Sunday, January 31, 2010

And the Winner is...

So, what piece of exercise equipment do I recommend the most for my patients? The hands down winner is an exercise bike. Treadmills are great if you've got room (see yesterday's post). However, I always recommend cross-training to avoid injuries, and walking somewhere outdoors should be an option for everyone. Elliptical machines provide a different muscle stress than walking, but I have found that the less expensive ones don't get used too much because of instability or jerky movements, and the top of the line ellipticals are a major investment.
Exercise bikes allow for cross training, take up relatively less room, and tend to have better quality at a lower price point (compared with treadmills and ellipticals.) Also, for me, reading is truly an option on the bike. I find I cannot focus clearly enough to read on the other types of machines. I recommend the "recumbent" bikes- one with the big cushy chair that supports your rear end and your back, but still allows you to sit upright (not the ones on the floor where your legs are straight out.)
No matter what you buy, though, TRY IT OUT before you invest! Machines fit everyone differently, and you can't tell from a picture on the internet if your leg or arm is going to hit the water bottle holder.
BOTTOM LINE: If you've got tons of money and space, take your pick and buy more than one type of home exercise machine, but if you're limited, buy the BIKE!

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