This page has links to health and fitness related information and products. I originally intended to include dozens of links, but considering the already overwhelming amount of information available, I decided to keep it short and focus on quality over quantity. Every company and organization on this page is a reputable source of information and while they might not be well known to the average person, they are established and respected within the health and fitness industry. Instead of reading magazines or watching infomercials about gimmicky diet programs or exercise products, read through the information and look at the products on these sites. They do not promote the next miracle product that will solve all your problems without doing any work (because they do not exist), but they do contain practical information and useful products that will help you reach your goals.
Health and Fitness Education
This section contains links to websites where you can read health and fitness information and/or purchase educational materials such as books and DVDs.
Human Kinetics is the premier source of exercise and fitness books. If you want quality information, this is the place to start. They have products for everyone from beginners to exercise professionals. In addition, they sell scientific journals and have a wide assortment of online educational courses. In my opinion they are simply the best source for high quality published fitness information anywhere.
This link could have gone in any of the sections, but I put it here because of their focus on education and information, plus there are over 60 articles you can read on the website. Chek Institute is frequently known for their educational courses, but they also have a certification program and great products including exercise DVDs and high quality exercise equipment. This is also a site that you must check out if you enjoy or are curious about Swiss ball (exercise ball) training. Paul Chek (founder of C.H.E.K. Institute) is always at or near the top of the list of people considered knowledgeable about exercise ball training and functional training in general and this site has some of the best Swiss ball related information and products that you will find.
I have also included links to 3 articles I wrote for howtodothings.com. They are basic/introductory level articles, but people familiar with the topics should find them useful as well.
This section contains links to companies that primarily sell quality exercise equipment, although they each have some educational information as well (especially Perform Better). The first 2 companies each sell a wide variety of quality exercise equipment along with some DVDs and books, while the third company only sells 1 product (The Stick). I felt that since this product is beneficial for virtually anyone and is generally unknown it warranted special attention. These links are not the place to find as seen on TV type products, but the products that people in the fitness industry actually use. These products are generally much better quality than similar products found at big box stores (Wal-Mart, Target, etc.). If you are looking for useful exercise products that are effective, add variety to workouts, or help improve your performance or recovery you are certain to find something that interests you through these links.
From their website: "PerformBetter.com is the online source for functional training, strength and conditioning, and rehabilitation equipment. The site also features functional training information, seminars sign-up, and a functional training discussion board." I should also add that this site is worth looking at even if you are not looking to buy exercise equipment. They have a lot of great articles that are written by well-respected members of the fitness industry. I want to make special note of Juan Carlos Santana, who along with Paul Chek (C.H.E.K. Institute), is unquestionably one of the biggest names when it comes to exercise ball and functional training. He wrote some of the articles on this site and sells his own exercise bands (JC bands) and instructional media (his products are also sold at Power Systems).
Power Systems is generally very similar to Perform Better, but many of the products they carry are made by different companies. They do not have as many quality articles as Perform Better, but there is some good information about different exercises you can do with various pieces of equipment (including pictures). It is also a good idea to look through these sites just to see the equipment that is available. You may find something interesting that you never knew existed.
As you can probably guess, this site is all about The Stick. You will find informaiton about what they are for, why they work, and how to use them. Perform Better and Power Systems sell a few different sticks, but this site will show you all the different types and explain which one will be the most beneficial for you. The Stick is a simple and easy to use product that will is great for dealing with knots and releiving the pain and soreness associated with tight muscles. Virtually everyone has some tight muscles (usually the neck, low back, calves, etc.) and these tight muscles will generally lead to more significant problems, such as muscle and joint pain, poor posture, headaches, and more. The Stick is one of the best ways to prevent and reverse these muscular problems, which will result in a signigicant improvement in your quality of life. It is rare that something so simple and relatively inexpensive has such noticable benefits. If you experience any significant level of muscle tightness or pain, please at least check out this site and see what The Stick can do for you.
A great source for quality supplements at reasonable prices, usually offering at least buy 1 get 1 free or buy 2 get 3 free deals. The have been around for over 40 years and have great customer service and they are where I buy most of my supplements. They are great for things like vitamins, minerals, herbs, digestive products, etc., but they don't have the best selection of sports supplements. Click on the banner below to visit their site.
FitRx specializes in sports supplements and I have purchased things from them off and on for a number of years. They have decent everyday prices and occasionally have good sales that are combined with free shipping. I usually at least check their prices and sales before purchasing sports supplements. Click the link below to visit their site.
These are links to 4 of the best personal training organizations in the country. The links are listed in alphabetical order and not based on rank, because each organization has its own positive qualities and focus on different aspects of the fitness industry. I would encourage everyone to look at all of these websites, because they are also good sources of health and fitness information. In addition, learning about different certifications and organizations is a good way to learn more about the health and fitness industry. There are many different approaches to health and fitness and the more exposure you have to different philosophies and ideas, the more likely you will find something that works well for you. Also, if you are interested in hiring a personal trainer, many good trainers will have a certification from at least one of these organizations. While there are other respected organizations and having a certification from one of these organizations does not ensure someone will be a good trainer, it does give you a place to start.