o Ask yourself honestly, before purchasing, "Will I enjoy using this piece of equipment at home on a regular basis?" The true
key to results lies in adherence, and if you don't enjoy the exercise, sticking with it might become a struggle, Find
something you really enjoy doing.
o At-home aerobic-exercise equipment should be built to last with extensive usage. While several manufacturers have created products specifically for the home market, those companies that also sell commercial exercise equipment usually have far more rigorous field testing before bringing new machines to the market. Look at the manufacturer's history before purchasing.
o Take advertising claims lightly. Some make claims that exceed the capabilities of the advertised machines. Exercise is work - not easy or effortless.
o Always try the equipment before purchasing. When you shop, dress in workout clothes, choose the equipment that appears to have the features you like and then get on it. Make sure it feels right to you.
o Shop around for prices and compare various models. Don't buy on impulse. Remember that total cost also includes sales tax, shipping, delivery, set-up fees, etc. You might be able to negotiate some of these.
o Check the warranty. Many products that feature limited warrantee's for home use are manufactured with the assumption that usage will be minimal, invest in a machine that the manufacturer stands behind.
o If you're used to a health-club model of a particular piece of equipment, don't assume a lower-end "home model" will feel the same. It won't. First, try it out. Make sure it offers varying resistance levels to accommodate a number of users and will adapt as fitness levels improve. You might even find it more valuable to invest the extra dollars in a favorite unit you use in your health club. Some gyms even replace their models every year or so. so you can buy one used; just make sure it's fully operational.
o Inferior workmanship and parts will often allow products to be sold at a low ticket price. If you want quality, you might have to spend more money. If you're on a budget, a step, some running shoes and a few exercise videos might prove a better investment than a low-end machine that's clunky and unstable.
o Decide which area you'll use at home, then measure the exact dimensions of the machine as well as the space you'll need to mount/dismount and operate it. You should be comfortable spending 20-45 minutes a few times a week in this area of your home. If you exercise during the day, windows add brightness. Make sure you have sufficient lighting at night. Consider ventilation, air conditioning and access to music and/or television.
o Recruit professional assistance. While many retail exercise- equipment outlets offer qualified assistance, salespeople often have their own agendas. Investing in a session or two with a qualified personal trainer will likely pay off in assurance that your equipment investment is sound.
o Here's a checklist of options to consider:
Your budget and the value of the investment
Effectiveness toward specificity of goals
Level of enjoyment of the activity
Adjustability to specific body needs
Length of time on market
Reports from owners and users
Reputation and track record of manufacturer