If you're thinking about buying exercise equipment, it is always best to have some basic knowledge about what to look for. People who don't do a little homework before making a purchase can find themselves regretting their decision very quickly.
The first step in looking for exercise equipment is to decide what type of training you actually want to do. Do you want to build muscle? Do you want to improve your cardiovascular health? Your purchase decision will depend on what you consider to be the most important goal in your quest for health and physical improvement.
Once you decide what your major goal is, then you can research the many options available. If building muscle is your priority, then look for products that will give your entire body a workout and not just one area. Multi-gyms with two or more pieces of exercise equipment connected together can be a good choice if they provide enough variety to exercise all the body parts. The drawback is the amount of space required to do the exercises and the storage ability if it's a stationary unit.
Dumbbells are also a great choice because there are many different exercises you can do that can work all the muscle groups. They can mimic the actual mechanics of movement in real life applications making dumbbells the superior choice when compared to the machine type of exercise equipment.
When looking for cardiovascular types of apparatus, you should consider what you would enjoy doing the most. If you enjoy cycling more than walking or running, then a stationary cycle would be a better choice over a treadmill. They all help to improve your heart health, but the emphasis should be placed on the type of equipment that you feel you will stick with. If you purchase something you don't like doing, chances are your exercise program won't last long.
The type of exercise equipment to stay away from is the fad type of unit. These are the gimmicky pieces that are here today and gone tomorrow. How can you tell which are good and which are future garage sale items? Go to any fitness center or gym and see what they have for equipment. They would not waste their money on cheaply made gimmicks, but equip themselves with tried and true pieces.
Make your purchase decision based on smart research just as fitness centers have. Stay with the type of units and apparatus that have stood the test of time and usage. This will always be your best choice.
The question of how much to spend will come up as a choice between thrift and quality. A thrifty purchase may cost you more in the end by having repair problems from cheaply made materials. Even the usage of the equipment may be a lesson in frustration because it doesn't have proper adjustments to compensate for height, comfort, or the stability of the unit.
If a quality piece of exercise equipment is your choice but the budget restricts you, then look in the newspapers in the classified section. There are people who are selling equipment all the time. Look in the sections under sports equipment or miscellaneous.
Another great place to check out is the fitness centers. Talk to the owners or managers and ask them if they are selling anything or if they know of anyone selling used equipment. Sometimes they have a bulletin board where members put up things they want to sell. You may be able to find a high-end piece at a good price.
You have made a choice to improve your health, physical conditioning and quality of life. Using the guidelines above, thoroughly conduct your research to make sure that the type of exercise equipment you purchase will be a wise choice.
(Note: This article is the opinion of the author and may or may not be substantiated by scientific fact.)