Heath Reviews the Best Treadmills

Alright health gurus, let’s talk treadmills! If you’re not already on the treadmill train, let me inspire you right off the bat. I know clients have a huge range of fitness goals, from losing weight to toning to getting bulked. But any fitness routine isn’t complete without cardio, which is where a treadmill comes in. Running for half an hour before any workout is super important to warm up, and treadmills are the ideal way for runners to keep on track when it’s cold or rainy outside. There’s been a lot of talk recently about how running might not be so good for you because of all the impact on your joints, and that’s a valid point. Impact is bad, that’s why ellipticals are so popular. But most of that impact comes from the pavement or concrete most people run on, not from the landing by itself. So landing on a treadmill, which has some give to it, is actually the safest running environment.

Oh, and Heath, you’re saying, I thought weight lifters didn’t like to do cardio! Well, truth be told, most people don’t when they’re into weight lifting and bulking. They don’t want anything to compromise the bulk. But let me get real for a minute. If you don’t do any cardio at all, and just lift, you’re not doing your heart any favors. Basically, people who lift and don’t do any cardio are just like people who don’t work out at all, for most of the time, and then they suddenly place a huge demand on their heart when they start a lifting session. So it’s just begging for something to go wrong. Even if you want to get jacked, you should still go for a bit of a run before you lift. That gets blood going everywhere it needs to and it gets heat going in your body so you’re warmed up and limber enough to actually lift safely.


Even if you’re not up to speed enough to run at this point, that’s ok. Treadmills are one of my favorite ways to introduce new clients to the fitness world because you can use them however you want and you don’t have to have any baseline strength to get started on your routine.


Ok, so now that I’ve made my case for why treadmills are so good, I want to introduce you to a few that I really like. Personally, I think LifeSpan makes the best ones that you can buy for your home, which is where most of my clients end up using a treadmill anyway. It’s a lot more cost-effective to get a treadmill to keep on track with cardio than to spend all your money on strengthening equipment that’s going to take up all your space and probably not going to be as safe as the equipment at your gym. So, I think LifeSpan’s are the best bet for most people to use at home, since they have a really good folding design that’s not flimsy like the cheaper treadmills I’ve seen people using. They’re all under $1000 when last I checked, and my clients have had really good success with them. The most popular model they go for is the TR1200i, which is a big award-winner in the fitness magazines I subscribe to (that’s how I first heard of it). It has a good range of programs on the computer without a bunch of clutter to distract you.

I have a hard time finding anything cheaper to recommend, because in my experience, the ones under $750 tend to be complete garbage, but there are a few cheaper options listed here: http://homefitnessintel.com/best-treadmill-reviews/ I haven’t used them personally, but that’s a really good review site that I would trust for other recommendations.


Why am I telling you to spend so much for your treadmill? It’s mostly for safety, honestly. Cheap fitness equipment breaks, and that’s putting your body at risk. Not worth the savings, in my opinion. You should generally stay away from any machine under $500, whether it’s a bike, elliptical, or a treadmill. Some of the cheap treadmills are ok for walking, but I don’t see the point of buying something you’re going to have to replace as soon as you start getting up to the running level. So, just be honest with yourself and know that real fitness equipment is an investment where there aren’t any shortcuts.


Alright, so that’s my rant on treadmills. I hope it’s helpful. Let me know if you have any questions! I really think everyone who’s serious about fitness should have a home cardio machine, even if you bike or run outside, so that you can keep on track every day. I’ll get around to reviewing some other machines soon, but in the meantime, my source for the most current equipment reviews is Home Fitness Intel. You can check them out here for the best rowing machine review, and some elliptical or bike options as well.
Stay healthy, friends!

Simple Ways to Lose Weight

Hey guys, today I’m talking about simple but super effective ways to lose weight. I know losing weight can be hard at any stage of life, and a lot of people just feel stuck because their diets or workout programs aren’t doing the trick. Here are some simple things you can start doing now and stick to that work better than any fad or temporary fix!


First things first, you have to get your workout routine down to a schedule. If you’re just working out sporadically, you’re never going to have enough of a regimen to make an actual difference in your body composition. You have to make sure you’re moving several times a week, at the same day and time, so your body starts building in some muscle memory. Trust me, it makes a big difference, just in keeping you on track and also in making each workout feel a little less like climbing a mountain. If it’s just what you normally do on a Friday morning, each week will get a little easier. Start with three workouts a week, and stick to them. You can build on after that.

When you’re starting out your fitness routine, I always tell my clients to just focus on cardio at first. It makes the biggest difference in getting rid of fat, and you’re going to want to warm up with some cardio before you start any big weight lifting exercises anyway, so start with 20-30 minute workouts and then slowly work your way up to an hour of cardio every workout. I guarantee you that if you can stick to 1 hour 3 times a week, you’re going to start seeing results fast. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, there’s no need to learn rowing or running when you’re starting fresh. Just hop on something like an elliptical machine and start at your own pace. Like I tell any of my clients who are new to fitness, it’s more about being there consistently at first than what you do while you’re at the gym. It doesn’t matter how good your workouts are if you can’t keep yourself on track.


Ok, after you get your workouts scheduled and start making them happen, don’t forget about your diet! Aside from having a consistent workout routine, there’s nothing more important to losing weight than fixing your diet. It’s actually probably the most important thing you can do, but it takes a lot of the same discipline and routine-building as showing up at the gym on schedule.


I’m a big fan of a macrobiotic diet, which means I focus on building up the good bacteria in my stomach at the same time I’m trying to be nutritious in all the traditional ways, like eating fresh produce and cutting out processed junk. A lot of heavier folks who are trying to lose weight get frustrated because their metabolisms don’t work as well as other people’s. A lot of that has to do with the little critters living in your gut. If you don’t have the right bacteria and enzymes in your gut, you can’t process things right. And if you’ve been eating a bad diet with lots of processed foods and not many fresh fruits and vegetables, you’re definitely gonna be lacking in gut wildlife. You can start fixing it by eating a lot more raw fruits and vegetables, which will help clear out your tract with fiber, and fill it up with beneficial enzymes.


To restore the right balance of probiotic life in your stomach, you should start getting into some fermented foods, like sauerkraut or kimchi, or drink something like kombucha or apple cider vinegar. The point is to get as many good bacteria as possible. Yogurt is also a really good source, as long as it’s not super processed. I also use a really great protein powder called “Raw”, which is ground up sprouts and things, and is full of probiotics. It’s definitely the healthiest post-workout powder I’ve found.

Once you start incorporating all the probiotics and live foods, your metabolism should start working a lot better for you. Now it’s time to focus on feeding it with really beneficial things. You want to get more lean proteins in the meat department, so chicken and turkey instead of beef and pork, and only lean beef when you eat it (like a good steak). Cut out ground up meat and processed things like sausage as much as you can. It’s not doing you any favors and it’s now considered really unhealthy for you. You should also do the same things with carbs like bread, cut out all the processed forms and go for whole grains.


Most important of all, you want to get as much fresh produce in your diet as you can. The goal is 7-9 servings these days. Start with a serving at each meal, then add snacks between meals. Then get to two each meal, and you’ll be good to go. Remember you want the produce to be cooked as little as possible to get the best nutrition.
Do all these things, and get consistent with each one, and you’re going to be well on your way to losing weight and achieving your dream body.