If you’re not ready to commit to a gym membership or have one, just sometimes don’t have the energy to actually get there, invest in a few key pieces and create your own home gym. Here are the basics to get a workout in from the comfort of your home:
Yoga Mat: An essential for the abs and stretching portion of your workout. No need to get something super fancy, you can by these at most sporting goods stores but also at discount shops like Marshalls and TJ Maxx.
Dumbells: Invest in a few different weights. Depending on what muscles you are working you will want the variety, plus you want some weights to warm up wtih then weights that are more challenging, making you work harder to get in those 10 reps. If you don’t want to spend money on weights, create your own. If you are doing a very low-weight workout you can use soup cans or try filling water jugs or tennis ball cans with loose change.
Exercise Ball: This will only run you about $20 but will do wonders for your body (if used correctly!). Here are three workouts to try from Self Magazine, Real Simple & Fitness Magazine with the exercise ball.
Jump Rope: Get in a little cardio with a jump rope. If you working on weights or abs, toss in a minute of jump rope in between sets, you’ll work up a sweat a get your heart beating.
Foam Roller: At the end of your workout get a good stretch in. Roll out your muscles with a foam roller which will help prevent future injury and will keep your muscles nice and loose. It’s like a massage just way cheaper (ok and not quite as relaxing, but still good for you!)
DVDs: If you aren’t used to working out on your own or wouldn’t know the first thing to do with weights, buy a couple of DVDs to get you started. Any type of workout you want, you can probably find a DVD for it. Bar class, yoga, pilates, kick boxing, Zumba and the list goes on. Buy a couple so you can rotate and not get bored of the same routine. After a while if you want to stray away from DVDs, combine moves you’ve learned along the way and create your own workout.
Things you already have: Key items in a workout are things you already have- like stairs or chairs (for bar workouts). You don’t have to buy a ton of stuff, just look around your house or apartment and there are things that will help you get fit. If you live in an apartment complex run up and down the stairs (or you can do this in your house) for a warm up or cardio burst mid-way through your workout.
The most important piece of equipment is actually YOU. You can use your own body weight in a variety of exercises, no equipment necessary. Here is one of my favorite equipment-free routines from Women’s Health Magazine.
Fit your at-home workout in at any time, whether it’s during commercials while you’re watching TV or first thing before you head off to work. Since the equipment is a couple of feet away you’ve got no excuse to fit in few fit minutes each day.
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