Being diagnosed with even a mild hypertension at an early age of 27 way back in 1977 wasn't a good prospect for my future life. Knowing it early was a blessing as I know what to do so as not to aggravate the ailment. The doctors told me to watch my diet, sleep well, watch my weight and above all exercise. All relevant points to note for all those afflicted with hypertension.
I led a pretty active life prior to 1997. Playing tennis to sweat it out was like a must in my daily life. Things changed when I became an internet junkie hooked on the internet relay chat or IRC. All those who had suffered the same malady as me will understand the situation. This addiction continued to the end of my working days that is till the end of 2005. Being a weekend husband who will only return to the family located 185 kms away provided the ultimate opportunity for me to stay online till the wee hours of the day. I know I was getting any healthier with that kind of life.
A change of lifestyle was needed. Though I can opt for another year of service, I prefer to retire just to be with my family and lead a new lifestyle.
It was time to regain my health. I need to sweat it out. My earlier investment of a step machine did not work as it was boring to work on. Fortunately I did not invest on a stationary exercise bike as it was just as boring. The mountain bike and all the other bicycles that I had just continued to collect dust.
I made a great mistake when I invested in a massage chair. Take my word that the massage chair is not the way to health. Fortunately my brother in law offered to buy the machine at a highly discounted price. Now it was time to look for another machine to help me to exercise.
Scouting the malls in Kota Bharu took me to fitness shops selling a multitude of exercise machines. The treadmills fascinated me. Nowadays only motorized treadmills are being sold so I won't be making the mistake of buying one that is not. The problem was how to make a choice. There were so many brands and specifications to choose from. Reebok, Gintel, Takashima and many others from Taiwan are available ranging in price from RM2,000 to RM6,000 which is the price range I am looking for. Some brands and models come with attractive freebies in the form of other fitness machines. The top of the line model from Gintel comes with a free massage chair.
After several look and see at the outlet, we finally decide to buy a Takashima due to the many models available with the specifications I had in mind.
Utmost in my mind is that the machine must be powered with a minimum of 2 HP motor. Anything below will not stand the vigorous use. Other specifications are the presence of built in programs for the workout, pliant board that will not stress my 60 years old feet (the heart maybe as old but you know the owner always feel it is younger than its chronological or physical age) and any other features will be a bonus.
The model we decided upon was Takashima Fitness 1 Advance series TK 551. Thanks to Fikry the sale staff who made the recommendation and put in an effort to make the sale.
Using the machine doesn't mean that I will get the look and shape of the model, but it is an inspiration to become one.
Reading the user manual helped me to understand better on how to use the machine because the sale staff may not know everything. One thing I learned is not to start the machine while you are standing on the board. Step on the board only after it has started moving as it will help the motor to have a longer life since it is not stressed. This was not told to me by the staff.
Trying out the F1 Advance at the outlet at KB Mall before making the purchase.
The sale staff with Fikry in the middle while Ramlah the KB Mall outlet head was busy preparing the necessary purchase orders.
A week later the delivery was made to my home. The delivery was within the two weeks promised.
The machine in it folded position for storage. As a comparison, the American made Reebok will just have the board folded and not the motor.
The console of the treadmill has a built in speaker and will accommodate an MP3 player or a hand phone. One of the program has a voice instruction accompanied with music. I prefer my house radio to keep me company.
The display monitor is large enough to show the time elapsed or remaining depending on the program, the speed in kmh. the distance in km, the pulse, the incline from 0 to 15 percent, the calories burned and program used.
The maximum load this machine can take is 120 kg. So if you are a fatso weighing over 120 kg, please get the Reebok which has a 3HP motor.
Thus far I have only done a maximum of 30 minutes walking a distance of 2 km. with a speed ranging fro a slow 2 kmh to a maximum of 7 kmh and an incline of 2 percent. That was more than enough to burn 70 calories off for a day and make me sweat. My maximum pulse rate is 135 beats per minute and I was told to not exceed the 150 beats being a 60 year old. They give you the chart as a guide on the maximum pulse that you should attain. A pull on the safety magnet switch will automatically switch off the machine and one end of the string to the switch must be attached to your apparel to ensure the machine will be cut off should a user fall from it.
Stretching is an important exercise to do before using the machine. The process will prepare your body for the strenuous exercise and prevent injury. Doing it after the exercise will help your body to cool down. Many people are reluctant to do this stretching exercise.
Since the exercise bike was given free, I made use of it if the wife happens to be using the treadmill at the same time. Actually we paid RM200 extra to get the bike of the model below. The one actually given free with the treadmill seemed too flimsy for our liking.
Since the doctor has advised my wife Fatthiyah to do some exercise and lose some weight, she was as eager as me to use the machine. Doing it together will definitely be more fun as the other will egg the other on to complete the programme.
The machine on its own will not do much to improve your health. Only by using it will it helps.
My aim now is to bring down my weight by 5 kg. I started off at 80 kg. With the fasting month on and a minimum of 3 times weekly 30 minutes workouts, InsyaAllah I will achieve it.