Do you really need a heart rate monitor

We all know that the technology nowadays means you can have everything packed in a single mobile device. In fact, if you have a Samsung S5, you will appreciate how they incorporate fitness app into their product. Many people think that a heart rate monitor is a waste of time. However, I beg to differ.

Firstly, getting a device dedicated to tracking your fitness level is always better than just an app on a mobile device. There are many fitness level that that a HRM measures that a simple Android app can’t. Secondly, having a heart rate monitor always encourages me to keep up with my fitness routine. Otherwise, the money you invest in one such device is going to waste. Finally, I’d like to have a separate monitoring device like a HRM. It’s just better looking and much cooler and trendy.

I always turn to Polar, probably the most popular brand when it comes to heart rate monitor. I personally use the Polar FT7, a fantastic device. Check out the video below to see how awesome it is:

If you want a comparison chart of what heart rate monitor suits your budget, needs and style, then I suggest you check out this article.

Top 5 Fitness Equipment for 2014

Over the years, there have been hundreds of exercise equipment, tools and machinery that have come out in the market – but how does one know which ones have stood the test of time? Sometimes, new isn’t always good. By taking a closer look at the options, it is easier to pick out the right equipment for a healthier, fitter life. These are the top five equipment every person needs in their home gym:

Elliptical MachinesElliptical Machines and Stair Steppers

After a while, getting on the treadmill can become boring. These two machines are a great alternative, packing less punch on joints. By using these while standing up, a lot of muscle mass is used, which translates to lots of calories being burned. For the more advanced users, elliptical machines can be used with arm components – these significantly increase the difficulty level, which results to more calories burned, too.

Stationary Exercise Bikes

One of the oldest equipment found in gyms and homes, the exercise bike is the perfect machine for a good round of workout without hurting the joints. This makes it ideal for anybody with knee, hip and back problems. The impact and stress on joint isn’t as harmful to the body compared to treadmills. Most of the latest models of exercise bike have rests for books, phones and devices to keep the user entertained while working out. Even though this is a classic machine, lots of advancements in features and specs have made it a must-have for every fitness enthusiast. When purchasing, please note that there are two types: upright and recumbent exercise bike. If you are confused, head over to pickmybikes.com where can you find multiple reviews of both types.

Elastic Bands

What most people fail to realize is how elastic bands provide lots of benefits that bigger machines can’t provide. For one, they offer a linear variable resistance – as the user continues with his range of motion, there is increased resistance. Elastic bands make the body utilize more fast-twitch muscle fibers. These are the ones that have the biggest potential in terms of improving strength. These are also the ones that people lose first when they age. Bands are great because users can mimic sports activities, such as swinging a golf club.

Wrist and Forearm Machines

These are also common in gyms. A lot of people have weak joints at the wrists – especially women. Even so, many people who exercise regularly do not give enough focus on the area. These machines let the user work the wrist up, down and side to side – at the same time, the forearms stand parallel to the ground while elbows are bent at 90 degrees. This strengthens the joints simultaneously.

Cable-Based Resistance Machines

These machines provide great multiple-muscle strengthening exercises quickly. A five minute session can create all the difference. These are great equipment to have because they let the user train every single muscle group, intensified by the continual tension provided by the cable. Many gyms have these – and they can be used at home, too. The machines have two arms with adjustments, which let the user customize the range of the workout. Different muscle groups can be worked at the same time by moving a lever or changing positions, making it a good all-in-one machine to have.

Pat Sherwood home gym

Home gym is all the rage these days. Instead of joining a program/a gym, people prefer buying their own equipment at home. In this video, trainer Pat Sherwood shows off his personal gym at his Denver, Colorado. According to him, fully equipped and professional equipment doesn’t make or break elite athletes. So don’t be afraid to get fit even with the most basic equipment (or no equipment at all).