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Create Your Own Fitness Center with Home Exercise Equipment!
By: Conray Knox

If joining a fitness center is not for you, and you're not the outdoors-y type, home exercise equipment is a smart choice for staying fit. Before you buy, you should do your homework in order to prevent your new exercise machine from becoming an over-sized clothes hanger.

Before you spend your money, first consider your current exercise routine (if any). Variety in an exercise plan tends to keep you from getting bored and provides a good route to overall fitness. With this in mind, consider a fitness machine that provides a different type of benefit to what you are already doing or plan to do.

For example, if you walk 3 times a week, you may want to consider home exercise equipment that offers resistance training, such as a home gym.

Be wary of "fad" equipment and always check for a warranty. Anything that sounds too good to be true, usually is. You want to try to find home exercise equipment that works your whole body or major portions of your body for the best results.

Decide where your home exercise equipment will be located in your home and take measurements. You want to be sure the machine you are considering will fit the space you have available.

Think also about your budget. Home exercise equipment prices can range from as low as $100 to into the thousands. The high end models are terrific and offer a lot of bells and whistles, but you can generally get a good workout and decent quality by spending a few to several hundred dollars.

A good strategy is to spend most of your budget on one quality piece, such as an exercise bike or home gym, then supplement it with inexpensive equipment such as dumbbells or aerobics videos.

Conray Knox is the owner and webmaster of Weight Training Info Discover how to eat and training for maximum weight loss and muscle gain.

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The Power of Stretching    - Dave Snape


Your muscles ache from a good stretch. This is quite
normal and is part of the process. Stretching has
seemingly been with us and particularly with athletes
since the beginning of time.

A very key point to good stretching is to hold the
stretch for at least seventeen seconds. This is a
pearl of wisdom gleaned from a ballet teacher a few
years back. She said that any stretch under 17
seconds was just not effective.

The 17 second rule is exceeded in the high intensity
Bikram's yoga where stretches are held for about 30
seconds. Don't forget the high level of heat that is
used in Bikram's to extract that last little bit of
stretch out of your muscles. An interesting twist that
is not necessary to gain benefits from stretching. But,
it can't hurt, right?

So what kind of benefits can you expect from
stretching? That's an easy one. Have you ever seen the
movie, Blood Sport? Did you know that Frank Dux could
truly stretch his body to the extreme. The actor that
played him was quite elastic as well.

Great elasticity is also something you might see in
well trained Spetsnaz (Russian) agents. They often work
out with Russian kettlebells too. They are for superior
strength gains and the ability to withstand ballistic

Why are stretching and flexibility considered important
to these people? Stretching gives one the ability to
have explosive power available at one's fingertips
without the need to warm up. Of course most of us are
not martial artists or agents. But, you'll be happy to
know there are plenty of other benefits.

Let me give you an example. After learning to sit in
the full lotus position for long periods of time, my
ankles became very flexible. One day I was walking
along and my left foot fell into a pothole. This mishap
pushed my ankle sideways to about 90 degrees from it's
normal position.

Amazingly, this didn't even hurt, not one bit. If my
ankle hadn't been so flexible, I may have suffered a
sprained ankle. At the very least, it would have hurt
for days.

Key point: stretching helps you to avoid injuries.
Not only that but if you do have a muscle, tendon or
ligament injury it should heal faster, theoretically

Stretching actually grows the ligaments, tendons and
muscles being stretched. They really grow longer over

Check with your physician before undertaking any type
of exercise, including stretching.

Here is some good instructional material on stretching:

Dave Snape

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