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A great way to catch a glimpse of the many types of fitness products on the market is to take a walk through a gym or fitness center. These centers are stocked with exercise machines, free weights, yoga mats, workout mats, exercise bands, and so on. Other fitness products may be found on the people using the equipment; such fitness products may include clothing, special shoes, mp3 player accessories, gloves, support devices such as back braces, and so on. Other products are designed for use at home and differ from products found in a gym or fitness center.
Fitness activities vary significantly according to a person's interest, so many fitness products are tailored specifically to one sport or group of sports. Racket sports, for example, will require racquets and sometimes safety goggles or gloves, though the racquets can vary significantly from sport to sport. A racquetball racket will be a different size, shape, and weight than a tennis racket, though the construction of each product will be similar. Running shoes are specifically designed for the sport of running, while cross training shoes look like running shoes but are designed for a wider range of activities. Cyclists will require another type of shoe that is very rigid and compatible with cleats meant for use with clipless pedals.
Perhaps some of the most recognizable fitness products are free weights, which are handheld weights used for weight lifting. These are a common presence at gyms and fitness centers, and they may come precast in a specific weight and shape, or they may feature adjustable weights and sizes. Many exercise machines today are designed to mimic the exercises done with free weights but in a more secure fashion: the weights are secured to a specific area of the machine, and the user often pulls on a bar that is attached to a pulley system that in turn activates the weights. This cuts down on accidents such as dropping or losing control of the weights.
Protective equipment is also common among fitness products. Exercise mats are cushioned mats that absorb impacts during movement; many sports require helmets to absorb impacts, such as cycling helmets, football helmets, and even wrestling helmets. Some people wear back braces, arm braces, and even ankle and knee braces during physical activity to prevent excess movement of the joints and add extra support. It is important to research each sport one plans to undertake in order to find the best fitness products for the activity.
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