoroughly and increases its user's stamina.

Naturally, it also efficiently burns up to 700 calories or more per hour of vigorous exercise, to give you a leaner figure with less unhealthy bulk. Since a large cardiovascular workout is promised, it keeps one's heart functioning healthyily, and decrees the chances of any potential heart trouble.

Additionally, it caters to a wide range of age groups, and fairly easy to use. Those with disabilities that limit the use of arms, legs and the core together, however, may want to reconsiders since the use of the rowing machine relishes overwhelmingly on one's ability to use all four limbs along with the core.

The rowing machine also allows the user's body to gain flexibility, and its use involves minimal risks of physical injury. Having described this, one of the very few drawbacks of using this machine includes the low risk of back injury.

Those recovering from joint injuries generally benefit from this machine and may choose to incorporate its use into their daily lifestyle to remain fit.

One other minor difficulty purchasers may initially face would be the method to assemble the rowing machine.

Because exercises are generally involved with lower levels of stress, working out the whole body with the regular use of just one machine is both rewarding physically as well as mentally, and is unquestionably monetarily feasible.

As facts stand, the customer generally has to view a variety of factors before nudging himself for a big transaction. Most of the factors being considered run the gamut from designs, cost, and warranties to the long-term durability of the machine.

Hence investing in a rowing machine for one's household is an undeniably favorable decision to make and should definitely be considered when one finds himself on the hunt for an exercise machine.

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For the CrossFitter: 10 Essential Gym Bag Items

I did not start off with a gym bag. I've never done anything athletic before CrossFit … in fact, I've never had a gym membership anywhere before I started CrossFit. So, if you're brand new to this, like I was, you may not think you need a gym bag at all. But you are wrong. CrossFit includes about 10 million different movements. And in any given workout, you might do two of those movements, or you might do ten or more. You may be required to jump or run, and switch immediately to lifting a heavy barbell, followed by a big set of pull-ups. All of those things not only require different muscle groups and motors, but it's a good idea to have the right equipment so you can move safely and efficiently through all of it. Which is not to say that you need to stop between each movement and re-adjust your entitlement get-up. But planning ahead can set you up for success, and that's why I'm here, Dear Reader … to help you succeed. Here are my top ten, best-loved and most-used, essential things every CrossFitter should have in their gym bag.

1. Shoes. OK, so this one you may walk in already wearing. I pack mine because I'm often coming from work. The right shoes are an absolute must. What do I mean by the right shoes? This is an excellent question, and I am so pleased that you asked. When I started my CrossFit journey, Inov8s were really popular. They're a minimalist running shoe, with a zero-drop sole. Merrell made a similar pair that were pretty good too … if you're interested in barefoot running, which, at the time was just garnering quite a lot of attention in the running / fitness world. Zero drop is actually really important for CrossFitters as well because it allows you to squat and lift with better contact with the ground. A typical running shoe has a lot of squishy cushion in the heel, and not only is it not helpful in Crossfit movements, it can really hinder the proper development of your squat. Luckily, CrossFitters have better options now, that are geared specifically towards CrossFit. Here are my top picks.

The CrossFit Nano 5.0, made by Reebok is an all-around winner. I also loved the Nano 4.0, as well as the 2.0. The 2.0 is still available for sale at reebok.com.

Nanos have a zero-drop sole, and the 5.0s are a little stiffer through the heel, again to better facilitate contact with the ground when lifting. I particularly like the 5.0 because it has a narrower toe box (I have long, narrow feet) than either the 4.0 or the 2.0. It's super grippy on the sides for rope climbs, and it just looks fantastic (Bonus!). Cost: $ 129.98 (more for customized options) from reebok.com, As far as an athletic shoe, this is a little on the pricey side, but for all-around useful-ness, this is a can't-do-without winner .

When the Metcons came out they're built up so much hype that they sold out immediately, and were back-ordered for months. I've never actually tried a pair, but from what I've heard they are not durable like the Nanos, especially when it comes to rope climbs. Otherwise, these have many of the same features as the Reebok Nanos in that they will allow you to squat more effectively in your WODs, as well as give appropriate support for running, and jumping movements. These go for $ 120 from nike.com. I think these are also a great looking shoe. Seriously, I get shoe envy every time I see a pair, but I'm a committed Nano girl … have been for years.

2. Tape Strips. If you do not keep a pair of ready-made strips in your bag, then at least keep a roll of sport tape so you can make up a pair in a pinch. You can pick it up at any pharmacy, or order it online (my personal favorite). It's available for $ 5.75 (on Prime) from amazon.com. There are so many things we do on the bar that can really wreck your hands. You're already in a CrossFit gym, there's no need to prove your toughness by shredding your hands. Note: there is a difference between sport tape and powerflex. If you use powerflex on your thumbs it will just hurt because it is not flexible enough, and conversely, powerflex would be a poor choice to protect hands because it's too sticky.

3. And while we're talking about hands, go ahead and throw a box of Blister Patches from Band-Aid in there. These are not something you will use in a work out (they will not stay on, although they DO stick much better than regular band-aids), so maybe they should not have made the essential list of gym bag items. However, they are like balm on poor ripped CrossFit hands. Imagine being able to put new skin right onto your tear … yep, that's exactly what these do. You'll have to replace them fairly often, but it's worth a little relief when your hands are torn and you still have to use them. I pick mine up at Walgreens for about $ 7 per box of 6.

4. Pre-wrap tape, or Powerflex. I also mentioned these in my hand-care post. I use this every day, to wrap wrists (when using false grip on muscle ups), thumbs (when you're using hookgrip on a barbell), or hot spots on my fingers. Definitely a high-use item. I use Powerflex and I order it from ithacasports.com in a box of 24 for $ 54.99 + shipping. I find the 2 “is most useful.

5. Headband. If you're of the male variety, you may think this just is not for you. But, guys, if sweat is running in your eyes, it burns the same way. I've seen lots of men wear headbands in the gym, especially if their hair is on the long side. Not only does a headband keep the sweat from your eyes, it keeps your hair out of the way, too. I'm picky about my headbands. It took me forever to find one that did not 1) slide right off my head, or 2) give me an immediate headache. I love the Fringe Fighter from Lululemon.com for $ 18. (please note that they are final sale). I think these Lucy headbands are very similar, at a similar price ($ 15), but I've never found a need to stray from my trusty Lulu. These headbands are wide enough to stay on my head.

6. Jump Rope. I do not push clients into getting their own jump rope if they do not yet have double unders locked in. But it's a great idea, I would say it's even necessary if you are serious about competing. Every gym is going to stock their own routes. But it can be a hassle to find the right length, and it can be frustrating when the one you find that is the right length is in poor condition, with kinks, or worn spots where the wire is exposed. You just do not always know what you're getting. And when you're struggling already with double unders, it can be like trying to hit a moving target. If you're still learning, I highly recommend looking into rxsmartgear.com. Their routes start at about $ 36, and once you have the handles, you can just replace the cable. Most people do not realize that when you're just trying to learn double unders, you'll benefit from a little bit heavy rope, which is designed to give you more feedback and therefore allow you to learn quicker. Translation: less whipping yourself, and more actually learning how to establish a good rhythm. You can switch out a lighter cable as you become more and more proficient. Once you're a double under master you can use their lightest rope, or find another speed rope that you like.

Once I became more proficient at double unders, I found I preferred a lighter, and smaller handle, and I switched to Again Faster. The one I've been using, which I've really liked, is no longer available, but it looks an awful lot like their Team Speed ​​Rope ($ 20) – they released the Competition Rope ($ 30) after I bought the one I ' m currently using. Again Faster also offers a Beginner Rope ($ 12), I like to keep a spare cable in my bag. For those rare “just in case” times.

7. Long Socks. There are certainly ways to minimize burn your skin right off on rope climbs. However, if I'm in a hurry (and when I'm on the clock, when am I NOT?) Pants help, but if I'm only wearing pants I usually burn the bare skin between the bottom of my pants and my shoe. Plus, my pants are way more expensive to replace than a pair of socks if I wear right through them.

8. Pre and Post. This could be snacks, or supplements. Whatever you like to use, keep it on hand.

9. Extra undies. Hey, I've had three kids, there's no need to be embarrassed about this one, and I'm not just speaking to the ladies, either. If you've ever leaked during double unders, or a heavy squat or sit-ups (yes, I did once), then this is just a no-brainer.

10. Last but not least, pack a notebook. Whether it's your WOD journal, or just a notebook you can jot things down in, you need a place to record your workouts and lifts. If you do not know where you were, then you can not know how you've progressed, and that's a recipe for getting discouraged when things get tough. Write down what you did, and what your goals are. Trust me, being able to celebrate that personal record is worth the extra hassle. Plus your squad can find it years down the line, and you'll all have a good laugh at where you started.

Now, there are a few things that if you've been around the block a few times, you might think I have just plain neglected, such as knee sleeves, wrist wraps, weight belt, lifting shoes, or lifting straps. Allow me to reassure you, and explain. I did not forget! I just do not think those things are essential for me, OR I thought they were not essential for the average CrossFitter. I use my lifters, weight belt and lifting straps on the daily, but left them off since this post is geared towards an average CrossFitter, who may or may not be ready to make use of those things … yet And I no longer find wrist wraps or knee sleeves really necessary.

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Compression Gear Clothing To Enhance Recovery & Performance

For athletes that train at a high level, even the smallest benefit can make a huge difference. There are few vitamins, nutritional supplements, joint supports or additional accessories that make huge noticeable differences in athletic performance, but it all helps. Compression sports clothing like shorts, leggings and shirts are similar, however act to improve several aspects of both activity and recuperation, making them a very powerful tool. Compression clothing made of stretchy spandex material puts a slight pressure on the skin and acts to stimulate blood flow. This is great for a faster warm-up and more efficient lactic-acid / post-set toxin removal system. No matter what type of sports you participate in, recovering faster after each set means getting more and more out of each training session. Athletic tights also offer extra support for the joints including the hips, knees, shoulders and / or elbows. More stability means better injury prevention leading to more confidence motion for a better overall performance.

Anabolic steroids are banned substances from most competitive athletics because of their performance enhancing effects. However in actuality, these substitutes help build muscles by producing more an anti-catabolic effects rather than anabolic. This reflects to the action of how they help build muscle; steroids act more to speed up recovery / reduce the breakdown of muscle rather than actually building it. When trying to enhance athletic performance, this is a good lesson to follow when searching for other natural, legal substances, whether it is nutritional supplements, training tools or regimens. Wear compression compression as a pre-habilitative training measure is a great way to aid the body for speeding up recovery. Wear compression compression, leggings or spandex material shirts is a great way to reduce the amount of lactic acid build-up and resulting soreness that follows hard sessions. Fortunately, this apparel continues to work in the same fashion when you wear it after you leave the gym. The compression on the skin from the tightness of the fabric will continue to push out lactic acid and bring in new nutrients to heal your muscles faster.

Besides the obvious benefits of wearing tightly compressed material, you can get even more out of these garments with added technology! The latest concept is high tech moisture wicking spandex fabric that has been infused with certain elements and nutrients. When these come in contact with the skin, the body improves with less pollution and accelerated recovery. Products such as this are available from Tommie Copper and a company called Virus. Tommie Copper compression clothing has copper infused within the fabric to help reduce pain and swelling in the joints, allowing athletes to train and recover with much less pain. If you have less pain when training you will get more out of each session producing better gains and a more consistent performance. Tommie Copper compression gear is allowing older athletes which joint aches and pains have slowed them a halt to continue training and competitive longer.

Virus athletic compression gear offers several lines of performance wear including their 'bioceramic' technology. This new innovative concept is seen in compression shirts, leggings and shorts made with fabric infused with a mineral compound mined from deep pockets in the ocean. When this organic compound is applied to the skin, it rejuvenates the body and counterparts by acting as an antioxidant and aids to the recovery of nerves and muscles. Studies show this technology helps fight the pain and inflammation of arthritis and helps remove toxicities in the human body. While Virus Bioceramic compression clothing is great to train in, it's best use is perhaps afterwards, to be worn during rest time for faster and better recovery.

Along the ground breaking recovery benefits from their Bioceramic line, Virus also has compression sports clothing for other uses as well. Their Cool Jade series feature compression fabric with recycled jade shavings woven into the material using nano technology. Testing has proven when used on the skin, Virus Cool Jade compression gear reduce skin temperature 6-10 degrees, making it very effective for training / competitiveness in high temperature climates. Virus also features a line of compression sportswear designed to raise the body's temperature for help with faster, more complete warm-ups and performing in cold weather. This series uses fabric that has been infused with coffee charcoal (made from recycled coffee beans). Studies show when this substance comes in contact with the body it will trap heat; the skin will raise its temperature as much as 10 degrees. Virus also produces another line of clothing called XForm made with extra support in the upper back to help improve posture for better body mechanics and resulting improved oxygenation.

Whether you're looking for the extra joint support or just want a slimmer, shape enhancing appearance, compression clothing is a great buy. With the latest technologies, you can take your performance to the next level by wearing Cool Virus or Tommie Copper active wear for a noticeable edge. Weaving compression gear with minerals infused into the fabric to help reduce pain and inflammation will allow harder training resulting in better gains. Compression recovery wear that helps remove toxins and rejuvenates muscles and nerves should be part of every athlete's arsenal of pre-habilitative training supplements. When your legs are sore from hard training, wear Virus Bioceramic compression pants for faster and better recovery. Do the same thing for the upper body and you will show up fresher for the next session. Tailor your compression clothing to help you counteract the effects of a harsh training environment; wear Virus Cool Jade clothing to keep you comfortable in hot climates and Coffee Charcoal gear for training in colder temperatures.

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Nordictrack Freestrider Trainer FS9i Review – What You Need to Know Before You Buy

The Nordictrack Freestride Trainer FS9i is currently the premium version of the Freestride elliptical, coming with all the extra bells and whistles you do not get with the FS7i or FS5i models.

The big advantage to the Freestride trainer is that it's like a new and improved elliptical trainer. Instead of the traditional crank-connected pedal, it uses a floating suspension system.

This takes away the traditional limits of a set stride length that you get with standard ellipticals. So you can basically set your own stride length – up to 38 inches (the traditional elliptical stride is about 18 – 20 inches).

You actually set the stride yourself by how hard and in what direction you push down on the pedals. So you can do short stair-climbing strides, longer jogging strides or even longer hurdling type strides.

This means you can constantly change your motion – and absolutely get a much more effective workout overall.

The Freestride Trainer FS9i also comes with an incline and decline option that other models do not have to add even more crosstraining to your workouts. Incline and decline changes the slope of your running path and it's excellent for adding in more crosstraining challenge and burning more calories.

Another benefit to this trainer is that you get the largest full-color web browser that Nordictrack makes (a full 10 inches). You can surf the net as you workout, read emails or catch up on the latest business news. This is a great way to stay entertained (or distracted) as you workout.

And this trainer also integrates with iFit LIVE. So you can go online and download new workouts to your machine or track your workouts stats over time.

You can also choose to run famous trails all over the world – from Hawaii to Paris to Sydney. Actual landmarks pass you by in the console screen for a virtual reality feel to your workout – very cool.

The Nordictrack Freestride Trainer FS9i also has incline and resistance controls on the moving arm bars, something you do not find on the FS5i model. So you can change your resistance or incline from the moving arm bars, without having to reach up to the console (and stop your upper body workout).

A final benefit to this machine is that you also get more resistance levels than the other models – so there's more room to grow and challenge yourself as you get in better shape.

So those are some of the main pros of the Nordictrack FS9i Freestrider – are there any drawbacks?

Well, the only main drawback is that this is a luxury machine at a luxury price. Coming in over $ 2000 it's not for the buyer on a budget. If you want the benefits of the Freestride trainer design for a more affordable price, you may want to go with the simpler FS5i model which comes in about $ 1000 less.

If you do not plan on heavy or frequent use of your trainer (and you do not care about having the web browser or incline), you may be OK with the FS7i or FS5i model. So it really depends on what you're looking for.

But if you're looking for something beyond a traditional elliptical trainer with the ability to set your own stride and get a more effective lower body workout, the Nordictrack Freestride Trainer FS9i is definitely worth checking out.

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Nordictrack Freestrider FS5i Review – Pros and Cons of the Most Affordable Freestride Trainer

The Nordictrack Freestrider is a new breed of elliptical trainer that gives you the ability to set your own stride. This is something that traditional crosstrainers can not do because of the limitations of their design.

The Freestrider used to come in two models: the original FS7i and the premium FS9i. However starting just under $ 2,000 made the FS7i a bit cost-prohibitive for some buyers.

But now there's a more affordable option – new for this year – the FS5i Freestrider.

It's a bit more simpler than the other models but it also comes in around $ 400 less than the FS7i. So is it right for you? Here's a review of the pros and cons of the Nordictrack FS5i to help you decide:

Pro # 1 Set Your Own Stride

The FS5i comes with the main advantage of the Freestrider design: mainly the ability to set and change your own stride. So you can do short stair-climbing motors, longer jogging strides or even longer hurdling type motions.

While most traditional elliptical trainers give you around 18 – 20 inch strides, the Freestrider FS5i can give you up to 38 inch strides, which is incredible.

This helps to more fully work your leg muscles and you can end up burning more calories overall in less time.

Pro # 2 Center Drive Design

Again, like all of the Freestride trainers, this is a center drive design. This means that instead of one large flywheel out front or in back of the pedals, you get two smaller flywheels on either side of the pedals.

This has the advantage of having you stand more upright on the machine with less leaning on the arm bars. This feels much more comfortable for most people and again, can result in more calories burned since the machine is not shouldering your weight.

Pro # 3 Tablet Holder Above the Console

You can attach your tablet above the console and surf the net, watch your favorite shows or connect to iFit LIVE (see below) while working out, which is a great little option to add more entertainment to your workout.

Pro # 4 iFit LIVE

The Nordictrack FS5i is iFit compatible. iFit connects your elliptical to the Internet. From there you can track and map your workouts over time and set new goals.

You can also download new workout programs to your trainer. You can even run famous world trails – from Hawaii to Paris – and watch real life landmarks pass you by in the tablet screen.

You'll basically never get bored with all of the things you can do with iFit LIVE.

Pro # 5 Compact

The FS5i trainer is also more compact than a traditional elliptical trainer. So if you have a smaller workout area, it's a great choice.

Pro # 6 Bright Backlit Console

The dual color console is bright and backlit with a scrolling message board to lead you through your workout. There's also an iPod dock with speakers to listen to your favorite tunes as you workout.

So those are the pros – what about the cons?

Con # 1 Dual Color Console

The FS5i does not come with the full color console or the built-in web browser that the other two models carry. Still, if you have a tablet that you're going to use to surf the net or connect to iFit, you may not really care about this.

Con # 2 No Incline

The other two models have incline, which changes the slope of your elliptical pathway. The FS5i does not have this feature.

Con # 3 No Handrail Controls

While you can control the resistance from the console area, there are no resistance controls on the moving arm bars – which do come with the higher end models.

Bottom Line?

The Nordictrack FS5i Freestrider is a new more affordable crosstrainer coming in about $ 400 less than the standard Freestrider trainer.

It's a bit pared down in terms of the luxury extras that you get with the other models. However overall, you still get the main benefits that people like with this Freestrider: the ability to choose your own stride and the low impact, center drive design.

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Best Home Treadmill For Running – 3 Treadmills That Are Excellent For Runners

Looking for the best home treadmill for running? Runners need more from their treadmill than the average walker. This is because they are pounding down on their treadmill, causing more impact. They also tend to go for longer workouts.

If you're going to be running on your machine you need a treadmill with high grade cushioning, a longer belt to stretch out and a higher grade of construction. And of course, fun tools like workout tracking and entertainment options are also a plus.

So where do you start looking?

Well, here are 3 treadmills that are very popular with runners. Each one is a bit different and you'll find the pros and cons of each one listed below:

# 1 Proform Pro 9000

The Proform Pro 9000 is the luxury model in the Pro series – treadmills built to a higher standard than their start models. For example the large frame, monster 4.25 HP motor easily powers you through longer, more intestinal workouts.

And the large 2.5 inch, balanced rollers decrease tension, which reduces the strain on your motor – and helps prolong the life of your treadmill.

You also get a 15% incline and a 3% decline to add even more challenge to your workout. And then there's the entertainment options with this treadmill.

You get a large, multi-color console with a built-in, touch-screen web browser. So you can surf the net as you walk or run, watch YouTube videos or catch up on the latest business news.

This treadmill also works with iFit LIVE. So you can go online and download new workouts to your machine or track your workouts stats over time.

You can also run famous pre-mapped world trails (from Sydney to Paris) and watch real life landmarks pass you by – very virtual reality.

The Pro 9000 might be overkill for the average walker but it comes in for under $ 2000 and pretty much gives you everything a runner needs – covered by a very long warranty.

# 2 Nordictrack Commercial 1750

The Commercial 1750 treadmill has been around for over 4 years now and has picked up some “Best Buy” awards along the way.

However what most people do not know is that Nordictrack updates this treadmill every year with better construction, new workout toys and more.

And they've still managed to keep the price under $ 1500 – which is quite a feat in this inflationary market.

The 1750 does not give you as much as the Proform Pro 9000 above – but you do get the full-color touch screen console with web browser (it's just a bit smaller than the one on the Pro 9000 treadmill).

You also get a strong 3.8 HP motor and an extra long 60 inch belt. Plus the 1750 treadmill comes adjustable cushioning – which the other two treadmills here do not have.

So you can actually choose the firmness of the deck you want to run on. So if you want more cushioning protection you turn it up. And if you want a more road-like feel, just turn the cushioning down.

The 1750 also comes with iFit LIVE, similar to the Pro 9000. So you can run tracks all over the world, track your work over time and download countless new workouts to your treadmill for extra challenge.

# 3 Precor 211 Treadmill

If you like the Precor name – and many people do – you may be interested in the 211 treadmill. This is a more affordable treadmill than their commercial models (although still pretty high around $ 2200 and up).

It does not have as many bells and whistles as their commercial treadmills however it does give you a few features that runners will like.

For example there's the Energy Stride Cushioning which gives you great protection on your knees, hips and back. This uses a similar mounting system as the commercial treadmills to reduce stress on your joints.

There's also a bright backlit, dual color console with a Quickstart feature and 6 preset workout programs.

And it also folds up – unlike Precors higher end models – to save you space.

While it falls down in terms of entertainment options that you get with the other two treadmills above, if you're looking for a solid runners treadmill and you like the Precor name, the Precor 211 treadmill might be worth checking out.

So those are three popular options when it comes to the best home treadmill for running. It really depends on your budget and what kind of exercisers you are (for example, do you get bored easily?

No matter what you decide remember to start slowly if you're not used to working out, go at your own pace and listen to your body. And have fun!

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Essential Considerations To Keep In Mind When Buying A Treadmill

One of the staple exercise machines that most fitness buffets have and use today regularly is a treadmill. Working out regularly on a treadmill can help you lose weight, stay fit, and build muscles. It can also help protect you from the negative effects of age-related health conditions such as diabetes and heart diseases. A lot of studies have also found out that working out on a treadmill regularly can help alleviate depression and insomnia.

If you want to reap the benefits of working out on a treadmill regularly without having to spend time and effort to go to the gym, you can invest in this exercise machine for your personal use. With a treadmill right in the comfort of your home, you can work out anytime you want to and you will not lose time preparing for and commuting or driving to go to the gym.

To make sure that you will be buying a good quality treadmill that meets your requirements or preferences, below are some key considerations you should bear in mind:

Motor control. The first and most significant thing to consider when buying a treadmill is the motor. It is crucial that you choose the right exercise machine with the right type of motor to make sure that you always get great workouts and a long life out of your treadmill. Top fitness experts recommend that first time buyers invest in a machine with at least 1.5 horsepower for a continuous duty motor. If you plan on running on the treadmill often, choose one with a 2.5 to 3.0 horsepower.

Proper cushioning. Choose a machine which has a running bed that can properly absorb shock. Also, make sure the belt and bed should not move around whenever your foot strikes it.

The belt size. Fitness experts say that the belt of a treadmill you should have and use must be at least 48 inches long and 16 inches wide.

Stability. The treadmill you ever invest in should not shake when you run or walk on it. Its frame should always remain stable as well.

The right incline. For a safer and more effective workout, the treadmill should have an incline that can go up to 10 percent.

Control panel. Lastly, the control panel of the exercise equipment should be easy to reach or easily accessible. Choose one that is simple and easy to use as well.

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Nordictrack Spacesaver Elliptical Review – 2 Of Your Best Folding Nordictrack Ellipticals

Looking for a Nordictrack Spacesaver elliptical? Spaceserver is another name for folding elliptical. Nordictrack uses it on multiple of their models, just to advertise that the machine folds up.

While there used to be more Nordictrack Spacesaver elliptical trainers on the market, today there are really only two. (You want to make sure you do not go with an older model since they do not have the latest fitness tools, updates and parts that Nordictrack now uses.)

This article will review these two different folding ellipticals so you can choose the best fit for your home.

# 1 Nordictrack Spaceserver SE7i

This trainer has actually been around for years – but Nordictrack marketed it under the name “Nordictrack Audiostrider 990”. And they've also upgraded it over the years to include better console graphics, iFit LIVE and more comfortable footpedals.

The SE7i comes in under $ 1000 making it attractive for buyers on a budget. And you also get some pretty cool features on it as well like an iPod dock with speakers to play your favorite tunes and a 7 degree incline for more crosstraining challenge.

The pedals are adjustable – so you can choose from one of 3 different toe-heel angles to suit your comfort level.

And the console is bright and backlit with a scrolling message board, leading you through your workouts.

# 2 Nordictrack Spaceserver SE9i

The Nordictrack Spacesaver Elliptical SE9i is a few hundred dollars more than the SE7i. It is similar to the SES7i model – but it's more of a premium elliptical model. Like the SE7i, it folds up and has the iFit LIVE option.

But unlike the SE7i which has a dual color console, the SE9i comes with a large full-color console with a touch-screen web browser.

So you can surf the net, read emails and catch up on the latest celebrity news while you workout. This alone can make your workouts a lot more enjoyable (and seem like they go by much faster!)

It also comes with more resistance levels, higher incline and a free chest strap wireless heart rate monitor.

Plus you get a longer warranty, for more protection on your investment. And it's slightly sturdier than the SE7i model, making it a great choice for heavy usage.

So it really depends on what you're looking for when it comes to which elliptical is best. Regardless, keep in mind that both Nordictrack Spacesaver elliptical trainers fold up easily with wheels on the bottom to help you move them out of the way.

Plus they both come iFit LIVE compatible so you can connect to the internet and download new workouts or run famous trails all over the world.

So if you're looking for a folding elliptical, these trainers will help you get in shape and save the space in your home. Good luck!

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3 Fitness Machines That Help You Burn More Calories For Under $1,000

Looking for the best fitness equipment that's easy on your wallet while burning mega-calories? You may be surprised to know you have some great options out there.

The fitness equipment industry is always coming up with innovative products to help you lose weight faster – and get more bang for your buck. But you do have to do a bit of hunting.

To help you out, here are 3 fitness machines that will help you burn a lot of calories – and they all come in under $ 1,000!

# 1. Hybrid Trainer

This is a very cool 2-in-1 machine that comes in for under $ 400. You can use it as a recumbent bike – or as an elliptical trainer.

By moving the pedals and the console, in 2 quick steps you can change it from an elliptical trainer to a bike – or vice versa. There are 16 resistance levels to add more challenge to your workout and burn more calories.

Plus it comes with iFit LIVE – which lets you connect to the Internet and download countless new workouts. You can even go online and run (or bike) famous trails all over the world, from Paris to Sydney.

The hybrid trainer is a great way to get 2 machines for the price of (almost less than) one. Plus you get great workout variety. So if you do not want to do an elliptical workout one day, no problem just use it as a bike – and vice versa.

Note that the original Hybrid trainer has a 15 inch stride – which may be a bit too short for taller users. However there is a Hybrid Trainer Pro model that gives you a longer stride for a few hundred more – under $ 600.

# 2. Ski Machine

This is a classic – the ski machine has been around for year and still keeps selling over and over again.

Ski machines simulate the cross country skiing workout, using both your upper and lower body muscles.

By using both upper and lower body muscles, you end up burning more calories than say, a treadmill walking workout. And you get upper and lower body toning as well.

Another great thing about the ski machine is that it is generally lighter and easier to move than a regular treadmill or elliptical machine. And the price comes in usually around $ 699 – so it's also very affordable.

# 3. ACT Elliptical Trainer

The ACT has also been around for a couple of years although it's generally updated every year with the latest toys and new workout features.

What makes this elliptical interesting is that instead of one large flywheel in front or behind the pedals (like you get with standard crosstrainers), there are two smaller flywheels on either side of the footpedals.

This gives you several advantages. First of all, you end up standing more upright on the pedals and leaving less on the handrails on this trainer than with other designs.

That means you can possibly burn more calories (since you're not putting as much weight on the machine itself). Also, the footpedals tend to be placed closer together – which lessens the strain on your hips. So a lot of people feel more comfortable on this machine – especially after long workouts.

Finally the ACT also comes with the option of iFit LIVE. As stated above, this means you can download new workouts, or run anywhere in the world.

You can also track your workout stats online – to set new goals and see how far you've come. This alone can help you track and burn more calories faster than with another machine that does not have iFit.

And the ACT elliptical comes in under $ 1,000 in most areas.

So those are 3 ideas for the best fitness equipment for under $ 1000 that still give you more for the money.

Take your time and remember to listen to your body when exercising. Get a machine that you love and before you know it, you'll be watching the weight come off and loving how you look in the mirror!

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Sole Treadmill Review – Are Sole Treadmills Still A Good Buy?

Thinking about a Sole Treadmill? Wondering if they're really a good buy for you? Sole treadmills are some of the most popular runner-friendly treadmills on the market today.

They were originally manufactured for the commercial market – hotels like Hilton and Omni. However Sole started making their treadmills available to the home market about 10 years ago.

So how do they measure up and what do they give you? Well, here's a review of the key strengths – and drawbacks – of this treadmill brand to help you make a more informed decision.

# 1. Ultra High Torque Motors with Flywheels

Sole treadmills use heavy-duty, high-torque motors with zinc-coated balanced flywheels. The flywheels help the motor to run cooler with less amp draw.

This helps to extend the life of your motor and, quite, your treadmill.

# 2. CushionFlex Cushioning

Sole is well known for their Cushioning system. CushionFlex was shown in a study to reduce impact on your joints by up to 40% (versus road running).

This make these treadmills a great option if you're prune to shin splints or joint pain. Runners will also like the extra cushioning protection with these treadmills.

# 3. Highly Stable Folding Frame

Because of the nature of their design, folding treadmills are generally not stable as non-folding treadmills.

However, Sole designed a unique horseshoe-folding frame especially for the hotel environment that makes their folding units just as stable as their non-folding models.

# 4. Speed ​​and Incline Control on Side Handrails

Sole treadmills are known for putting speed and incline buttons on their side handrails (as well as the console). This is handy for making on-the-fly changes without reaching up to the console (which can throw off your stride).

# 5. Backlit Consoles

These treadmills come with bright blue backlit consoles, which make it easy to see your workout stats. There's also a scrolling message board which will lead you through setting up your workout.

Also these consoles come equipped with console fans to keep you cool – and iPod docks to listen to your favorite workout music.

So those are some of the main benefits of Sole Treadmills. Are there any drawbacks?

Well, Sole treadmills have stagnated a bit. Sole has not updated their treadmills in a couple of years now. That means that other brands are starting to catch up to them – and may possibly be passing them in the near future.

You do not get the kinds of bells and whistles with these treadmills that are becoming pretty standard with other brands. For example, most treadmill brands give you some kind of online connectivity. So you can track your workout stats, set goals etc. And Sole machines do not offer that – yet.

But on the whole, you really can not fault Sole for their construction – it's top notch.

They may not give you a lot of bells and whistles but what they do give you are strong, stable decks with tough motors and excellent cushioning. Basically they are built to last a long time.

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Nordictrack ACT Elliptical Trainer Review – A Good Buy For You?

Thinking about the Nordictrack ACT elliptical? Wondering if it's a good buy for you?

The ACT trainer has been a popular elliptical for over 4 years now – and Nordictrack typically updates it every few years.

The main advantage of the Nordictrack ACT is that it's what's known as a “center drive” elliptical. This means that instead of 1 large flywheel either out front or in back of the footpedals, you get two smaller flywheels on either side of the footpedals.

This has several benefits:

# 1. You Stand More Upright On the Pedals

This more upright position tends to feel more comfortable for most people. And because you're not leaving as much on the handrails, you may also end up burning more calories (the machine is not shouldering as much of your weight).

# 2. Closer Footpedals

The pedals tend to be placed closer together with this design – which lessens the strain on your hips. This position tends to more closely mimic the natural running motion of your legs – and it feels more comfortable.

You may notice this especially if you plan on doing long workouts – which can put more of a strain on the hips.

# 3. More Compact

The Nordictrack ACT takes up less space than a front or rear-drive elliptical. It's more of a box footprint and less of a long rectangle. So if you have a smaller workout area in your home this might be a good option for you.

# 4. Lower Step-On Height

Again, because of the design, these ellipticals have a lower step on height which is more comfortable for people who may not have the best footing or coordination.

The ACT trainer also has some advantages beyond the center drive design as well including:

# 1. Adjustable Footpedals

You can choose from 3 different toe-heel angles to find the right fit for you (or anyone else in your home).

# 2. Adjustable Stride

You can choose from 3 different stride lengths – 18, 20 and 22 inches. Again, this is a great way to customize the feel of your workout since you can choose the most comfortable fit for you.

# 3. Bright Backlit Console

The console on the ACT is bright and backlit with a scrolling message board that leads you through your workout.

You also get a bracket above the console to fit your tablet. So you can watch your favorite shows or go online as you workout.

So those are some of the main benefits of the ACT elliptical. You should know that there are currently 3 different models on the market – the ACT, ACT 7 and ACT 10.

Each one has the same basic design. But the ACT 7 and the ACT 10 have a few more upgraded entertainment options. The ACT elliptical however comes in (usually) under $ 1000 – which makes it very popular with buyers on a budget.

So it really depends on what you're looking for.

No matter what you decide to do, remember to take your time, listen to your body and only do what you can while working out. Good luck!

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Freestrider Trainer Vs Elliptical – Which Is Best For You?

Trying to decide between the Nordictrack Freestrider trainer vs an elliptical? How are they different? And which is the better option for you?

While the Freestrider is extremely popular – and does give you some impressive benefits over the standard elliptical, it may not be right for everyone.

Here is a rundown of the main differences between them to help you make a more informed decision:

# 1. Stride Length

Stride is the farthest distance between the elliptical pedals. You want a decent stride length since a short stride (often found on cheaper ellipticals) can feel jumpy and uncomfortable.

A short stride will also not work your leg muscles fully – so you do not burn as many calories.

While most quality ellipticals have a set stride length of 18 – 20 inches (which is fine for most people), the Freestrider gives you something better – a completely adjustable stride. In fact you choose the stride length based on how you push down on the pedals.

So you can do short stepping motors or longer running strides or even longer hurdling motions. You can get strides of up to 38 inches with the Freestride trainer – something you do not get with an elliptical.

# 2. Design

The Freestride trainer comes with a center drive design – which puts you in a more upright position on the trainer than most front or rear drive ellipticals. This can feel more comfortable and natural for many people.

Also, the floating suspension system on the Freestrider is different from the traditional crank-connected pedal on most crosstrainers.

It's extremely low impact and feels almost like you're floating on air. But you still get the challenge of resistance levels on the Freestride trainer that you are used to seeing on an elliptical.

# 3. Size

Because it's a center drive design, the Freestride trainer is more compact than most front or rear drive ellipticals. So if you have a smaller workout area, this is a great option.

# 4. Entertainment Options

The Freestrider does come with iFit LIVE – which means you can run trails all over the world and watch real landmarks pass you by in the console screen.

However it's fair to note that several other Nordictrack ellipticals also come with this option. Other elliptical brands may not offer iFit LiVE.

# 5. Price

The Freestride trainer starts around $ 1800 and up – so it's more than a premium machine. If you're on a budget however, you may want to try a starter elliptical machine.

There are a lot of decent options for under $ 1000 on the market today to choose from.

# 6. Does Not Fold

The Freestride trainer does not fold up. While most elliptical trainer do not fold either, you can find a few models that fold up to save space.

So those are the main differences between the Freestrider and an elliptical trainer.

Which is best?

That really depends on you and what you're looking for. The Freestrider trainers main benefit over the elliptical is that it gives you very long strides – and multiple strides.

So you'll definitely be able to find a stride that fits best for you – and for your family members. You can also get a lot of great crosstraining by changing up the stride every so often – something you do not get with a regular elliptical.

No matter what you choose, make sure to do your research, exercise at your own pace and have fun!

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