Buying fitness equipment is not always the easiest task. Finding the right piece for your home gym often means heading into unchartered territory. Everyday Health offers some great tips on making smart fitness buys. (In case you missed it, here's part I.) Here are highlights:
- Look for well-built equipment. A sturdy frame, smooth running parts, sufficient horsepower (if motorized), and a comfortable feel are all key elements. Also, ask the dealer about warranties, return policies, repair records, and service costs.
- Make sure you understand the full cost of the equipment. Read the fine print to see if items such as shipping and handling, sales tax, and set-up fees are included.
- Look for features that you'll really use. Fancy add-ons such as computer-programmed displays are nice to have, but they can inflate the bottom line. However, you may feel some extras are worthwhile — for instance, if knowing how many calories you're burning will act as a motivator or if features such as a reading rack, water bottle holder, or seat and tension adjusters will make your workout more appealing.
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- Learn how to use your equipment properly. From stair machines to stability balls, exercise equipment can be dangerous if used incorrectly. It's a good idea to consult a qualified fitness professional to learn how to use any new equipment you purchase. Many dealers offer a complimentary training session when you buy a large piece of equipment.
- Be careful when buying large equipment secondhand. It is cheaper, but warranties aren't likely to apply, and usually you cannot return the equipment. If you buy from a gym, the equipment is more likely to be heavy-duty. However, it's also more likely to have seen heavy use.
Do you have any buying tips of your own? Share them below.