Wellness - Mar 04, 2019

Build Strength and Lose Weight With Today’s Fitness Equipment

Vicki McGrath

So, you haven’t exercised lately. Maybe you blew out your knee on that last ski trip to Tahoe, or you haven’t dropped the baby weight yet. Or, maybe you just feel plain out of shape.

Exercise seems so daunting.

Except here’s a secret: It doesn’t have to be. With the right tools, the right equipment, and the right guidance, you can begin an exercise routine customized to your specific needs. Need to lose weight? Tone muscles? Joints a little stiff or achy? No problem. Today’s fitness equipment is smart, sleek, and sophisticated with features that you can personalize such as speed, stride, height, and depth. You’re not at the mercy of some archaic preset workout that has you racing like a greyhound at the racetrack. You’re in control as you exercise every muscle in your body. Use these machines and I promise you will lose weight, get toned, and build strength, endurance, and stamina.

Get to Know Some of Today’s “Smartest” Fitness Equipment

Two Workouts in One: Precor AMT (Adaptive Motion Trainer) and Ellipticals

Machines like AMTs and Ellipticals provide aerobic dual-action workouts for your upper and lower body with low-impact movements that are forgiving on problematic or aging joints. You can start your workout by activating the low-impact mode and slowly adjust levels as you begin building strength and endurance.

“Ellipticals, without the arms, are great if you’re just starting out,” says Cynthia Newman, PJCC Personal Trainer. “They provide a strong aerobic workout, burn calories, and offer a larger range of motion than just walking. Ellipticals with arms provide a higher range of motion that serves more like a cross trainer. It works out your entire body.”

Chris Nash, PJCC Personal Trainer, adds, “Whether you have knee, back, or hip problems, or any type of ongoing rehabilitation, you can usually use these machines. Of course, you should check with your doctor first, but overall, Ellipticals and AMTs are a dynamic way to start a fitness routine.”

Step Right Up: Matrix Treadmills and Stepmills

Both Treadmills and Stepmills (also known as stair climbers) are another great cardiovascular workout. I always tell my clients that every time you step foot on one, you’re strengthening your heart and building stamina and endurance. An article that appeared in Better Homes & Garden cites a reference from the Mayo Clinic  that states just walking at a brisk pace for 120 minutes a week may help boost your HDL (high-density lipoprotein levels), known as “the good” cholesterol, by as much as five percent within a couple months. You can also track and sync your workouts with your favorite fitness-tracking app such as Fitbit, Runkeeper, and MyFitnessPal.

“Stepmills target every major muscle in your lower body, such as your glutes, hamstrings, calves, and quadriceps, helping shape, sculpt, and tone your legs. They also build cardiovascular health and endurance,” Newman says. “These machines are effective if you enjoy activities like climbing and hiking. And the best part? They’re low impact and don’t put stress on your joints.”

Prepare to Sweat: The VersaClimber

Deceptively simple in appearance, you’ll face a more challenging workout with the VersaClimber. “This machine is the next step in your fitness journey,” Nash says. “You’ll definitely sweat and, because your arms are engaged, increase your heart rate. It’s basically two cardio machines in one that combines both your lower and upper body into one sweeping, vertical climbing motion.”

The result? An awesome calorie-torching, endurance-building workout that builds good cardiovascular, bone, and muscle health. Whether you set the VersaClimber to climb iconic landmarks such as El Capitan, Mt. Olympus or Vesuvius, you’ll enjoy a low-impact, heart-pumping cardiovascular workout that will strengthen and tone virtually every muscle in your body.

Except for the low-tech VersaClimber, all these machines boast state-of-the-art features such as touchscreen TVs with personal coaching, Bluetooth technology, virtual tours, personal challenges, and more.

Need another incentive to get off the couch? Summer is right around the corner. It’s never too soon to start working on that beach body.
So, are you ready to melt calories, burn fat, and build muscle for total-body wellness? Give me a call at the PJCC and I’ll get you on the right path.

Vicki McGrath is the PJCC Fitness and Wellness Manager. She is a certified Cancer Exercise Trainer, Post Rehabilitative Breast Cancer Exercise Specialist, and oversees Pink Ribbon at the PJCC, a postoperative workout designed to enhance recovery for breast cancer patients and survivors.

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