Exercise Equipment

Shoes for Exercise

Shoes are the single most important piece of equipment you will need to begin your exercise program. They provide the extra support and cushioning needed to make your exercise more enjoyable.


  • Choose a shoe that is designed for the activity you will be doing (for example, a walking shoe versus a tennis shoe).
  • Shop for shoes at the end of the day when your feet are likely to be larger.
  • Take along the type of sock you will wear with that shoe. Take orthotics with you if you use them.
  • Bring in your old pair so that an experienced salesperson can look at it and see what type of wear pattern you have. This can tell them a lot and help them show you the right type of shoe to buy.
  • Spread and wiggle your toes while standing to ensure there is enough room in the toe.
  • Lace your shoes and check the space between the lace holes and across the tongue of the shoe. There should be 2.5 cm (1 inch) for a good fit.
  • The arch of the shoe should support the arch of your foot.
  • Walk or jog around the store to test for comfort and cushioning.


You may be more susceptible to foot problems if you have diabetes. Looking after your feet every day is very important. Remember to:

  • trim nails carefully.
  • always wear socks and shoes.
  • wash and dry feet daily.
  • check your feet daily for blisters, cuts, and sores.
  • use water shoes around pools or beach areas.

How to Buy Exercise Equipment for Your Home


  • How much can you spend?
  • What type of equipment will you enjoy using?
  • How much space do you have for your new equipment?
  • Is the equipment under warranty? Are you buying it from a centre that may offer you a service agreement for repairs and replacement parts?
  • Can you try out the equipment and return it if you are not completely satisfied?
Type of Equipment Advantages Disadvantages Features to Consider
  • Easy to learn to use
  • Motorized treadmills absorb approximately 40% of the impact when compared to the road. (This may vary greatly from one treadmill to another, depending on the suspension system. Ask the salesperson for specifics.)
  • Expensive
  • May be noisy
  • Requires large amount of floor space
  • Motorized vs. manual (manual is not recommended)
  • Size of the motor
  • Variable speed
  • Variable incline
  • Safety features
  • Size of the belt
  • Cushioning on the deck (top surface). If you plan to run, you need a sturdy belt.
Stationary Bicycle
  • Good choice for people with knee or back problems or those who are overweight
  • Less expensive
  • Less amount of floor space used
  • Some bicycles have features that allow you to use your arms and legs simultaneously
  • Seats may be uncomfortable or take some time to get used to, although there are gel seats on the market.
  • Dual action cycles can be noisy
  • Adjustable intensity or resistance
  • Easily-adjusted seat and handlebars
  • Comfortable seat
  • Dual action (arm and leg motions)
Recumbent Bicycle
  • Good choice for people with knee or back problems or those who are overweight
  • May be more expensive than a regular bicycle
  • Requires more floor space
  • Easily adjustable seat
  • Dual action (arm and leg motions)
Rowing Machine
  • Excellent for overall fitness
  • Dual action (arm and leg motions)
  • Requires very long floor space
  • With improper technique, may cause low back strain
  • Piston-driven machines do not last and produce awkward rowing motion
  • Requires a fair amount of flexibility
  • Look for variable resistance and intensity
  • Smooth sliding/rolling seat (such as a Concept II)
Elliptical Trainer
  • Can pedal forward and backwards, thus using both major muscle groups in the legs
  • More comfortable than a stair climber
  • Burns more calories than level walking at the same speed
  • Requires more vertical space (ceiling height), especially for tall individuals
  • Non-slip pedals
  • Variable speed and resistance
  • Handlebars for dual action (arm and leg motions)
Stair Climbers
  • Burns more calories than level walking at the same speed
  • Avoid air-filled shocks because they heat up quickly and this may result in cylinder damage
  • Not a good choice for individuals with knee problems
  • Adjustable step height & resistance
  • Smooth and quiet operation
  • Independent vs. linked pedal options