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There Are Alot Of Features To Look For When Deciding On An Elliptical Trainer That's Perfect For You
By: Kevin Brown

Have you decided to purchase a piece of home workout equipment? There are a lot of choices available today on the market for home gym equipment. The key is to find the right piece of equipment for you and your workout needs. The elliptical machine is quickly gaining popularity both in and out of the gym. The elliptical machine is an excellent choice for home equipment, especially if you do not want the traditional treadmill or exercise bike.

Why An Elliptical Machine?

Elliptical machines came onto the scene a few years ago and they have been gaining in popularity ever since. There are a few reasons why elliptical machines are a good choice for your exercise needs. Ellipticals offer a weight resistant workout which is important because, weight resistant workouts burn calories faster and more efficiently. Also, with a weight resistant workout, you are building bone density which is particularly important for men or women who are at risk for osteoporosis.

How Will I Burn Calories Faster?

Elliptical trainers involve both the arms and the legs making it a crosstrainer, in a smooth and natural motion. Because you are utilizing both your arms and your legs you are involving more muscle groups than with other machines, therefore you are optimizing your energy expenditure. In today’s busy world everyone is limited on time, so why not optimize your exercise time? Studies have shown that because elliptical machines are optimizing energy expenditure, the average person will burn more calories.

What About My Joints?

One of the reasons that elliptical trainers are so popular is because they provide an excellent aerobic workout with minimal stress on your joints. Traditional cardiovascular workout machines such as treadmills or stepper machines cause an impact on the joints because your feet leave the machine and come down, thereby causing stress on your joints.

With an elliptical trainer there is no need to remove your feet from the foot pads so there will be little stress on your knees, ankles, hips and back. Because of the fact that the elliptical machine is a low/no impact machine it is a perfect choice for people who are suffering from or are recovering from any joint problems such as knees, ankle, hip or back. Often people with joint problems feel that they have to give up on exercise, but no more with an elliptical.

How Do I Choose An Elliptical Trainer?

Now that you have decided to choose an elliptical machine for your home gym you will be faced with many different machines and many different brands, and it can be very overwhelming when you are trying to choose the best machine for you.

You definitely need to look for a machine that has quality craftsmanship, and is sturdy. You will want one that will be able to stand up to a tough workout, no matter what pace you want to workout at.

Most elliptical machines will come standard with an on board computer. The computer will usually come preset with a number of different work-out programs. It is best to look for an elliptical trainer that has a number of different programs preset into the computer. Depending on your workout goals, you will want a computer that offers a weight loss program, interval programs and a good variety of other programs.

Some of the higher end models come with on board computers where you can actually download more workout programs from your home computer. These models of course are quite a bit more expensive and you probably do not need this function if you are just starting out.

It is also important to look for a machine that operates smoothly and quietly. If your cross trainer operates smoothly you will be able to hear the television or radio easier. Also a smooth machine is typically run with magnetic resistance instead of belts. Machines run on belts typically will require more maintenance.

You may be interested in an elliptical trainer that folds away for storage purposes. Many people look into ellipticals that store well because they want to use them when they need them and put them away in a closet when not in use.

What Brands Are Available?

There are a lot of very good brands of elliptical crosstrainers on the market today, some of the most popular brands available are:

* Precor
* Healthrider
* Preform
* Nordictrack
* Schwinn
* Smooth

Which Elliptical Trainer Is The Best?

The best way to determine which elliptical machine is the best fit for you is by making a list of al of the features that you are looking for in a trainer. You should also set a price limit for yourself, as some of these machines can cost a few thousand dollars. Once you find the perfect combination of features and price you will have a machine that is perfect for you.

© 2005 http://www.best-elliptical-trainers.com

About the Author
Kevin Brown is successful author and publisher of many informative websites including http://www.best-elliptical-trainers.com. His websites offer tips and advice on a wide array of topics including elliptical machines, rowing machines, elliptical reviews, and more.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/


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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
shocks.

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
speaking.

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

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

Here is some good instructional material on stretching:
http://tinyurl.com/6c6kq
 

Dave Snape

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