I confess I am overweight, last guess I was around 75 pounds above the weight I should be. I actually used to be an athlete but that seems like a very long time ago now, many spine surgeries later made exercising quite difficult. I really lost my drive due to my condition and now I am too embarrassed to go to the gym because of my weight.
I decided I needed to get fit though and began exploring other options, I wanted something that would save me the time and awkwardness of going to the gym. I looked at many different types of fitness equipment but ended up purchasing a rowing machine after much deliberation. I read about how they work most of your body at the same time and burn more calories than other machines. I decided to purchase the Concept 2 Model D after sifting through many rowing machine reviews at this website and I think it is the best rowing machine.
My new purchase arrived very quickly using Amazon, taking just two days. The instructions were very simple but it was quite tedious trying to assemble it all on my own. I made use of some videos on YouTube to assist me and got there in the end.
At first due to the previous surgeries my back was hurting after use but I kept going and I have now had it for nearly two weeks and the pain has subsided. I have been using it every day and can row non-stop for over 20 minutes which feels like a really good workout and my fitness levels are definitely improving.
I am hoping this machine can really help improve my core, I know that rowing machines by design are a very low impact way of exercising the muscles and joints which is perfect for my situation. Being overweight means it is quite hard work but if there’s no pain then no gain right?
I am also very motivated to use this machine because I can watch TV at the same time which helps keep me entertained and focused. I have a fairly short attention span so this is a fantastic way for me not to get bored whilst working out.
As for the overall quality of the machine, well I cannot recommend it enough. The delivery man actually dropped the box when it arrived but everything was as it should be. The build quality is fantastic as you would expect for the price and the actual rowing motion feels great, though I haven’t actually rowed a boat before. Another added bonus is how quiet it is, I live in apartment where the walls are pretty thin but I don’t have to worry about using this at night time if I wanted to.
If you are looking for a great way to get fit which is fun and effective then you have to consider using a rowing machine. Depending on your price range and how serious you are about getting fit, you should totally go for the Concept2 Model D if you can afford it. If not then there are plenty of solid alternatives for lower prices.
With laptop prices coming down and larger screens becoming the norm, many buyers of laptop backpacks are narrowing their search for a 17 inch version. I have reviewed the best larger laptop backpacks available and recommend the following products:
(for more laptop backpack reviews to find the best laptop backpack check out this site)
SwissGear ScanSmart 17 Inch Laptop Backpack
This SwissGear 17 Inch Laptop backpack is currently priced at around $60, it has received high praise for its build quality, roomy accessory compartments and unique ScanSmart feature. For those not familiar with this feature; it incorporates a plastic viewing window in the bag that enables airport security staff to scan the laptop without completely removing it from the backpack. In addition to this the main compartment opens like a clam-shell for easy access and viewing. While most reviewers were pleased with the storage capacity the SwissGear provided, however if your laptop is a full 17 inch with a 16:9 aspect ratio display it is questionable if there would be enough room. This is because although the specification is for 17 inch, some laptops come bigger than others, so if yours is quite bulky it may be a good idea to try it first in the shop before making a purchase.
One noteworthy feature is the the Airflow Back System which allows for circulation and cooling to prevent sweating as well as additional padding and back support. It also comes with an assortment of padded straps which adjust to accommodate laptops of different sizes to assure a snug fit. There is an interior organizer that has various sized compartments for items such as mobile phones, a computer mouse, extra battery packs and power cords. For more specifications and details click here.
Targus XL Backpack 17 Inch Laptop Backpack
The Targus 17 Inch Laptop Backpack is a great choice if you are looking for a larger bag to not only accommodate your 17 inch laptop but also carry an assortment of other items such as books, sunglasses, cell phones and PDA devices. This makes it a great choice for students and frequent travelers. In addition to its expansive size,the feature that makes this bag unique is that it is “wired”, meaning that is has an audio jack that allows connection of ear buds or headphones to a player that resides within the safe confines of the backpack. Other features include:
- Segregated well-cushioned laptop compartment
- Side pocket for drinks
- Pocket designed specifically for portable music players with an output jack accessible from outside
- Dedicated compartments for books, file storage and smaller items such as pens and car keys
Please note that this backpack is substantially larger than many other 17 inch laptop backpacks. In fact I suggest that selecting between the two usually comes down to your desired size. If you have a larger format 17 inch or even 18 inch laptop and wish to carry additional items such as books, then the Targus is the better choice. However if you prefer a less bulky backpack, and a normal sized 17 inch or smaller laptop then the Swissgear is a good choice.
Also note that there are two other versions of this 17 Inch laptop backpack: the rolling case and the top loaded case (similar in design to a brief case).