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Treadmill vs. Road Running: Choosing the Best Way to Run for You

As a runner, there’s nothing more wonderful than a cool morning, a gentle breeze, and some scenery. I love to run outside. Because of where I live, I typically run on pavement in neighborhoods. Sometimes I manage to run through parks and even along rivers during my weekly training. When everything is in sync, there’s noting better, but that’s just one runner’s opinion.

Many runners run outdoors on the pavement. However, there are also a lot of runners who actually prefer the treadmill. As I’ve had my fair share of terrain experience, I can safely say that neither is necessarily better, but they are very different.

Road Running

Road running naturally creates many benefits for the training athlete. Because of the uneven surface the outdoors provides, the body gets a complete workout. Stabilizing muscles have to work harder out on the road as the runner has to shift to adapt to the changes. Road running will also bring its share of climate obstacles. Wind will provide great resistance training and heat and cold can also help the runner prepare for any given race day condition. Another major bonus of road running is that it burns more calories than treadmill running as it is more intense and demands more energy from the leg muscles.


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Elliptical vs. Treadmill Workouts: Which is Right for You?

Whenever I ask people what their favorite way to get cardio in is, they usually mention two pieces of equipment: the elliptical and the treadmill. This is great because both offer a fantastic cardiovascular workout and work well for people of all kinds of fitness backgrounds. But how do these two pieces compare in regards to cost, ease of use and accessibility? Read on to see how ellipticals and treadmills  compare and how they differ- and find the piece of equipment that is perfect for you!

Cost

While both ellipticals and treadmills vary greatly in price and quality, when looking at cardio pieces that are appropriate for home use, ellipticals are typically a little bit less costly than treadmills. You have to be a savvy shopper, but know that your dollar is going to go a bit farther when buying an elliptical. While there are quite a few ellipticals on the market that are less than $1,000 and are OK for general home use, I can’t really say that about treadmills. This is because when you look at the basic machinery of the two types of equipment, a treadmill is just a little bit more complicated than an elliptical. When shopping and looking at price, also take into consideration that both pieces may need repairs under regular use, with treadmill belts usually needing a bit more love and repair than an ellitpical. Both pieces should come with warranties.

Who wins this one? The elliptical is a more cost-effective option.


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Picking the Perfect Pair of Shoes for Zumba

Zumba Wear Gym Shoes on Amazon.com, $108.99

Zumba is taking over the world. It’s cheap, fun, easy and you don’t need much to join in on the Latin dance fitness craze except your body, whatever sense of rhythm you have, and the right shoes.

You don’t need those fancy high heels you may be picturing, however. Your regular gym shoes are just fine, but if you really want proper Zumba foot attire, there are a few things you should consider when picking out a new pair of kicks.

There are three basic elements to look at when purchasing any type of shoe: shock absorption, ankle support, and material and sole flexibility. Well, four, cause they have to look good, too, but that’s a given. These three elements become even more important when looking for shoes for a specific activity, which today is a kick-butt Zumba class.


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Exercise Trends Catering to Different Age Groups

Scarves and ponchos are among the things I would expect to boast a ‘one-size-fits-all’ label. Fitness clubs simply cannot. They are finally starting to realize that exercise classes don’t possess universal appeal and that they have to target their demographics very specifically. This is bringing about a booming trend for 2011: age-tailored exercising.

The fastest growing market, with the most expendable time and money, is the baby boomers. Men and women of this generation are dominating health clubs which is bringing about a rise in activities that appeal to them. The second largest demographic is kids, ages six to 17. As Meredith Poppler of the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association says, “Youth programming is a hot topic.” We must stop the rise of obesity now and the only way to do that, to truly eradicate obesity, is to educate and motivate our children. People are clearly understanding this message and gyms are responding with more family-friendly activities.


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Gym-Pact Charges Members Extra for Not Working Out

Gum pact logoYifan Zhang and Geoff Oberhofer are working to create a new system of gym memberships. Gym-Pact is a membership program that charges members higher fees if they don’t workout regularly. Zhang and Oberhofer are testing the theory that people are more motivated by short-term consequences than long-term rewards. It also creates a sense of accountability.

Gym-Pact has negotiated pilot programs with gyms in Boston. Their first partnership was for first-time customers at Bally Total Fitness, and now they’ve negotiated a group rate at Planet Fitness. Instead of a high up-front cost, the members of the Gym-Pact deal at Planet Fitness get a free membership if they workout four times per week. If not, they must pay $25.00.


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