Exercise! Which is Best?

It’s confusing at the most and puzzling at the least. There are gyms and exercise “salons” scattered everywhere and most seem to be doing a barrel house business. Turn on the TV any time of the night or day and you’ll be bombarded with commercials and infomercials for the latest equipment and a few of the old standbys. So…how do you sort through it? Which one is actually best for you?

Actually, the answer is quite easy. There’s a big debate going on in some of the Christian communities about which Bible translation is best. I was listening to Jonathan Gallagher on PineKnoll give the shortest, simplest and most logical answer I’ve ever heard. “It’s the one you read.” With a bit of tweaking, the same thing can be applied to exercise. “It’s the one you DO.”

You can have the best and most equipment in the world but if you let it gather dust or turn it into a clothes rack, it doesn’t benefit you at all. Gym memberships are sold by the thousands but does everyone who has one make it a habit to go work out? No. There is a myriad of excuses reasons why not but a lot boil down to either a lack of commitment or a lack of time. That’s why I favor doing what is easiest for me.

I’m going to go through some of the equipment that’s available to all of us. I’ll start with the least expensive and go to the most. It won’t be comprehensive by any means, but you might be able to pinpoint something that will work for you.

Totally Free
First, if you have a high speed Internet connection, there are plenty of exercise videos online. Check out Exercise TV or that old standby, YouTube. Google “online exercise” and you’ll find lots more. Find one that doesn’t use any equipment at all and you aren’t out anything except the time it takes to do it and the flab that will be history.

Walking doesn’t cost anything. Neither does jogging or running. You probably have a good pair of shoes languishing in your closet and, unless you are going to get into it whole hog, they will probably be sufficient. For sure, if you only get to do it intermittently like I do.

Put on a CD with some lively music and dance, dance, dance! Move those arms and legs! Jump and jive! Do it until you are sweating and breathing heavy.

Cheap
How about going to the local discount store and buying a jump rope? Start out slow and easy with this one if you are part of my age group. You don’t want to get tangled up, fall and have to make a trip to the emergency room. That would wipe out any of the savings you realized on equipment and possibly put an end to any kind of exercise for a while. Then there’s the old hula hoop. You can buy the El Cheapos at Wally World or, if you are hardcore into it, go to Amazon to find one that’s made especially for working out. The same goes for jump ropes. You can buy the latter in bulk and get your friends and family involved.

Very Inexpensive
How about an exercise ball? I got one for my height and weight along with a pump for $10 at Wally World. If you are ‘way out in the boonies or on a deserted island somewhere, it’s Amazon to the rescue again. If you have Prime and want it right away, click on the link on the left side of the page that says “Prime Eligible” and you can have it in your hot little hands in two days. Of course, it might take longer to get to the deserted island but for most of us, two days.

Then there are bands. They come in all shapes, sizes and colors, with and without handles.

Heavy Hands are something I’ve looked at for a long time. They can start out fairly cheap and then get into some more serious money. From what I’ve heard, they can go a long way toward toning the arms and shoulders. One person I know uses them while walking.

Want a program that doesn’t cost much and uses no equipment at all? That would be the Lightning Speed Exercise Program my friend and mentor, Roger Haeske, has perfected. I need to get back into it. I can do a lot of that at work with no problem.

Reasonable
Here’s where my old friend, the rebounder, comes in. While I have it in the “reasonable” category, it can cost upwards of over $800 if you get the top of the line. However, some of the less expensive ones are fine. They might not last quite as long but some people like to buy less expensive and then go with a better one. Me, I went with the Cellerciser and I’ve never regretted it. Its price might edge up into the expensive range but, if you saved your change like I did, you can afford it.

All Over the Place
That’s where exercise bikes as well as treadmills are. You can go as low as less than $100 to several thousand.

Like to be in the great outdoors? Maybe a bicycle is the answer. That can get into some money, too, with the helmet, knee pads, elbow pads and general padding I’d have to have to keep from injuring myself.

Something that can go into some bucks is the OmGym. It looks like it would be for someone younger than I am but maybe I’m limiting myself. At any rate, it isn’t something I can afford but I do believe it would be fun.

There are weights and barbells and ab crunchers and ellipticals and on and on and on. My suggestion is, if you want something really badly, find a friend who has what you want and beg, borrow or steal a session and make sure it’s what you really want before you lay out the money.

In the meantime, move!

10 Responses to Exercise! Which is Best?

  1. Lila September 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm #

    Tommie, you mentioned some I had never heard of before – but how about the Health Rider? Do you think it gives a pretty good workout?

    • Tommie September 21, 2009 at 6:25 pm #

      Yes, the Health Rider does give a good workout but the one I have is no longer available. They still manufacture steppers, ellipticals and treadmills. I found a cardio rider on Amazon (you can search for it using my Amazon search box on this page) and you might find them on eBay.

  2. Ashley Hamilton September 21, 2009 at 6:41 pm #

    I am a rock climber! There is climbing in every direction in Chattanooga. =) I don’t even realize its a workout!

    Good post, Tommie!

    • Tommie September 21, 2009 at 7:12 pm #

      That IS good exercise but most of us don’t do it (we’d crowd you out if we did) and it would be impossible for me to participate five times a week! 😀 I don’t think I’ll be taking it up at age 65…

  3. Cassandra September 25, 2009 at 10:08 pm #

    Ooh, a hula hoop! That sounds like something fun that I’d like to add into my routine. Right now, I’m running and doing sit ups, push ups, and squats.

    • Tommie September 27, 2009 at 8:59 am #

      It IS fun if you get one that works. I have one of those “shoop shoop” ones and all the stuff is stuck in one spot. I’ve shaken it loose but it goes right back. Aggravating. If I want to do it regularly, I think I’ll get one of the ones made especially for exercise from Amazon.

  4. deb roby September 29, 2009 at 1:42 pm #

    I find it interesting that many of the exercise suggestions you list seem to be cardio exercises. Which is only one form of exercise necessary.

    Weight training is more important the older one gets – keeping and maintaining muscle mass is a key factor in longevity. Using bands, hand weights or body weight can work -but it’s important to learn to do to correctly.

    Balance and reactive work is also important. It will help keep someone from falling.

    The OmGym does look fun and you could probably get something out of it -and grow into it. But there are better options- just doing push ups, and some yoga or pilates for example.

    • Tommie September 29, 2009 at 8:30 pm #

      As I said, the list that I put up isn’t at all comprehensive. This was only meant as suggestions and to get people thinking—and you are obviously thinking about it. It isn’t an instructional article. It’s supposed to be encouragement to the people who spend more time on the couch than most. Dr. D. does neuro-training with a ball among other things. I agree with what you are saying. Perhaps you should write an article outlining other forms of exercise?

  5. Dominiq Li October 6, 2009 at 5:05 am #

    I’ve been a fitness junkie since teenagehood. Track & Field, cross country, touch rugby, softball, swimming, dancing, kick boxing, thai boxing, yoga, weight training, you name it. I’m finally settled with Bikram Yoga for cardio and flexibility, and pole dancing for strength.

    • Tommie October 6, 2009 at 6:18 am #

      Isn’t it wonderful when you find what works for you?

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