So your wheels are spinning on how to achieve a leaner, fitter YOU in 2012. You know the basics to weight loss: burn more than you consume. For many people, an effective weight loss regiment includes home exercise equipment.
On Wednesday, Consumer Reports released its report on those products, such as treadmills and ellipticals. Most of the stores are available at national chains like Sears and Walmart, both of which have locations in Huntsville and surrounding communities.
Consumer Reports put 35 treadmills and 18 elliptical exercisers through the paces (click here to see how we test). The top-rated non-folding treadmill, the Precor 9.31, costs a cool $4,000 and offers excellent construction. But consumers on tighter budgets can find solid choices in the non-folding Sole S77 at $1,900 and the folding ProForm Performance 600 and Horizon T202, both $800. All three are Consumer Reports “Best Buys.”
The top-scoring elliptical, the Octane Fitness Q37ci, costs $3,100 and is solidly built, has four heart-rate programs, comes with a chest-strap heart-rate monitor, and earned very high marks for safety. If you don’t need the heart rate monitoring and can forgo certain other features, Consumer Reports recommends the Octane Fitness Q37c for $500 less.
Consumer Reports also tested 10 regular pedometers, three GPS watches, and three cell phone apps that claim to measure steps and distance through your phone’s movements. CR identifies the Sportline Step & Distance SB4202 ($5), a conventional pedometer available at Walmart and Best Buy. (Both stores have locations in Huntsville and surrounding communities.)
Consumer Reports also recommends the Mio Trace Acc-Tek ($30) and the Omron GOsmart Pocket HJ-112 ($30). As for cell-phone apps, CR named the Accupedo pedometer widget (for Android) at $4 and the Pedometer Pro GPS+ (for iPhone) at $3 Best Buys.
And, in a first for Consumer Reports, the magazine is sharing Ratings data from subscribers who have purchased home exercise machines. Owners of 1,302 elliptical machines and 1,891 treadmills reported on overall satisfaction and problems they experienced with the most common brands.
Sole was the top-rated treadmill brand, while ProForm rated lower than all other elliptical brands. Among elliptical exercisers, ProForm received more complaints than other brands about being difficult to adjust to the needs of different users and having a poor range of workout options. NordicTrack scored substantially worse than the other brands for being bulky and difficult to set up. There were no differences among treadmill brands in the rate of problems.
The report also includes results from an online survey of more than 3,000 Consumer Reports readers who shared their diet strategies. The survey also revealed that 69 percent of readers had followed their own diet and exercise regimen. Of those who subscribed to at least one commercial diet plan in the past three years, 88 percent said they tried either Weight Watchers or Weight Watchers online. (Click here for Huntsville WW contact information.)
If you are interested in checking out some of these products for yourself, visit theHuntsville Best Buy store on University Drive and Sears in Madison Square Mall. There are several Walmart stores in the Rocket City.