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A Stability Ball and Treadmill Will Cover All the Bases

April 02, 2001|STEPHANIE OAKES

Question: What is the best type of exercise equipment to buy for the home?



Answer: If I had to pick just two, I'd buy a treadmill and a stability ball, both available in most sporting-goods shops.

The treadmill gives you a cardiovascular workout, and it's easy to find a good one that is highly effective and affordable. The machines are more user-friendly and high-tech than ever before. Be sure to look for comfortable handlebar grips and a higher console, which make it easier to read and use. Also, many treadmills now have enhanced "floors" to eliminate stress to your body. Only a few years ago, treadmills were hard on the joints and back, but the new versions offer suspension systems that provide stability while absorbing impact.

A stability ball can be used for strength training--push-ups, triceps work and hamstring curls--as well as stretches and balance exercises. You can even take it to the office, working on your balance while fielding phone calls and answering e-mails. The ball promotes spinal health and postural awareness by automatically stabilizing your spine.


Stephanie Oakes is the fitness correspondent for Discovery Health Channel and a health/fitness consultant. To submit a fitness-related question, e-mail She cannot respond to every query.

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