Home fitness is by no means a new concept to us. It’s been growing in popularity for more than 50 years. Chances are you grew up, as I did, in a household that owned at the very least, one exercise bike and a bunch of keep-fit CDs – which inevitably, once the enthusiasm wore off, quietly gathered dust in a corner.
Of course, our motivation was periodically rekindled by the introduction of new and exciting fitness trends. Bums and tums, aerobics, and step classes to name but a few.
But back then, we regarded keeping fit as more of a novelty than a lifestyle choice. Besides, we led active lives. Without social media or even the internet to keep us pinned to the sofa, serious fitness was something only to be adopted by the fitness obsessed.
However, events in recent months, through necessity, have driven more of us to work from home, and in the post-pandemic era, that’s a trend that looks set to continue for some time.
With these new lifestyle changes, exercise equipment has evolved too. The use of morelifestyle-based exercise equipment has become an essential part of our fitness routine, and these new types of exercise machines aren’t just confined to the gym.
Exercise While You Work
Working long hours in an office has traditionally meant being stuck at a desk all day. The option of walking while you work at a treadmill desk would have been the exception, rather than the rule. But people working remotely now have the opportunity to take matters into their own hands.
And this has led to the exponential growth in popularity of a new generation of lifestyle-based exercise machines such as under-desk treadmills, bike desks, pedal exercisers, and under-desk ellipticals.
Admittedly it takes a little time to get used to walking on a treadmill while you work. But the idea is not to get breathless and work up a sweat. Under desk treadmills are, in fact, specifically designed for walking only at slow speeds for long periods of time. In fact, the maximum speed of a true under desk treadmill should be no more than 4 mph. The idea of these treadmills is to keep you moving and keep you productive, at the same time.
The Ideal Home Gym Set Up
For those of us working and spending more time at home, the idea of setting up a home gym is also becoming increasingly attractive – and it makes sense. Your favorite few pieces of equipment are always available right there, without the added cost of an expensive gym membership or the hassle and time spent traveling there and back.
For anyone planning to set up a home gym, choosing the right exercise equipment is essential, and you can visit cityfitnessgym.com to find out which particular exercise machines are the best ones to go for.
However, you will need to bear a few things in mind. One is space. If you have a room where you can leave a few pieces of equipment set up, it will make your life a lot easier. But for those who are limited on space, there are a number of excellent foldable options that can be set up, or put away, in around just one minute.
Another consideration when making your choice should be to ask yourself what you are aiming to achieve.
Which Exercise Machines to Consider
If you want to build muscle you’ll no doubt already have weights in mind. But there are other options too. Power towers not only build muscle, but also give you a full-body workout including dips, deficit push-ups, and more. They are fast becoming the latest must-have equipment for home gyms.
Treadmills are always a popular choice. They are great for cardio, but they only target the lower body so they can also be quite hard on the joints.
If you want a full-body low-impact workout wrapped up in just one machine, I recommend a good rowing machine.
There are 4 types of rowing machines on the market to choose from. The basic hydraulic cylinder rowing machines are the smallest and they’re cheap. Resistance is achieved by pulling against air or fluid in pistons. But they really don’t compare well to the rest. They don’t give you a smooth stroke and bear little resemblance to real rowing.
Magnetic rowing machines are the most popular type. They are cheaper than the average treadmill and are so much smoother than the old hydraulic ones, giving you a friction-free rowing stroke every time.
If you have the budget, air rowing machines are the gold standard of rowing machines. They are the type that serious rowers use. They get you much closer to that in water rowing experience by using airflow over a flywheel which closely replicates the feeling of rowing through water.
But by far the closest in water rowing experience is with a water rowing machine. They have seen a huge rise in popularity in recent months – and no wonder. They give you the same resistance and sensory experience that you’d get if you were actually rowing on a lake. The hypnotic whooshing sound of the paddle blades turning through water in the machine’s onboard water tank, almost perfectly mimics the feel and rowing action of real oars moving through water. They are a pleasure to use and they take home gym equipment to a whole new level.
Exercise Machines for the Elderly
But the new generation of exercise equipment isn’t just for the young and active. There are now new opportunities for exercising at home for the elderly too. While the traditional stationary bike may be familiar to us all, it simply may not be an option for the older generation.
Pedal exercisers are a great alternative and can be used both for the legs and arms. They improve circulation, increase your range of movement and benefit your overall fitness level and health, all while you read, watch TV, or do some other fun recreational activity – and all from the comfort (and safety) of your favorite chair.
Home exercise equipment has come a long way over the years. New technologies and advancements in manufacturing techniques have meant that sophisticated machines that were 20 years ago only available at the gym are now available for home gyms.
And with so many new types of machines out there, when it comes to home fitness, I’ll take one of these newer generation exercise machines over a boring old exercise bike anytime.