Exercise Equipment…Some Things Old Are New Again!
In trying to be true to my ongoing goal to try new ways to exercise and stay fit, I decided to try out a weight-lifting class the other day after work! (Yeah, I’m sure you can imagine the motivational pep talk I had to give myself all the way to the gym!) I felt tired before class, so it goes without saying that I was exhausted and sweaty after it was over! As I walked by the big exercise equipment room on my way to grab my coat from a hall locker, I did a double-take when I saw a piece of exercise gear on a metal shelf that I hadn’t ever seen there before–memories of my youth literally flooded my mind and I couldn’t resist getting a closer look…
Although the updated version of the “waist wheel” or “abdominal roller” as it’s referred to now, is perhaps a safer, more ergonomically balanced version, the use and fitness benefit it provides is still the same…you kneel down, grip the handles, then roll out the length of your torso and back again! My parents bought one of the original waist wheels, and to this very day I think it is one of the best abdominal strengthening exercises there is–your arms will get a work-out too! After spying the wheel at the gym, I couldn’t help but go take if for a quick test ride–my stomach muscles are still sore!
This past November when my husband and I visited New York City to see our daughter run in the NYC marathon, leaning up against the wall of the exercise room in our hotel was a mini exercise trampoline–I had to chuckle to myself, it was exactly like the one my parents had exercised on most mornings when I was growing up!
I’ll admit, I felt a little giddy when I placed the exercise trampoline on the floor and jumped on it for awhile–it really is such a fun way to get in some good cardio exercise! I remember how my parent’s mini trampoline also entertained all their grandchildren when they came to visit…many ingenious, make-believe games were played on it and a lot of energy was expended, as well! (Hmm, I’ll have to think seriously about getting one for my playroom!)
The more recent styles of mini exercise trampolines come with a few added “bells and whistles” so to speak. I’ve even read that a popular trend lately is these big trampoline exercise gyms! Regardless of style, the incentive element behind any of these exercise trampolines is the simple joy of jumping while putting less stress on joints! Just what I need!
A new year for many of us usually means renewed goals to exercise more, so we dust off our exercise DVD’s that have been collecting dust on the shelf beneath our TV’s since last summer. Although much more prevalent today, exercise gurus have been a fitness mainstay for many years. I can remember my mom doing the enthusiastic work-outs of Jack LaLanne when I was young. Many from my generation joined Jazzercise classes, boasting color coordinated headbands and leg warmers! P90X and Insanity are often the choice of fitness enthusiasts today.
Despite the level of intensity of the various workouts available today, the message shared is the same as that from years past–to live healthy, active lifestyles. The real dilemma lies in figuring out what works the best to help us stay motivated to exercise!
Would it surprise you to learn that Jack LaLanne was also an advocate of power juicing? I’m sure he’s smiling down on all those who are embracing the latest resurgence of this healthy practice! Also interesting to note, is that many of our workout pants today, minus the stirrups, seem to resemble the stretch comfort of the ones Jack LaLanne used to wear!
New, modern exercise equipment today is so streamlined and often comes with computerized work-out programs built right in, however, sometimes I miss the simplicity and easy use of some of the old school exercise equipment!
I absolutely love the Vision Fitness exercise bicycle that my husband and I bought a few years ago, but the original Schwinn model that my parents owned for many years had the most comfortable leather seat–there’s also a lot to be said for being able change the resistance level just by tightening or loosening a knob!
Finally, I can’t end without mentioning exercise footwear! I mean honestly, need I say more than fuchsia, tangerine or neon yellow!
The only choice there used to be for exercise shoes was either a basic Reebok or Nike shoe in white or black! Now shoes come in an endless array of colors and there seems to be a shoe made for every sport imaginable! For my husband, who usually dresses quite conservatively, the brighter the better when it comes to his athletic shoes–in fact, he recently purchased a pair of tangerine Salomon trail running shoes!
Ironically, my son and two sons-in-law all own a pair of these basic gray New Balance running shoes! My daughters refer to them as old “grandpa shoes”! Ha!
What I’m learning now is…
While growing up, I remember my parents as always being health conscious and having a regular exercise regimen. What I’m learning now is that as I get older, what my parents told me long ago is so true–it’s nice to exercise to LOOK good, but it’s especially important to exercise to FEEL good too!
So, no matter the exercise equipment we choose to use…
Is there a certain piece of exercise equipment you wish would make a come back? I’d love to hear what you do to help you stay motivated to exercise and work-out.