June 1, 2008

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The Home Stretch

In-home Exercise Equipment Keeps You Running at Full Speed

Carolyn Campbell

June 1, 2008

Steve Price, president of Price Realty Group in Salt Lake City, schedules his daily exercise around his family. “Because I have young children, I prefer to work out after my kids are in bed,” he explains. Price visits his home gym nightly at 9:00 or 9:30 p.m. He runs on a treadmill for an hour. “At 10:00 or 10:30 p.m., depending on my energy, I either stretch out or lift weights,” he explains. Price has enjoyed using home exercise equipment for 20 years. He upgrades his equipment about every five years and recently purchased a treadmill and an elliptical from Utah Home Fitness, a specialty retailer of home and fitness equipment. Price’s story illustrates a major benefit of home exercise equipment: convenience. “By dedicating a room or portion of a room to a home gym, you make a commitment to regular exercise,” says Colleen Logan, vice president of marketing for Icon Health & Fitness, a Logan-based exercise equipment manufacturer. “If you work out 15 minutes daily or four days weekly, it’s better than being a ‘weekend warrior’ and trying to do it all over the weekend.” Jon Trane, Utah Home Fitness general manager says it is possible to replicate any type of club workout at home. “Many career schedules make it impossible to arrive at the gym at the same time daily. The flexibility of having a good piece of equipment at home allows you to not have to drive to get to your workout.” Logan adds that a home gym can help maintain an achieved level of fitness by saving time. “Utah traffic is busy. When a five-minute drive stretches to 15 minutes, driving to the gym and back can take half an hour — almost as long as a workout. With home fitness equipment, you save time and gas money.” Adds Trane, “At home, you don’t have to fight for the equipment. You avoid the inner competition of thinking, ‘I look better than you do.’” Trane says that high quality exercise equipment often feels more natural than “big box” type equipment. He advises people to try out equipment they consider buying to ensure it fits their needs properly. A quality piece of home exercise equipment will cost $2,000 and up, says Trane. “For the type of home that has a six-burner Viking stove and a 52-inch plasma TV, you might consider spending $10,000 to $15,000 for a home gym,” adds Logan. The Must Haves Both Logan and Trane suggest acquiring at least three pieces of home exercise equipment — focus on cardio, strength training and relaxation. Logan recommends using a treadmill for cardio exercise. “Treadmills are popular and frequently recommended by doctors and exercise physiologists. Keeping pace with the treadmill’s motor keeps your exercise pace consistent,” she explains. Utilizing the treadmill’s incline provides a cardio challenge while running at a slower speed. “You get the same workout walking at 2 miles per hour with a 30 degree incline as you do running flat at 7 miles an hour.” Logan adds that treadmills are versatile because they allow people of any stride — both adults and children — to use them. “Fifteen years ago, people bought a home computer for Dad’s office, now everyone uses the computer. Our hope is that the fitness room will also become a family purchase.” Trane adds that ellipticals, which offer a non-impact cardiovascular workout are also popular for cardio exercise. Along with cardio, Logan advises functional strength training for all body muscles. A machine she suggests, the Free Motion Cable Cross, uses cable resistance and “involves the core muscles of the trunk and back to allow training for everyday life.” The third type of recommended equipment allows the participant to relax and restore the muscles. “At the less expensive end, a yoga mat and stretching bands allow you to stretch after your workout,” says Logan. “A new, high-end technology called vibration therapy uses vibration to increase circulation and flexibility to rid your body of toxins, for a faster post-workout recovery.” Home equipment contributes to Icon’s goal of helping people achieve a healthy lifestyle through exercise at home, in the gym and outdoors. “We think there is room for all three,” says Logan. “After a high-energy activity such as a spin class or basketball game at the gym, you can challenge yourself with home equipment such as a treadmill, then hike or snowshoe with your family. If you prepare for the hike by exercising on home equipment, you won’t be as sore when you return to work on Monday.”
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