All About Exercise Machines

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You'll need to pedal four miles to burn calories, says Alexander. Work out for time. Ab Flex is definitely one great toning alternative; however, The Flex Belt is another great tool to consider adding to your fitness routine. Try using a pre-programmed workout that includes variations in speed and intensity. Protein powders, protein bars and meal replacement supplements are a popular choice for those who engage in sports regularly. Chromium diet supplements are available in tablet form and they do a good job at reducing excess body fat while helping your body maintain normal sugar levels. Because you must push with the legs while you pull with the arms, rowers require coordination.

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The stationary bike is a less intense calorie-burner than some of the other machines. You'll need to pedal four miles to burn calories, says Alexander. Rowers are more advanced cardiovascular machines. Because you must push with the legs while you pull with the arms, rowers require coordination. They also you require you to engage your core abdominal muscles to support and protect your back. Because they use so many muscle groups, rowers burn lots of calories.

But this machine has several red flags for a beginning or unfit exerciser. Extra weight often comes with back pain , and this is not a machine you want to use if you have back issues, he says.

Choose a machine that feels right. If impact is a problem, the stationary bicycle may be a better choice than the treadmill. More muscle use equals more calorie burn.

The basic rule of thumb is that the machine that exercises the greatest muscle mass burns the most calories. There's a flip side of that coin, too: If you're a beginner, using more muscles means getting fatigued sooner -- which will result in burning fewer calories. Try using a pre-programmed workout that includes variations in speed and intensity. Or vary those factors yourself during your workout. There are so many things you can do to make it more interesting.

Work out for time. Instead of forcing yourself to stay on one piece of equipment when you're bored or uncomfortable, just give yourself a time goal at the gym, says Stamford. For example, give yourself 30 minutes to get your workout in. Then break it up any way you want — say, 10 minutes each on the treadmill and bike, followed by 10 on the elliptical machines.

If you're still feeling chipper, go for 5 or 10 more minutes on the machine of your chice. Even if you love one particular machine, you don't have to use it every time. Because these results are based on averages, he explains, they "are about as accurate as rolling the dice and multiplying eye color times shoe size. Be a creature of habit. We brush our teeth every morning and every night, Vukovich tells his students.

It's a habit, a routine, something we do every day. Exercise should be that way too, he says. So instead of setting yourself up for failure with all sorts of requirements, set less lofty goals at first, if it means you can meet them, says Alexander. Never begin a new exercise regimen without getting the approval of your doctor. Choosing a Machine Here's the lowdown on what you can expect from some of the machines you're likely to find at your local gym.

The Treadmill The treadmill burns the most calories of any of the cardiovascular machines available at most gyms, says Alexander. Why should you use supplements? Vitamins and minerals Besides supporting general health, vitamins and mineral supplements may help head off chronic conditions, so it's important to make sure that your risk of dietary deficiencies is low by taking supplements.

Start by reading the label to identify the nutrients included as well as the amounts per serving. If you're looking for a daily supplement that's suitable for most individuals, get a combination of basic vitamins and minerals. Some of the essential ingredients in such supplements include vitamins C, B1, B2, B3, B6, A, folic acid, Vitamin E , iodine, zinc, magnesium, calcium and iron.

Multiple types of multivitamins are targeted at helping individuals with specific conditions or nutritional needs. Women, for example, could take a supplement with folic acid when they're pregnant to help avoid some congenital disabilities.

Middle-aged women can take calcium and vitamin D supplements to lower the risk of osteoporosis. Check the percentages to determine whether a certain supplement offers you percent of the Daily Value DV for the vitamins and minerals included. You shouldn t take multivitamins that exceed the percent recommended dose.

Proteins and meal replacements Protein powders, protein bars and meal replacement supplements are a popular choice for those who engage in sports regularly. Meal replacement shakes are often made with skim milk, and they're high in protein and fiber while being low in fat. They offer a high-energy meal, but they only have around to calories per serving. Protein bars are ideal for those moments you want a nutritious snack on the go.

Diet supplements If losing weight is your goal, diet supplements can help you by curbing cravings and suppressing your appetite.

Chromium diet supplements are available in tablet form and they do a good job at reducing excess body fat while helping your body maintain normal sugar levels. Control your diet with an everyday weight loss kit that come complete with everything you need to embrace healthy eating, offering you a variety of breakfast options and snacks.

Slimming powders combine appetite suppressants with protein and other nutrients to boost your metabolism.

Choosing a Machine