meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" /> Fitness Accessories Increase Workout Effectiveness

resistance bandsAdding a few fitness accessories to your home gym can help you to achieve more from your workouts.

Fitness accessories that are in addition to your home fitness equipment or special features to look for when you purchase your fitness equipment

You could take photos with just a bare camera. But to get the most out of it you need accessories. The same idea applies to fitness equipment. You could get by with the bare minimum, but by having a few accessories raises the value of your equipment many fold.

Some of these are often built into or come with fitness equipment like treadmills or elliptical trainers. But often those types raise the price far beyond what a separate accessory would cost, while sometimes not being as good.

A good example is a heart rate monitor.

Some treadmills have a heart monitor built into the handles or available as a separate chest strap that feeds information into a central console at the front. But they can raise the price by a couple of hundred dollars or more. By contrast, a good separate accessory may be no more than a modestly priced watch, say about $69.

Several models, in fact, actually look and have features very much like a digital wristwatch. With sensors built-into the strap and/or case, these types offer a convenient way to measure the pulse or heart rate. You just strap them on like you would any wristwatch, press a button or two and the monitor shows the figure in a small LCD display.

Separate heart rate monitors can sometimes be more accurate than those built into a treadmill or elliptical, too if you look for a high end one. Chest straps, for example, can provide a very precise measure of the pulse. You just snap them on at the top of the rib case and the device transmits data to a reader/display unit.

Any good one will not only tell the time of day, but also offer a timer so you know how long to work on any given exercise. They should also be able to store multiple readings so they can be recalled later. Seeing a trend is often better than a single number. In fitness, the recovery rate (how soon your pulse returns to normal after vigorous exercise) is often a better gauge than a single pulse rate at a given time.

Body fat calipers and body fat gauges are another case in point.

Measuring weight is easy with scales. But that can provide only an approximation of body fat percentage by using the BMI formula. [Mass in kg / (height*height) or (weight in pounds * 703) / (height in inches squared)] BMI is a valuable number, since it’s correlated with many health factors. But the body fat percentage is a more direct indicator.

There are a wide variety of body fat gauges on the market, many of which resemble a set of calipers with a small LCD display incorporated. You squeeze the calipers against a fold of skin, say on the abdomen or upper arm, and the display shows an easy-to-read figure.

The gauge should be able to adjust for gender, age and other parameters that make the number more personally meaningful. Storing multiple readings is helpful so you can monitor changes. An audible beep to indicate when you’re pressing with the right force is helpful, too.

There are dozens of helpful fitness accessories that will help you get the most out of your gear and your workout. After all, exercise isn’t an end in itself. Optimizing health is the goal. But optimizing your workout with accessories is one great way to do that.

For a good selection of fitness accessories visit:
Fitness Equipment Bargains

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