Step It Up!

Inside weighs in on five home exercise equipment that you can step on to help you burn 200 calories

Issue: Oct 2014

Learn how to pick your home gym equipment so you can exercise your way to a healthier lifestyle
Learn how to pick your home gym equipment so you can exercise your way to a healthier lifestyle

Count it, cut it, burn it. For years, health fanatics have been waging war on calories. In Singapore, the Health Promotion Board recommends a calorie intake of between 2,280 and 1885 for a moderately active man and between 1745 and 1570 for a woman.

But what if we take in more than we need? Well, that’s when exercise comes in. To lose one pound, you need to burn 3,500 calories or an extra 200 calories a day for two and a half weeks.

Inside takes a look at five types of home exercise equipment and tells you how long you have to be on each to burn those 200 calories.

Tread Lightly – Treadmills

What to consider:

People reportedly get more out of their treadmills that any other piece of exercise equipment because walking and running comes naturally to everyone. Whether or not invest in a treadmill then depends on two practical things: space and price (a treadmill can easily set you back upward of S$500).

Once you have set your heart on a treadmill, then other considerations come into play: powerful, stability, how smooth a trip it affords, and noise (will the drone of the treadmill be so loud that it drives you to distraction?).

How long:

To burn 200 calories on a treadmill:

Walk - 5.6 kilometres an hour for one hour

Walk on an incline of 3% - 5.6 kilometres an hour for 30 minutes

Jog – 8 kilometres in 30 minutes

Expert’s tips:

About our expert: Christian Yan is a personal fitness trainer with a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree (Exercise & Sport Science) from Deakin University (Melbourne, 2007). He has been a fitness trainer for more than 10 years. With his degree and six years of experience with the Singapore Armed Forces, Christian is able to create exciting training environments for his clients.

For adults of average health, getting the heart pumping is the aim because that maximises fat-burning. The maximum heart beat per minute is 220 minus the age of the person. So if you are 50 years old, the maximum heart beat should be 170 beats per minute (bpm). For adults of average fitness, you should aim for 60 to 70 per cent of that maximum bpm which is about 120 bpm.

Next, you have to sustain that for 20 to 30 minutes to achieve fat-burning. On a treadmill, this would mean brisk-walking or, if you are more active, a slow jog.

What’s available:

Osim (S$588) comes with tiered programmes that stimulate different terrains and intensity levels
Osim (S$588) comes with tiered programmes that stimulate different terrains and intensity levels
Photo credit: Osim

Peak Performer - Stepper

What to consider:

Stepper or treadmill – that depends on what you want. Steppers give a more intense workout in a shorter period of time. They are also better for your legs and glutes. But they put a strain on your knees. Treadmills allow you to work out at a steadier pace for a longer time, making them great for a cardio workout.

Steppers come in two types: the step climber has two footplates that let you shift your body weight to simulate stair-climbing, and the step mill involves a revolving staircase that makes you literally climb an endless series of steps. Most home steppers are step climbers.

How long:

To burn 200 calories on a stepper:

30 minutes

Expert’s tips:

Steppers are good for older people or those with knee or back issues. However, most of the times, the repetitive action causes the muscles to wear out long before you can get your heart rate up to its optimal number of beats per minute for fat-burning. Because of that, I would put it lower down on my list of must-have home gym equipment.

What’s available:

Stepper can range from simple machines to more sophisticated ones to define your own stride length, adjust your training positions and intensity, and different muscle groups
Stepper can range from simple machines to more sophisticated ones that let you define your own stride length, adjust your training positions and intensity, and different muscle groups
Photo credit: AIBI

A Victorious Cycle – Exercise Bike

What to consider:

If walking or jogging is too high impact for your joints and steppers hurt your knees, consider getting on an exercise bicycle. Some people also find to easier to cycle than to walk, jog, or take the stairs. In addition, the likelihood of accidental falls from an exercise bike is much reduced compared to slipping on a treadmill or falling off a stepper.

The con is that the exercise bike isn’t as compact as a stepper. It also burns fewer calories than treadmills or steppers and provides less of a full-body workout.

How long:

To burn 200 calories on an exercise bike:

40 minutes

Expert’s tips:

The exercise bike is on par with the treadmill in terms of its ability to make you generate enough activity to work up your heart rate. It has the advantage of having less of an impact on the joints. So, for someone who has never really worked out before or doesn’t work out much, this is great.

What’s available:

(Left) AIBI I-Cardio Upright Bike(AB-B860i)S$988; (Right) the EZ Tone Chair (S$599)
(Left) Time, speed, revolutions per minute, calories burnt, and heart rate, the AIBI I-Cardio Upright Bike(AB-B860i)S$988 tells them all; (Right) the EZ Tone Chair (S$599) is more than just an exercise equipment, it is designed to fit into the décor of the modern home
Photo credit: Osim

Shake It Up – Vibrating Platform

What to consider:

You might have seen them around – what looks like a vibrating skateboard without wheels. These vibrating plates promise to jiggle your fats away with no more effort than simply standing on them without falling off. How it does this is by transmitting energy to your body, forcing your muscles to contract and relax dozens of times within a second. Other added benefits of using the device include better blood circulation and the ability to soothe body aches.

Not enough comprehensive research has been done to verify its benefits as yet. For now, its clear benefits are that it is relatively pain-free to use and quite compact.

How long:

To burn 200 calories on a vibrating platform:

10 minutes

Expert’s tips:

For a vibrating platform to be truly effective, it has to be vibrating at about 30 to 50 Hertz (or up to 30 to 50 cycles per second), so fast that you can’t even see it move. Up and down movements also work better than side to side teetering mechanisms to stimulate your muscles to contract. This type of exercise is more for strength and endurance training as well as stretching. You won’t get much of a cardiovascular workout out of it.

What’s available:

OSIM uShape (S$699) is sleek and light and has all the perks: wireless controls, exercise bands, varied intensity
OSIM uShape (S$699) is sleek and light and has all the perks: wireless controls, exercise bands, varied intensity
Photo credit: Osim

Boundless Energy – Trampoline

What to consider:

Equally quirky but not as newfangled is the trampoline as a workout equipment. It is a gleeful way to get in some aerobic exercise. Proponents say they prefer to bounce than jog because bouncing takes away 80 per cent off the stress on your weight-bearing joints.

Of course, bouncing on a trampoline takes a little finesse and falling off is a real risk.

When you shop for your trampoline, make sure the frame is sturdy and has smooth welds that will not snag on clothes or cut you. If your trampoline has springs, they should be equipped with covers that pad them. Go for round trampolines because rectangular ones create high bounces that can be dangerous. Finally, make sure your trampoline is large enough for you.

How long:

To burn 200 calories on a trampoline:

40 minutes

Expert’s tips:

Trampolines are easy, no-fuss exercise equipment. You don’t even need shoes to work out on them. It has zero impact and it’s easy to work up your heart rate on a trampoline. The only minus is that your legs may get tired before you can get your heart rate going because it takes a lot of muscle work to jump. With running or cycling, you can at least slow down. But on a trampoline, if you slow down, you don’t bounce.

What’s available:

AIBI Jumpsport Trampoline (S$468 - S$899) has adjustable chords and different tension settings that change the mat's firmness
AIBI Jumpsport Trampoline (S$468 – S$899) has adjustable chords and different tension settings that change the mat’s firmness, allowing you to adjust the intensity of your bounces while removable legs make for easy storage
Photo credit: AIBI

Walk, jog, climb, ride, or bounce - do any of these for 30 to 40 minutes thrice a week and you are on your way to better fitness. Take it up a notch and go at it five to six days a week and you are likely to shed those kilos in six months. Now, that’s motivation to step on it.

Shop with us:

AIBI
68 Orchard Rd
Plaza Singapura
#03-05/06
Singapore 238839
Tel: (65) 6238-0082
www.aibifitness.com
AIBI
68 Orchard Road
Plaza Singapura (New Extension)
#04-69
Singapore 238839
Tel: (65) 6338-8922
www.aibifitness.com
AIBI
311 New Upper Changi Road
Bedok Mall
#B2-48
Singapore 467360
Tel: (65) 68449581
www.aibifitness.com
AIBI
2 Jurong East Street 21
IMM Building
#02-13
Singapore 609601
Tel: (65) 6899-1190
www.aibifitness.com
Osim
2 Orchard Turn
ION Orchard
#B4-11
Singapore 238801
Tel: (65) 65091086
www.osim.com
Osim
68 Orchard Road
Plaza Singapura
#03-09
Singapore 238839
Tel: (65) 6339 3201
www.osim.com
Osim
252 North Bridge Road
Raffles City Singapore
#03-21
Singapore 179103
Tel: (65) 6837 1565
www.osim.com
Osim
311 New Upper Changi Road
Bedok Mall
#B2-57
Singapore 467360
Tel: (65) 6844 9253
www.osim.com
Osim
4 Tampines Central 5
Tampines Mall
#B1-05
Singapore 529510
Tel: (65) 6587 3529
www.osim.com
Osim
9 Bishan Place
Junction 8
#03-10
Singapore 579837
Tel: (65) 6258 7941
www.osim.com
Osim
2 Jurong East Street 21
IMM Building
#02-12
Singapore 609601
Tel: (65) 6425 5834
www.osim.com
Osim
3 Gateway Drive
Westgate
#B1-22
Singapore 608532
Tel: (65) 6465 9132
www.osim.com
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