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August 25, 2010 at 4:00 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Are Exercise Machines Overrated?

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

Determining whether or not exercise machines are overrated that involves many variables. Each person has their own unique situation, needs, and fitness goals. While machines might not be as effective for some, there are plenty that can benefit from using them. Depending on who you ask, it is likely that you would receive multiple answers to a question about the value of exercise machines, which is why it is necessary to break the question down into more specific areas.

Weight Loss

Losing stubborn pounds is a main concern for a lot of people who use machines such as the exercise bike, treadmill, or stair stepper. These pieces of equipment offer a more convenience than joining an aerobics class or going for a walk around a track. Unfortunately, in order to lose weight, it takes a concerted effort between diet and exercise. That means that you cannot simply use a machine regularly and ignore the significance of the foods you are eating. So, for weight loss, exercise machines can be very effective, when they are combined with the right nutritional program. They will also benefit your cardiovascular health by keeping your blood flowing, strengthening your heart, and improving the overall function of your arteries.

Strength Training

Most bodybuilders looking to pack on inches of solid muscle prefer to use the traditional free weight equipment instead of machines, with a few exceptions. The lat pull-down machine seems to be the most popular machine worked into bodybuilding programs because of the way it effectively reaches the muscles it is targeting. Again, it depends on what you are trying to accomplish. People recovering from injuries should start with lower weights and less stress on their joints. The various weight-plated machines allow for both, and are helpful in building strength during the recovery stage. Senior citizens, people suffering from arthritis, or anyone with back problems could also look to certain exercise machines as a potential strength training solution.

Toning

Toning is a concept that machines are well known for. A number of them promise to reduce the fat in only one or two specific areas of the body while they simultaneously tone the muscles. This is a reason why exercise machines in general have been under skepticism in recent years. Simply put, "spot-reduction" is a common term that can be very misleading. The best way to lose weight is to focus on cardio exercises, a proper diet program, and strengthening your muscles. It is unrealistic to attempt to only lose weight on one part of your body by using a machine. As with any industry, there are definitely ineffective exercise machines being advertised. If you are considering purchasing a piece of equipment, do some research on it and check with your doctor. Do not feel pressured to stay with the most reputable name brands that have a positive reputation within the fitness community. And, trust your instincts at all times. When a particular infomercial makes you laugh out loud, or you are thinking that it sounds too good to be true, use extra caution. In general, the value of exercise machines is in the consistency that they can bring to a workout program. People have a tendency to participate in something if they enjoy it, and some of the machines are effective at encouraging movement. The human body needs physical activity on a regular basis to remain healthy, and keeping your body moving is the key to the quality of your health. Using the right exercise machine could be the fun, convenient way to reach your goals, and perhaps go beyond them.

Sources: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00415

http://www.livestrong.com/article/84976-leg-exercise-equipment/

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