You may have heard the news: Obesity is a major problem in America. The statistics are bandied around daily by nutrition experts, exercise psychologists, and the general medical profession and the predictions are dire: By 2030, over half of all U.S. adults will be obese.
The causes are fairly well-known as well.
- Since the 1970s, the number of fast food restaurants has doubled.
- The typical American diet exceeds the recommended intake levels or limits in calories.
- The typical American diet exceeds limits in added sugars, refined grains, sodium, and saturated fat.
But it’s not just the standard American diet that is cause obesity. As many researchers have noted, Americans, adults or young children, are just not getting enough exercise. Children spend an average of 7.5 hours in front of a screen and just 5% of American adults get the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity per day.
Of course, it’s tough. Between work and other responsibilities, it can be difficult to find time to get that physical activity. It’s not just our smartphones: We’re busier than ever.
And someone just starting out may be overwhelmed with choices and recommendations. For diets, there are new terms and methods coming out every day. Carb cycling, intermittent fasting, the ketogenic diet. With exercise too, there are a myriad of choices. So, where to start and what exercise equipment to choose? Here are three factors to consider.
Do you like to go to gyms? Are you an outdoor exerciser that loves pounding that pavement for a run? Do you want to take classes, such as dance or self defense, for a group-oriented exercise?
These may seem like daunting choices as there are many options but each has its benefits. The gym has many types of exercise equipment for both cardio and weight lifting.
Exercising outdoors changes the scenery, gets you fresh air, and can be done at all hours.
Ask yourself if there’s something that appeals to you more than the other. Fresh air and outdoors versus inside and weight machines. Learning a skill while exercising versus setting your own goals for running three miles or getting that bench press up to 250.
A lot of this depends on…
Try a visualization exercise. Imagine yourself with the body that you want. Is there a certain amount of muscle or a certain waistline? Then figure out to get that body type through research. What is going to be required?
Building muscle requires lifting heavier weights heavier than your muscles can handle after a certain amount of reps. There are a myriad of ways to build muscle, though most people center on bodyweight exercises and lifting weights like dumbbells. This can be done in the gym or in the home.
Gym equipment can be purchased at a home fitness store or a sports store to create a home gym. Many people purchase exercise equipment and set it up in a garage.
Losing fat requires burning calories, which is generally the domain of cardio. If you’re just starting out, pick a low-intensity exercise and do it for thirty minutes. Then build up from there.
If you’re going to a gym, you will have access to a nearly comprehensive amount of equipment typically. But what if you want to start a home gym or a beginner that wants a jump start with something small?
For the beginner, a small piece of equipment can go a long way. Resistance bands, for instance, which are around $20 for the lower resistance levels, can provide a good weight workout without the challenge of jumping into the machines at the gym.
Dumbbells, which vary in price depending on weight, can provide a good full body workout without breaking the bank or forcing someone to jump into the machines.
Finding the right exercise equipment depends on budgets and needs. Someone who likes to do cardio at home might buy a treadmill or elliptical. Someone who likes the atmosphere of group classes might buy a dance class program where the class is brought to them.
Location, goals, and equipment matter. It’s important to consider all three when starting out.