Home fitness machines are a massive industry in Australia, but are they worth the money?
Home fitness equipment can range from the maximum training machines such as home gyms to basic small-scale equipment such as dumbbells or yoga mats, with anything and everything in between.
There are several different areas of home fitness with the major ones being cardio, strength and general fitness training. Although, the most popular forms of home fitness machines tend to be cardio fitness equipment. According to gyms and rental retailers the most popular choices for home fitness machines are treadmills, exercise bikes and elliptical machines.
Probably the most popular and common choice when it comes to home fitness machines, treadmills allow the user to walk or run for extended periods of time in one place due to the motorised moving belt rotating. Treadmills are able to be changed to different settings with speed, incline and time all able to be adapted to suit whatever fitness regime you feel up to, whether it is a power walk for ten minutes or running for thirty minutes, a treadmill offers up an easy choice for both options.
The cost of treadmills can vary with some less expensive versions not actually being motorised but rather powered by the walking action of the user. Whereas the more expensive treadmills have a computer with various workout programs available. However, it is safe to assume that a quality treadmill can cost anywhere from $1000 – $3000 depending on additional features.
Exercise bikes offer programmed various biking routines and biking course simulations which prevent boredom and offer much the same as treadmills in that the user can adjust inclines, speed, time and resistance which all add to the difficulty of a workout.
Exercise bikes are available in several different variants with the first choice being between upright bikes and recumbent bikes. Basically this means the difference between riding an exercise bike as normal or with a backing stand that allows for the rider to prop their back against a firm support. Additionally, then there are choices between the following:
- Commercial bikes
- Performance bikes
- Spinning bikes
- Entry level bikes
Elliptical or cross-trainers are becoming increasingly popular with many gyms now housing the same number of elliptical trainers as treadmills due to sheer demand in the fitness industry. The basis for this increase in popularity is the elliptical trainers benefits of being low impact, weight-bearing and delivering a dual action workout. By working both upper and lower body, the elliptical cross trainers have become an ideal and popular option for home fitness machines. With an elliptical trainer, you get a workout that utilizes the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, chest, back, triceps and biceps while also getting a choice between programmes like with treadmills and exercise bikes with options between hill climbing or interval training through alternating resistance.
So now that we know what the most popular home fitness choices are, the question is…are they worth it?
When it comes to a question as to whether to buy home fitness equipment or not, one of the most common objections is that much of the fitness that these trainers provide is easily copied outdoors and for free. While that is very true, the whole basis of the gym and fitness machine industry shows that there are enough people who would rather exercise indoors. This can be due to anything from small children, limited time, wishing to work out in private, safety issues with outdoor exercise, proximity to own showers and bathrooms and even just for the sheer comfort of exercising alone and in any kinds of weather.
Of course there are negatives associated with home fitness machines with some of the most common being:
- Loss of motivation
Obviously this is a fairly subjective question where the user’s own commitment to training would need to be determine, so there are a number of choices and things that people can do before they buy their own fitness home machines.
The smartest option before you spend several thousand dollars on a new home fitness machine is to test it out, see if you think it can become a permanent fixture in your exercise regime. This could mean trying it out at the gym but renting one out for a few weeks is best with fairly cheap rental plans available. Rental prices for home fitness machines will range from $100 to $200 per month for a treadmill and $80-$120 for bikes and elliptical trainers with the features of individual machines being a major impact on the costs involved.