Get to Work (At Home)

Finding the Right Exercise Equipment for Your Home Gym

First there is Halloween candy, then comes the Thanksgiving turkey and fixings and finally of course there’s the Christmas cookies. All these treats are delicious, but they might get you thinking about how you’ll shed your winter weight. That’s where the right piece of exercise equipment comes in!

There are several options to choose from for both cardio and weight lifting exercise routines. Each has their own benefits and drawbacks. Find the right one for your lifestyle and you’ll find a fitness regimen you can stick with!

Treadmills

A treadmill is a classic piece of exercise equipment for your home. One upside is that they can be used for all levels of fitness. You can use it to walk at a slow pace or to train for a marathon. Treadmills can be the most basic cardio equipment all the way through to models that have pre-set programs with a video screen. For someone with balance problems, though, a treadmill may prove tricky. And the impact on joints may be too much for some people. As with any exercise equipment, be sure to follow safety guidelines.

Elliptical trainers

Elliptical trainers are great for people with joint problems. The foot paddles move without impact to give you a smooth, yet effective, cardio workout. Of course, the movement may take some getting used to, especially if you haven’t exercised in a while. But if you want a routine that’s easy on your joints, ellipticals are a great option.

Stationary Bikes

Another great low-impact option is a stationary bike. You can choose a spin bike, air bike or recumbent model. Be sure you select a bike with a wide, comfortable seat and one that is the correct height to get the most from the workout. These machines are great even for beginners or those with movement limitations. It’s as easy as, well, riding a bike!

Weight equipment

Cardio is a key component to any exercise program. But it’s important to mix in weight training as well. Weight bearing exercises keep your bones strong and muscles toned. And you don’t need a bulky piece of machinery to do weight training at home. There are many options to choose from to complete your home gym. You can get an adjustable set of dumbbells, which will allow the whole family to take advantage of the equipment without needing each individual weight. Medicine balls and kettle bells are other weight training options. Choose the right weights for you to keep at home, and you won’t need to head to the gym!

Don’t go out in the snow this winter. Stay home and get your exercise in! You can get just as great a workout as you could at the gym. You just need the right pieces of equipment!

-Fitness Fanatic

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Two Wheelers On a Roll

With a selection of great bikes from which to choose and a wealth of bike trails nation wide, bicycling is more popular than ever.
 
Many of us grew up on a bicycle. From age five or six until our late teen years, we enjoyed the freedom of two-wheel transportation. With the sun in the sky, wind in our faces and pavement flying by—from home to school to the store or just cruising the old neighborhood—we spent the better part of our lives on bikes.
 
Who would have thought it could get any better than that? But when we finally got a driver’s license, that bike was parked, and it was only many years later that we gave thought to getting back up on two wheels.
 
Today, bikes are more than transportation for kids. For many adults, a bike serves as the daily workout, weekend entertainment or even a means of commuting. More importantly, bicycling is a great family activity. And while we rode the streets as children, today there are numerous bike paths and trails in every part of the country that offer a safe and scenic way to enjoy bicycling.
 
A Bike for Everyone
 
If you’re thinking of getting the family on bikes, Dunham’s is a great place to start. Whether you want to get off the road with trail bikes or take on the pavement with road bikes, Dunham’s has rides for you and yours.
 
For example, among the many affordable bikes you’ll find at Dunham’s is the Shogun T1000, a hybrid bicycle that’s great for the street or a bike path. Available in men’s and women’s models, it features an aluminum frame, front suspension, Shimano 21-speed shifting, alloy wheels and more.
 
Itching to get off road and ride some wilderness trails? The Thruster Excalibur Mountain Bike sports a hand crafted aluminum frame, an Alloy Crown front shock, 29-inch alloy wheels and Shimano 21-speed shifting with rear derailleur.
 
The 20-inch Razor RZ-20 is a great all-purpose bike for youngsters. It’s great on the street, on dirt trails or at the skatepark. The 20-inch Razor Neonz Pink will make any young lady happy and is suitable for both freestyle tricks and street riding.
 
The highly rated K2 ZED is a mountain bike with oversize 27.5-inch tires that can cope with trail obstacles while helping the rider maintain momentum. The lightweight aluminum frame is fitted with mechanical disc brakes and a Shimano®/SRAM® 21-speed drivetrain with twist shifters. K2’s Astral road bike is a lightweight hybrid with an 8-speed Shimano shifter. A great ride for the bike path or the daily commute.
 
Get Ready to Ride
 
Goodyear has expanded into the world of bicycles! As you read this, Dunham’s will be stocking their shelves with new Goodyear branded tires and tubes. The Goodyear line includes tires and tubes ranging from 12” to 29”, for road, mountain and everything in between. All the quality of Goodyear is now available for your bike.
 
-Two Wheeler
 
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Spring: A Season for Renewal

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
It’s been a long, hard winter but finally spring has arrived! Soon we’ll be shedding our heavy winter clothes and embracing the lush, green growth of trees and gardens , and the warming air that greets us each morning. Neighbors we haven’t seen all winter will be out working in their yards, walking or jogging, and soon fresh spring produce will arrive at the grocer’s. It’s a great time of year to renew your health resolutions or make a new commitment to a healthy life!
 
After long months spent indoors, it can be a big challenge to adopt a major fitness program, especially if you have a busy schedule. Ease into it!
 
• Choose an activity you will enjoy!
 
• If your schedule makes it difficult to set aside a 30 minute block of time, try three 10-minute workouts or walks.
 
• Walk or bike to work or to the local store.
Wear a pedometer to keep track of the number of steps you take and and set a goal to increase the amount you walk. A Harvard study found that taking six thousand steps a day is correlated with a lower death rate in men.
 
• Park your car a distance from your destination and walk.
 
• Use stairs instead of the elevator.
 
• Take a walk at lunch with coworkers.
 
• Join an office or community sports league.
 
If you’re hungry when you get home from your fitness outing, try a handful of nuts! A study from Loma Linda University found that participants eating a diet that has majority of fat coming from almonds resulted in significantly higher loss of body and abdominal fat in 24 weeks than participants who ate the same amount of calories with more carbs and less fat. Other nuts to add to your diet include Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts and walnuts.
 
You’ll probably be thirsty too! Drink plenty of water; researchers in Germany found that drinking two cups of cold water can boost metabolic rate by 30 percent! If you have a taste for something different try green tea, its primary ingredient – epigallocatechin gallate – reduces the effect of the enzyme that normally breaks down norepinephrine. That keeps the metabolic rate up, and you burn more calories throughout the day. Black tea also aids fat loss. A study conducted by University College in London found that drinking black tea regularly can reduce levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that encourages fat storage around the midsection.
 
Make physical activity a regular part of your day and you’ll begin to notice some positive changes, whether it’s weight loss, a smaller waist or a new, fuller sense of well-being.
 
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GET HEALTHY, SAVE MONEY, HAVE FUN!

We all learn to ride bikes as kids, but then comes high school and cars and other interests (like the opposite sex) and somehow our bikes end up in garage sales. But bicycling is a tremendous activity for any age, which is why you see so many people riding these days — on city streets, country roads and bike trails.
 
Get Healthy (Without Noticing)
 
Face it, exercise can be drudgery. Counting situp reps, straining on the weight machine, even watching soaps on a treadmill can get old very fast. But on a bike you’re out in fresh air, you’re seeing the sights and you’re getting a great workout without even knowing it. Riding a bike is obviously good exercise, but there are specific benefits:
 
Cycling minimizes the risk of coronary heart disease. Essentially an aerobic exercise, it gives your heart, blood vessels and lungs a workout.
A few miles of cycling per day assures trimmer and toned muscles. This is because your upper thigh muscles, backside and calf muscles all get to work out.
Cycling helps build stamina.
It will help you control your weight.
A good bike ride can lift your spirits and reduce anxiety.
 
So Many Choices
 
The kind of bike you want will depend on the kind of riding you do.
 
For off road biking. Solid, durable, with wider tires, suspensions that will absorb bumpy terrain, and plenty of gears for climbing.
 
A cross between a mountain bike and a “regular” bike, this bike is perfect for people who want a versatile bike for casual and fitness riding — on road and off. This category has exploded in growth over the past few years. For the serious cyclist who covers a lot of distance and wants a fast, lightweight and comfortable bike.
 
Functional, durable and easy to maintain, this bike is excellent for city commuters.
 
Michael Sohalsky with Schwinn Bicycles of Madison, Wisconsin, and he says it is very important to find a bike that suits you. “Listen to the advice of the people in the store, because they know bikes,” he says. “But you also want something that looks attractive on you, so don’t be afraid to listen to your gut, too.” (Just don’t let it talk you out of buying the bike).
 
A Bike for Every Price Range
 
Not only are there all kinds of bikes, there are all kinds of prices. Hard core cyclists want speed as well as durability, and bike construction can be very high tech, with sophisticated frame materials like carbon fiber, titanium and various alloys. And technology costs money: You can easily spend $10,000 on a bicycle.
 
But don’t let that scare you. For a few hundred dollars you can get a perfectly fine bicycle that does everything you need it to.
 
An Infinite Number of Miles Per Gallon
 
Exercise and pleasure will always be big reasons to bike, but with the price of gas these days practicality and economy are becoming more important factors. Any time you can ride your bike instead of driving your car you will be saving big money, considering you will spend on gasoline. Even if you ride to work once a week, you’ll be ahead.
 
Some tips on commuting with a bike:
Make sure your bike is comfortable and working well.
Plan your route; you will probably have to balance safety, convenience and aesthetics, you may want several routes for different moods.
Test your route on a day off when you are not under pressure; not only do you learn the route, you test your equipment and learn about how long the ride takes.
Select light, bright colored cycling clothes; you can’t make yourself too visible.
Plan your work attire; store a wardrobe at the office or carry cloths rolled in a towel to reduce wrinkling. (Tip: some people deliver a week’s worth of clothing to their office once a week.)
Get bike panniers or a ruck sack; for clothing, papers and snacks — longer rides favor panniers.
Buy a lock; learn where to park and how to use the lock for maximum effectiveness.
Wear a helmet — this applies for all bike riding; even with good training on how to ride like a vehicle, and riding defensively, accidents occasionally happen. Studies show that helmets can reduce the severity of the injury.
 
Safety is a concern for everyone on a bicycle. Bikes can be a great alternative to a car, but that car will always be bigger and faster than you are on a bike. Ride carefully in traffic.
 
Find a Bike Trail Near You
 
Recognizing the health and environmental benefits of cycling, state and local governments and private organizations are greatly expanding the number and length of dedicated biking trails. Go on the Internet and search “bike trails” under your state and you’ll likely find a number of good choices near you.
 
-Two Wheeler
 
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A Bicycle Built for You

With today’s emphasis on inexpensive transportation and physical fitness, two-wheeled people-powered vehicles have become extremely popular. But choosing a bike isn’t just a matter of picking out a stylish ride. To get the most out of your bike choose a model that fits both your needs and your physique. Mismatched bikes end up gathering dust in the garage, but the right bike can serve you well for years to come.
 
Form Follows Function
 
The first step in choosing a bike is deciding what kind of riding you’ll be doing. While there are numerous categories of bicycles, the most common are mountain bikes, racing or road bikes, and comfort bikes.
 
Mountain bikes are for off-road use. They have knobby tires that can grip in dirt. Mountain bikes are built with sturdy frames and wheels. Some have suspension systems. The gearing is wide, with emphasis on low ratios that can flatten out steep hills.
 
Racing and road bicycles are built on lightweight frames. They’re designed for speed and the gears range from mid to high ratios. The handlebars are dropped and the rider assumes a low and aerodynamic position.
 
Today’s most popular bikes are called comfort or hybrid bikes. Comfort bikes have low rolling resistance tires and are built with sturdy frames, comfortable saddles, and upright handlebars. Some have suspension or a shock-absorbing seat post for an ultra-comfortable ride. Because comfort bikes are built to travel moderate distances without overtaxing the rider, they’re ideal for commuting or general cruising.
 
Fit to be Ridden
 
Bikes are classified by wheel size, with bikes having 26-inch or larger wheels being appropriate for adults. Itty-bitty kids might start on a 17-inch bike, then graduate to a 20-inch. Bridging the gap between kid bikes and full-size rides are 24-inch bikes. Adults of less than 5’5” might be happier on a 24-inch bike.
 
Once you’ve chosen a bike, it should be adjusted for fit. Pedal crank length can be changed on some bikes. Finding a length that’s best for you makes pedaling easier. One guide suggests that the optimum crank length is equal to 18.5% of the distance from the bottom of your foot to the top of your femur.
 
Saddle tilt is adjustable on most bikes. The best position is a comfortable position. If the saddle is tilted down at the nose, you’ll slide forward, if the nose is high, it will be uncomfortable. Level is usually best.
 
Saddle height can be adjusted on all bikes. The goal here is to find a height that will allow a slight bend in your leg when the pedal is at the bottom of its travel. To adjust height, center yourself on the saddle. With the pedal at the bottom of its travel, your heel should rest on the pedal when your leg is fully straight. This will result in a slightly bent leg when riding.
 
Many saddles have a fore and aft adjustment. How far back the saddle is located relative to the pedals determines how balanced your body will be. All riders bend forward some amount, but when bending forward you don’t want to have to support your weight with your arms. If the saddle is positioned correctly, most of your weight will be on the saddle.
 
Handlebar position is related to saddle position. With your seat positioned correctly, you should be able to reach the bars without upsetting your balance.
 
Safe in the Saddle
 
No one, child or adult, should ride a bicycle without a helmet, and many cities and states require their use. Choose a helmet from a reputable manufacturer that fits properly. A cheap, ill-fitting helmet is not much better than no helmet.
 
If you’re going to ride at night, equip your bike with front and rear lights. The front light generally mounts on the handlebars, while the rear light is mounted on the seat post. Bicycle lights are inexpensive, but the extra security that a light provides is invaluable.
 
-Two Wheeler
 
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