Are you fed up with the gym? Take a number!

Author: ELizabeth Bauer, Store Manager, Burnsville, MN


“Are you fed up with the gym? Take a number”

You just left your house to drive to the gym, get dressed, hit the treadmill, shower, and head home. “POOF!” Before you know it, your night is now wasted by the rigmarole of going to the gym. Does this sound like you?! If so, it is time we explore getting you a treadmill for your home.

As I’m sure you already know, there are many treadmill options out there to choose from; how are you supposed to know which one is the best fit for you and your family? Being an avid runner myself, I’ve had my fair share of the “holy grails” of the commercial world, the “in-betweeners” and the downright dumpy.

Obviously, in a perfect world everyone would have the top-of-the-line commercial treadmill in their home. Flashback to reality: not everyone has the space, wiring, or pocketbook for that piece. My go-to for residential treadmills are the Vision T40 series, which come in folding and non-folding, making it a very space-conscious piece for your home. The primary reason I love the Vision treadmills, in general, is their sturdy frame, commercial-grade cushioning, and maintenance-free deck and belt. I have found that the Vision T40s get me the closest in quality to those I have run on at the gym. My biggest pet peeve, while running, is when you’re on a treadmill that cannot take the impact; I don’t want to feel like I’m running through an earthquake. The Vision has made their framing the most durable and stable on the market, so I feel comfortable when I’m walking, jogging–and most importantly–sprinting. The T40s will also give you a 60-inch long deck, so feel free to stretch out your legs and take advantage of every inch.

I don’t know many people who enjoy getting on their hands and knees to lubricate a treadmill deck. But with Vision, forget about it! No need to add another tedious chore to your checklist! Vision is maintenance-free–so the belt has a built in wax lining, with each step your feet are doing the lubricating for you.

The T40s also come with multiple console options, so if you’re a hop-on-and-just-go type of runner, the classic is going to be the one for you. If you need a little extra motivation or you like to run through trails, track your progress or get your workouts done quickly and efficiently, the Touch+ and Elegant+ consoles are for you. I wish there was a way I could put motivation in a bottle (but I haven’t quite figured that out yet) but with Vision’s Elegant+ and Touch+ consoles, they’ve come pretty darn close. When you’re looking at a treadmill, make sure the console is going to have the features to keep you motivated on the days working out just doesn’t sound appealing.


If what I’ve said feels like it’s not enough treadmill or just too much for your needs, don’t worry, Vision has that covered as well; just check out their T80 and TF20 models! So, go ahead and take that number, I promise you won’t regret cutting out the gym-middle-man and getting right on your own treadmill in the comfort of your own home.

Contact us at to learn more!

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The Best Piece of Fitness Equipment You Can Buy!

Author: William Turinske, Sr. Store Manager


The “Skinny”….

  • “Best” is not absolute, it’s specific to you and your needs, sometimes budget.
  • Exercise Equipment comes in all types, sizes, and can serve various purposes
  • You always get what you pay for with Equipment (no matter the savings)
  • Individual reviews “carry” substantially more weight than website reviews

    The Ever Elusive Answer to the Question… “What is the best…?”

    Let me start out by saying I’ve been at 2nd Wind 10 years, and that I hear this question every day, so I’ve had many opportunities to ponder the answer…

    I think what most people want, is something that burns the most calories in the shortest period of time… Aka. “How can I speed this process of losing 30 LBS – as close as to immediately as possible.” If I had that potion, I’d be somewhere tropical sipping endless Mai Tais because I wouldn’t have to worry about calories, and I’d be rich.

    So… After all this time, the best answer I can give to this very popular question starts with “It all depends..” The skill I have gained through many repetitions, is that I know how to get down to brass tax to find out what the best is FOR YOU SPECIFICALLY. Let me explain by way of examples.


    Example 1)

    Q: My trainer friend loves the rower, she has a Concept 2, and she recommends I get one… But I really love to run, as a matter of fact I just ran the hot chocolate 15k!!

    What’s a better calorie burn, the rower or the treadmill?

    A: If you have the space (treadmills take more space, and are more noisy), getting something closer to what you like doing (treadmill-running)is the best piece for you.
    The answer to that question dramatically changes, if there are space limitations in the home and/or individual physical limitations (especially knees with impact)… Then the answer can be just the opposite.

    Example 2)

    Q) I had hip surgery 6 months ago, in post-op physical therapy they had me on a NuStep and I made almost a full Range of motion recovery… I’m thinking about continuing my program at home, is that the best?”

    A: Congratulations! It may be, but if you made a full recovery, you may be ready for a piece of equipment that is more fitness oriented vs rehab oriented… The difference between a recumbent elliptical like an Octane XR6xi or Nustep T4r and Physiostep LXT is mainly range of motion (“full” or “limited”). In this case the Octane recumbent elliptical is probably the best piece, whereas if you only made a 60% recovery – the Physiostep or Nustep would be the best…. All good pieces!

    Example 3)

    What is the best deal?

    The answer is a lot like “the best calorie burner”.

    First off let me say, and I know it sounds hokey, but the best deal is ALWAYS the one you use the most. A $400 Treadmill you hate and never use is a much worse deal than one that is $2000 that you use 5 days a week. Mainly because you are achieving your fitness goals and increasing your chances of living longer.

    Don’t get me wrong, there are great prices to be had on equipment, but that doesn’t mean the lowest price equipment known to man.

    If all you have is $400 to spend on a treadmill or elliptical, that’s cool, we will find you the best possible piece for that dollar amount… Probably purchasing a used piece would be the way to go, whatever that one is, is your best deal.

    On the other side of the spectrum, if you want to buy a Lifespan TR7000i, new, and you want the best deal…. it will never be $400… perhaps a floor model at $2999 (from $3999) that would be a great deal.

    Long story short, a “deal” is all relative.

    Oh! And Don’t be fooled by bloated Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) Tags on entry level name brands at the Big Box Retailer… When you see a price tag that says the price was $2,499, Now $999 (Save $1,500), the reality is you’re buying a $999 piece of equipment, and no product was EVER sold at $2,499 or anywhere close to that… Sorry for being a buzzkill.

    This one has great reviews, should I get that one?

    Internet Reviews are as abundant as equipment is, there’s maybe even more reviews. This has been causing a condition that I like to call “Buying Paralysis” by “Over Analysis” since 1999 :).

    The thing you have to realize about reviews is they can be bought, and many are, then heavily promoted on google and other search engines. It’s one man/woman’s opinion typed out on a web page, whether he or she is paid or not, no different than any other man or woman’s opinion face to face verbally…

    The exception is the cumulative reviews on a product by individuals, people that actually bought the product, but even that has come under scrutiny, as “fake” reviews have been discovered on very popular retail sites. Ultimately though, if you get enough reviews positive and negative, from individuals, they are probably legit.

    Which product do you buy?

    A name brand that you know, like, and trust that didn’t make the consumer magazine?


    A name brand that you don’t know, you’re ok with the feel, but has great reviews in that same magazine, or the “best” reviews?

    I know what I would chose. Bear in mind, there’s no wrong answer!

    Contact us at to learn more!

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    A Fitness Story…..

    Author: Rocco Lazaris, Manager & Certified Fitness Specialist


    With the Holiday season in full swing, the thoughts of past family gatherings from Thanksgiving and Christmas come to mind.

    One memory stands out in particular. It was my first visit to the in-laws for Thanksgiving. I wanted to make a good impression, so instead of parking in front of the TV, watching football with all the other guys, I volunteered to help set up for the big feast.

    To my luck there wasn’t much needing to be done, but my mother in law asked me to grab several side dishes that she prepared from the additional refrigerator in the basement. As I entered through the door at the bottom of the steps, I felt like Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer when he arrived at the Island of misfit toys. Only this wasn’t the Island of misfit toys, it was the Island of misfit exercise equipment.

    If their was an infomercial for it, my mother-in-law had it. It felt like the QVC shopping channel took over the basement.

    I remember seeing everything from the Thigh Master to the Ab Circle. I couldn’t help myself, so I tried several of them out. I laughed with great amusement after trying an item called the Body Scissors. It was so laughable that the only health benefit I could see from it was the small ab workout I was getting from my own laughter.

    When I got back upstairs I asked my mother in law which “as seen on tv” exercise device was her favorite. I was trying to hold back a laugh. She gave me some kind of response to the tune of they’re all junk. One example she gave was the Ab Circle was supposed to take several inches off her waist in just a few weeks, but all it did was bother her back. She continued to give example after example of how each exercise device was a complete let down from the advertisement.

    I remember not knowing if I should laugh or feel sorry for her. I honestly didn’t think anyone actually believed those fairytale fitness infomercials. If I was wrong about my mother-in-law I was probably wrong about thousands of others as well. She did admit that some of the commercials made the product appear too good to be true, but they nearly promised you’d look like the models if you used them. Now I know how Jack got suckered into those magic beans.

    With a little advice from me,I convinced my mother-in-law to invest in a nice treadmill. It didn’t fill the promise of getting ripped abs in 6 weeks like the Flex Belt that literally shocks you to make your stomach contract (seriously what are you people thinking who buy this?). The treadmill did however help her reach her summer goal of losing weight and feeling healthier.

    So before you decide to put the Shake Weight on your Christmas list don’t forget about the Island of misfit exercise toys. Only these toys don’t deserve a second chance and should stay on the Island forever.

    Happy Holidays!

    Contact us at to learn more!

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    The Thanksgiving Feast – How to enjoy, but not over-do!

    Author: Laura Bredenberg, Director of Marketing

    adjustable stride elliptical

    The Thanksgiving Feast – How to enjoy, but not over-do!

    I love Thanksgiving. It’s been a day to eat, over-indulge, and then eat some more. It’s a day to spend with family and friends. There is time for joking, laughing, and telling stories. The appetizer round starts early, followed by the huge plates (yes, ‘plates’ is plural) of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, etc. To end the meal, I often “stuff down” a slice of pie and possibly even ice cream. And that is just the food. During the entire time of eating, I often indulge in a few adult beverages. This eating and drinking marathon is often completed by a nap on the couch while watching football. Every year is the same routine. When the nap is over, I feel full, tired and sluggish. The bathroom scale adds a few pounds the day after, and we all know that sinking feeling of the creeping scale. Why, do I do the same thing every year? I know how hard it is to reverse those added pounds. The hours of cardio to work off the indulgences, is it really worth it to over-do on Thanksgiving? I am following a new plan this year.

    Can we enjoy the Thanksgiving feast and not over- do?

    • 1. Use one plate. Fill it ONCE and do not go back for seconds. Better yet, use a smaller plate or a salad plate for the main course. If salad is being served as a side dish, load up on lettuce and healthy veggies first.
    • 2. Opt for white meat and remove the skin. Yes, we know it adds a bit of flavor, but it also adds fat and calories.
    • 3. Offer to bring some of the side dishes to your family feast. Make your own sweet potatoes which don’t include the extra butter and marshmallows. Make steamed green beans instead of the famous green bean casserole, which can have on average a 100 more calories per serving than steamed green beans.
    • 4. Choose your desserts wisely. Yes, it’s a holiday and it’s time to celebrate, but choose fresh fruit, frozen yogurt, or sorbet as a dessert. If you must have pie (which I always do), opt for pumpkin over pecan and save on average another 150 calories per serving.
    • 5. EAT SLOWLY. Enjoy your time with family and socialize during the meal. Your talking will slow down your eating.
    • 6. DRINK Water! This will help you feel fuller faster. It will also help keep you hydrated in case you are also celebrating with your favorite adult beverage.
    • 7. Get off the couch and get some fresh air. Get up and take a family walk. Get the entire family out for a game of kickball. Enjoy the day and get moving. Better yet, sign up for your local turkey trot or family 1 mile, 5K or 10K race. Burn those calories even before the meal starts!

    Enjoy the Thanksgiving Holiday!

    Contact us at to learn more!

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    STOP Wishing and Thinking – START Planning and Doing

    Author: Logan Axne, Store Manager and C.P.T (Clive, IA)

    adjustable stride elliptical

    Get Started!

    As a personal trainer, I have encountered many clients who have spent years desiring to make a change in their life in regards to fitness. It has varied from general weight loss for cosmetic appearance to doctor ordered exercise to prevent illness or death. Much like eating your vegetables and drinking water, most people generally know exercise is important to stay healthy, but the application is often delayed.

    • “I’m starting my diet on Monday.”
    • “I’m waiting until after the holidays to start exercising.”
    • “I’m too busy this time of year, but will start once things settle down.”
    • I was talking to one of my fitness mentors one day, and I mentioned not having time to workout for the next few days because of a busy schedule. He responded by reminding me that everyone has the same amount of time in a day. If it’s a priority, you will make the time for it. If it’s not, you will find an excuse not to. I believe this is so true for fitness.

      Get a Goal!

      Upon meeting any client for the first time, I always ask why they are looking to start a journey into fitness. Regardless of experience and their fitness level, it seems like everyone has a general idea of what they would like to achieve with fitness.

      • “I want to LOSE WEIGHT”
      • “I want to TONE UP.”
      • “My doctor says I need to START EXERCISING.”

      These are good motivational phrases to get someone started, but they aren’t goals. The best way to build a consistent program is to set goals with data you can track. If you can follow your progress with QUANTITATIVE data, you are more likely to continue working toward your goals. Set short, intermediate, and long-term goals you can track and a timeframe in which you want to reach this goal. If you’d like to lose 20lbs, pick a finish date and set short and intermediate goals to stay on track. If it’s over three months, break it down by months and weeks to help make the goal seem less overwhelming. Many doctors prescribe exercise to their patients, but do not elaborate on what that means. Hypertension is very common, and many people want to lower their blood pressure, pick a goal of what number you’d like to reach just like weight loss.

      Get Informed!

      In the fitness industry, there are hundreds of thousands of workouts and diets. Some are methodically designed by educated health and fitness professionals to help with specific goals, others may be written by journalists trying to attract readers or a celebrity trying to earn money promoting a certain brand or product.

      “The great thing about the Internet is there is so much information available.
      The problem with the Internet is there is so much information available.”

      I have spent my adult life studying and training to help individuals reach their goals. I have a degree in health, a certification in training, and years of hands on experience. One of my favorite analogies I make to my clients is asking who does their taxes. Some people go to a trusted Internet site, others may attempt to try them on their own, but typically they take them to a Certified Public Accountant to be submitted. It seems sensible that you would go to a professional for significant life decisions, and fitness should be one of those decisions you may need guidance. Find a professional who has experience in the fitness industry and the qualifications to help make a specific plan for you. Everyone has different goals and different needs to reach those goals, having someone to help direct and keep you on track can inevitably be the difference between reaching a goal and falling back to old habits.

      Get Healthy!

      After you’ve established goals and have equipped yourself with the proper information, get going! Keep your goals in mind and remember, no matter your pace, you are always making progress! Don’t quit! Find a support group; friends, coworkers, spouses can all be great to help keep motivation and retention to a schedule. Make it a routine and have fun!

      Logan’s Tips For Success

      • Never skip a Monday workout. (Start the week off on the right foot)
      • Never go two consecutive days without physical activity or exercise
      • Eat with a purpose. (Give thought to the food you consume)
      • Stay hydrated. (Make sure to be drinking plenty of water)
      • Record your progress! (Make a Journal and note your success)

      Contact us at to learn more how a personal trainer and certified fitness consultant can help you reach your goals!

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    Three Parts to Achieving Great Fitness!

    Author: Chase Hagen, 2nd Wind Exercise Store Manager, Ankeny, IA

    Weight Lifting Image for Blog

    There are three parts to achieving great fitness results when when starting a new exercise program.  Those three parts include diet, cardio, and strength.  I would like to start by focusing on the strength portion of the three.  
    Strength training is a great way to burn extra calories without even knowing it! After you’ve completed a strength workout, you will continue to burn calories for up to eight hours.  That is amazing.  Cardio training continues to burn up to 3 hours after a workout. By building up your muscles, you are constantly burning more calories in your everyday activities.

    Strength training offers an array of exercises to choose from. You can work out your legs, arms, back, shoulders, and core, to name just a few. You can even isolate certain muscle groups for a more targeted workout. Lifting weights is simple. A simple pair of dumbbells will do at the beginning of your program. Start with arm curls, overhead shoulder presses, and tricep extensions. To work your legs, try squats, lunges, and leg lifts.

    Strength training is an important part of fitness, but in the end, it takes all three parts to accomplish your goals! Watch your diet, choose foods wisely, and get some cardio training in as well.

    Visit one of our 2nd Wind Exercise stores to learn more about the three parts of great fitness. We can help with your personal fitness goals and provide assistance in setting up a cardio and strength training workout tailored just for you.


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    High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

    Author: Nathan Young – 2nd Wind Store Manager, Jordan Creek, IA

    Girl on Treadmill

    High intensity interval training is growing in popularity with both athletes and novice exercisers.  Often called HIIT, this training is characterized by continuous bursts of high intensity activity followed by lower intense bouts of activity and/or recovery.

    Why is this type of training becoming so popular?  You can modify the workouts to fit any fitness level.  You can do the workouts on your favorite cardio equipment like the treadmill, elliptical, or bike.  You can also incorporate this training with whatever exercise activities you enjoy the most.

    Busy with the kids and work?  Do you have little time to get a workout in?  You can get a great workout in with only 20 minutes using the HIIT technique.  Studies show you can burn more calories with greater benefits doing HIIT for 20 minutes versus a consistent 60 minute workout.

    To start a new HIIT program, break up workout segments to fit your personal exercise level.  If you are a beginner, start with 15-30 seconds of high intensity exercise followed by 1 min of recovery time.  After you start feeling more comfortable with that level, you can jump up to 45 seconds of high intensity followed by the recovery segment.  You can tailor the workout to fit any level.

    Studies have shown that high intensity interval training comes with many benefits:

    • Lowered blood pressure
    • A decrease in cholesterol
    • Improved cardiovascular health (heart health)
    • Higher calorie burn
    • Increased metabolism
    • Extended calorie burn after the workout  (6-15% more calorie burn)


    If you are tired of doing the same routine every day and you are not seeing the results you want, give your workouts a little kick with some HIIT.

    Visit  one of our 2nd Wind Exercise stores to learn more about HIIT training and equipment:


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