A Few Observations on Specific Equipment
Shoes. All that’s really necessary for a workout is a good pair of shoes that are made well and fit well. They should be broken in, but not worn down. They should support the ankle and provide cushioning for walking as well as for impact sports such as running or aerobic dancing. Airing out the shoes and feet after exercising reduces chances for skin conditions such as athlete’s foot.
Clothing. Comfort and safety are the key words for workout clothing. For outdoor nighttime exercise, a reflective vest and light-colored clothing must be worn. Bikers, inline skaters, and equestrians should always wear safety devices such as helmets, wrist guards, and knee and elbow pads. Goggles are mandatory for indoor racquet sports. For vigorous athletic activities, such as football, ankle braces may be more effective than tape in preventing ankle injuries.
The following are a few observations on specific equipment:
A simple jump rope improves aerobic endurance for people who are able to perform high-impact exercise. Jumping rope should be done on a floor mat plus a surface that has some give to avoid joint injury.
For burning calories, the treadmill has been ranked best, followed by stair climbers, the rowing machine, cross-country ski machine, and stationary bicycle. (Elliptical trainers, however, may be even better than treadmills for increasing heart rate, calorie expenditure, and oxygen consumption.)
Stair machines also condition leg muscles. They offer very intense, low-impact workouts and may be as effective as running with less chance of injury.
Rowing and cross-country ski machines exercise both the upper and lower body.