Healthspan Blog

Long healthspans mean happy lives

Starting A Fitness Program Just For You (Part III)

12th July 2006

Getting The Right Equipment

When you begin any kind of exercise program, you need to make sure that you have the correct equipment for the exercise you plan to do.

Your Shoes: The Most Important Purchase

Before you go out and buy that treadmill or stair stepper machine, you should plan on going to your favorite shoe or department store for your athletic shoes! In part II, you determined which exercises you enjoy and are planning to make a part of your exercise routine – so now you must go get the correct shoes for those activities. Here are several of the types of shoes you will find and what they are good for:

– Running shoes – this type of athletic shoe is wonderful for activities that do not require much lateral motion of the feet. For walking, jogging, and running, these shoes are an appropriate choice. However, for aerobics, basketball and other activities with lateral motion and jumping, this type of shoes should be avoided, as they do not have the ankle support necessary. If walking and running is a main part of your exercise plan, this type of shoes is a good choice.
– Walking shoes – If you are a seriously fast walker, these might be shoes you will look at. However, a good running shoe is a better choice, even if walking is a major part of your exercise plan. As you progress in your program, walking shoes would not accommodate your switching to jogging or running.
– Basketball/tennis shoes – Look for good traction, adequate ankle support and firm cushioning in this type of shoes. Flared soles on the shoes may provide better ankle support, so should be considered if these sports are a main part of your exercise plan.
– Cross-training shoes – Very versatile shoes for a wide variety of exercises and sports. Designed for all kinds of activity, like running, walking, aerobics, racquet sports and some court sports. If you plan to do one sort of activity for the bulk of your exercise regime, buying a specialized pair of shoes is the better choice. However, if you plan to change activities on different days, cross-training shoes are something you should consider.
– Avoid shoes with “Air-Cushioned” soles. They don’t provide the support your feet need as a whole and can cause problems in the long run.

Exercise Equipment: Find Something You Like

Buying exercise equipment is a very expensive proposition, so you should know you like something before you buy! Get a short month membership at a gym with a wide variety of equipment. Try everything out and find something you like. Then you can buy.

To get more for your money, consider buying used equipment. However, buying the used equipment from a gym or doctor’s office would be the safest, as they will have kept the equipment in good working order. Finding an ad in the paper for your favorite machine might get your something cheap, but it may also get you something broken!

If you have no money for such things, don’t worry! Just be creative! Find a flight of stairs and visit it several times a week – there is your stair stepper. Many malls open an hour or two before the business day begins – there is your treadmill for speed walking. Fill some milk jugs with water or sand – there are some weights.

Comments are closed.