You’ve decided that you want to get in shape and lose a few pounds so you look fabulous in that little black dress when the holidays come, and it’s no secret that exercising regularly is a key component to being fit and healthy. However, we’re not all gym people. A lot of people like to get in shape at home. Sometimes the gym is too crowded, too expensive, too noisy, too filled with size 0 hard bodies…you get the picture. Here’s what you need to make working out at home just as effective as the gym.
- A good set of weights. For most women, lifting smaller weights (2-5 lbs) with many repetitions is sufficient. It tones without adding bulk. For men (and women who may want to add a little bulk), you’ll need bigger weights. An adjustable set of dumbbells will do wonders for your physique.
- An exercise mat for things like sit ups, pushups, yoga, and other exercises. If you have the right type of flooring, this isn’t necessary, but a good exercise mat can prevent rug burn or pain from knees on linoleum or hard wood.
- A pedometer of some sort. Fitbit makes a few really good ones. They track calories burned, steps taken, stairs (floors) climbed, miles walked, and very active minutes. You can also log on the website to monitor food intake, heart rate, and weight loss. It syncs with your computer and smartphone to let you see your progress throughout the day, and motivates you to be more active.
- Resistance bands. Some of these even come with books or DVDs showing you suggested exercises. Resistance bands are especially good for those who want to tone and stretch specific groups of hard to target muscles.
- A jump rope. Take a trip back to your childhood. “Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn around. Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the ground.” Jumping rope is a great way to get your heart pumping. It’s also a fun alternative to many more boring cardio exercises and no special skills are needed. Boxers use them all the time. Remember Rocky?
- If you can afford it, a treadmill or elliptical trainer is a great investment. A lot of people like to put a treadmill or elliptical in front of the television, so instead of sitting there snacking while catching up on the latest episode of your favorite show, you burn calories. Not only does it make TV watching guilt free, an elliptical or treadmill will get your heart pumping and do wonders for a strong, sexy body.
No matter what equipment you have in your home gym, it’s essential that you don’t give up. The road to fitness isn’t always easy, but it’s very rewarding and well worth it. Keep at it and one day you’ll look back and wonder why you didn’t start sooner!
What do you think is essential for a home gym? My husband and I are always looking for new ideas!
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