IT takes time to get and stay fit. But with more and more demands on our time, finding some to visit a gym, jog around the block or drive to the beach for a swim is very hard. The gurus of the multi-million dollar fitness industry, never slow to spot an interesting opportunity, have realised this. The array of exercise devices you can have installed in your home is as staggering as some of the claims their manufacturers make. Advertisements for some passive exercise machines promise amazing physiological development. But don’t be fooled. If the machine does the work, there’s no way you’ll get fit. But not all home exercise machines are useless.Some are excellent aids to fitness. Here are a number of points to look out for if you are considering turning your home into a personal fitness centre:

* Is there reputable scientific or academic evidence to support the manufacturer’s claims?

* If the manufacturer claims dual fitness/weight loss benefits, does the equipment provide the aerobic exertion (exercise which increases your heart and breathing rates) necessary to achieve this?

* Does the equipment come with detailed how-to-use information in order to avoid injury? This is very important because, unlike at a gym, you will not have a professionally trained instructor teaching you the proper way to use the equipment.

* Is the equipment guaranteed against manufacturing faults?

* Is the equipment soundly constructed?

If it were to break while you were using it, you could be seriously injured. Once you have answered all these questions, the next major consideration is: does the equipment suit your own particular needs? It’s no use buying weight-training equipment (which builds muscle) if what you really want to do is increase your cardio-vascular capacity or lose weight. Here is a quick guide to home exercise equipment to help you choose what best suits you.



Mini-trampolines became very popular a few years ago as an alternative to aerobic classes but unless you are truly dedicated their attraction tends to wane. They do provide good exercise. Research has shown the aerobic benefit is slightly more than swimming for periods of between 15-20 minutes. The main problem is that they can become boring and any slip of concentration can result in a painful injury. The plusses are that they’re cheap and easily stored. What to pay Costs for a best┬átrampoline range from $45-$95

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