It’s that time of year – many of us start the year determined to work off the excesses of the holidays, and eager to fulfill our New Year’s resolutions for better fitness and weight loss.
But exercising takes discipline, whether you like to pump your iron at the gym or at home. Keeping your New Year’s resolutions may be easier if you create a space in your home devoted to improving your physical fitness. With a small investment in some key pieces of equipment and by establishing a routine, you’ll find you have all the tools you need to keep fit.
You don’t need to invest in a whole lot of equipment, and you really will be surprised at how effective exercises performed with your own body weight are! Read our list of 11 Home Gym Essentials as a shopping list of what you’ll need to get started. If you’re an avid runner or enjoy doing cardio, you can certainly invest in a treadmill or elliptical machine, although the costs for these are more significant. So go ahead – don some comfortable active wear and just get started!
Establish a Habit
Figure out what time of day you can (will) exercise and stick to your schedule. Some people prefer to exercise early in the morning; others choose to exercise towards the end of the day. My workout time is after dropping the kids off at school (and post coffee). Early morning workouts can also help boost your metabolism for the rest of the day. With a steady commitment you’ll soon find it less of a chore and more of a pleasure to exercise regularly in your home gym.
Don’t judge yourself by a scale or how much weight you lose. Instead keep a soft measuring tape close at hand to measure your waist, hips, neck, arms and ankles. When you see positive changes in your body it might be through building muscle (which weighs more than fat), but you will loose inches. Keep a logbook and write down your measurements.
The bottom line is this – you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have an effective home gym, you just need to invest the time to improve your health.
11 Home Gym Essentials
All of these physical fitness aids can be purchased at local sports, fitness, or yoga stores.
Yoga mat: even if you don’t do yoga, you can use it for crunches and other floor exercises.
Medicine ball: this weighted ball is good for strength training and comes in weights from 2 to 25 lbs.
Kettle bells: they also come in different weights, and are great for kettle bell swings and abdominal exercises on the floor.
Skipping rope: great for cardio. Weighted skipping ropes burn extra calories and work your arms too.
Resistance Bands: they create resistance during bodyweight exercises and make the muscles work harder.
Plyometric Box: to use as a platform for plyometric exercise, such as box jumps or even elevated push-ups.
Equalizer: for bodyweight strength training and stretching. There are over 75 moves you can do with it!
Dumbbells: they come in weights from 5 to 20lbs to get you started. Incorporate them into your bodyweight exercises for extra oomph.
Stability ball: For crunches, or as a seat while doing dumbbell curls. They’re versatile and inexpensive.
Bosu ball: this hemispheric trainer can be used on both sides for balance training, and incorporated into weight training and cardio movements.
HIIT Timer: High Intensity Interval Training timers keep you on pace and motivated. Even just one 12-minute HIIT workout is very effective.
By Becky Dumais