Category Archives: Fitness Equipment of Calgary

How to Make your Elliptical Investment a Safe One

As fall comes to an end snow and ice are fast approaching. Morning spent scraping windshields and brewing coffee. Black ice litters the sidewalks causing an increase in slip related injuries whether you are active or not.

Keeping your joints healthy is crucial for people of all ages and ellipticals offer a low impact solution for exercise in all seasons. But shopping for an elliptical isn’t as easy as you would hope with all the different styles and manufactures you can quickly become overwhelmed with options.

I’ve got a few key points to help narrow down your search and they all stem from bio-mechanics. Biomechanics is the study of the mechanical laws relating to the movement or structure of living organisms. This subject greatly interests me and I plan on studying in that field in the near future.

The first thing you need to know is that not all ellipticals are built the same, they have different pedal spacing, different stride length and a different feel. Its important to note that just because an elliptical feels good does not mean its actually beneficial for your body.

Whether you are doing lunges, squats, yoga or biking proper knee alignment is crucial, you don’t want your knee shifting forward over your toes. This is causing some of the stress to come off of the muscles off your thigh and transferring into your knee eventually leading to pain and sensitivity in the knee called Patellofemoral Compression. It doesn’t sound pleasant and it isn’t. This can be avoided with proper knee alignment being maintained with the right elliptical. If you cater to the tallest user when determining which elliptical is best, the safety in motion will apply to as well.


So the elliptical you are interested in allows you to have proper knee alignment.  The next thing to look for is a natural ankle articulation. Naturally when you walk your back heal lifts before your toes. You want the same thing to happen on your elliptical. Some manufactures like Precor allow you to go through your natural range of motion without raising your heel; while based on the proprietary motion of other brands, we’ll want to see the allowance for heel lift at the back of the pedal motion.


The final thing to look for besides what programs you see yourself using is pedal spacing, something they call the Q factor. The narrower the Q factor the more natural it will feel on your hips. When you walk your feet land fairly close, typically inside hip width.  Any wider than that and not only can it lead to hip sensitivity, but it feels funny, try it!


With those ideas in mind you are ready to begin your search for the elliptical that suits your needs. We carry a verity of ellipticals and I would be more than happy to show you in person how all of these points come together to make a bio-mechanically correct elliptical.

Nathan Vienneau

Assistant Manager

Fitness Equipment of Calgary

A Roller Coaster Ride To A Better Me

I had the pleasure of meeting Angie Mooij about a month ago and was so taken by her story of overcoming her health challenges and wanting to set a positive example for her kids. I asked her if she would be interested in sharing her experiences and thankfully she said yes. Here’s Angie’s story…

“After being refused to ride a roller coaster at Universal Studios because I was too large to fit in the cart, I made a promise to my two young daughters that when my youngest was tall enough to ride the roller coaster, “I would be thin enough to ride with them – all three of us TOGETHER!”

My name is Angie Mooij, I am a 44-year-old Mom and Massage Therapist (and now Personal Trainer) whose weight struggle began after having her daughters now 12 and 14 years old. I played the role of “supermom”, I volunteered at the school, I helped coach my kid’s hockey and I put myself last.

On June 1, 2011, about a month after the Universal Studios experience, was my official start to a new life. After 10 months focusing on diet changes – nourishing myself with lean proteins, low carbs and no processed foods – I lost 140 pounds.

After dropping the first 100 pounds, I felt compelled to get active.



I committed to the gym, talked to some people and started running and weight training.

I remember being in tears the first time I did 5 km on the treadmill. My next step was to register in the Turner Valley triathlon on July 1, 2012 celebrating my year-long weight loss journey. I almost talked myself out of it due to a torn meniscus and no ACL – bad knees from carrying the extra weight – but, when my daughters signed up as part of the same triathlon in the kids of steel, there was no turning back.

My purpose was to set an example for them and it worked. That set the tone for a plethora of events to follow, including a 100K bike ride before my knee surgery. After months of recovery I ran my first 5K last April, did the stampede half marathon in July, and the Chaparral Olympic distance triathlon in August with many other races along the way.

Since my 20s I have tried diets and plateaued, then given up each time, I would think if I have to eat one more can of tuna without mayonnaise, or one more bag of salad “I’m going to snap my crayons!”


In 2011, at 5 ft. 7″ I weighed 300 pounds, I have since lost 155 pounds. I am very aware that I could gain it all back, but I continue to learn and grow and educate myself in living consciously, and engaging in a healthy and active lifestyle, which includes whole foods and plenty of exercise!

My goal started out so small, I just wanted to shop at a normal store that didn’t have “plus size” in the name of it, and now I am a Certified Personal Trainer with goals and aspirations of helping other people do and accomplish the same things I have!

After recently completing my personal training certification, I went on a used goods website and purchased some fitness equipment, I had to hire an outside source to help me assemble it, only to find out I got “taken for”.

The people and technicians at SOS Fitness were so empathetic to what had happened and wanted to “make it right” The technician immediately phoned Jason Minion at Fitness Equipment of Calgary in Willow Park, who was also empathetic and helped me find the right piece of equipment at the right price for my home gym, his service and knowledge turned my bad experience into something GREAT – I cannot express my gratitude enough! I now have the perfect piece of fitness equipment at home so I can continue to help my clients reach THIER goals!”

Thanks Angie for sharing your personal journey to a healthier lifestyle. You are a true inspiration of dedication and persistence in overcoming challenges that many struggle with.