Make 2016 your “no more excuses” year. One of the habits to ditch is making excuses for not making better lifestyle choices. According to the US President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, less than 5 percent of American adults engage in 30 minute of physical activity each day, and only a third of adults attain the recommended amount of exercise each week.
Getting fit doesn’t have to be stressful. If you need tips on how to get fit at home, the internet is a great place to start. There’s information on affordable gym equipment, recommended exercises for every body part and new trends in health and wellness. All you have to do is set achievable goals for yourself, do each routine correctly, check your form, monitor your progress and have fun. If you’re just getting started on your home gym, here are seven pieces of equipment that will go a long way.
1. Dumbbells and Kettlebells
Dumbbells are essential workout equipment. They are easy to use, versatile and can be stored anywhere in your apartment or house. If you are a beginner, you can start with two or three pounds and increase the weight as you accelerate your workout routine. Certified fitness instructor Andia Winslow says that you can create your own dumbbell workout depending on the body parts you want to tone. For example, squatting while lifting a dumbbell in each hand develops the shoulders, arms, abs and legs.
You may consider getting kettlebells for more strenuous strength training. They resemble a small bowling ball with a handle. Gym instructor Jonathan Ross advises beginners to start with a weight about half of what they use in dumbbell.
Where to use: One advantage of incorporating your fitness regimen with apartment living is that you’re not obliged to socialize unlike in gyms and fitness centers. You may use your dumbbells and kettlebells in the living room or bedroom. Since these are typically small items, you can easily place them in a box for storage.
2. A Yoga or Pilates Mat
A yoga or Pilates mat is designed to protect your body from pressure. It helps you maintain a firm foundation and stability when doing balance poses. If you are into meditative exercises such as yoga, a thin mat will do the trick. A thicker one, however, is recommended for rigorous routines such as Pilates.
Where to use: You can use your mat indoors and outdoors. If you live in a condo, find a quiet area where you can roll out your mat and do some stretching. Maximize your condo living privileges by utilizing your fitness area or roof deck. You can also use this in your living room or bedroom.
3. A Bosu Balance Trainer
For more challenging push-ups, squats and strength routines, get a Bosu balance trainer (short for “both sides utilized”). This half Swiss ball offers the benefits of a stability ball without taking up too much space in your apartment. If you’ve never used a Bosu balance trainer, get started with these exercises.
Where to use: Anywhere in your house, but preferably in a wide space. You can keep your Bosu balance trainer in a box or cabinet.
4. Adaptable Resistance Bands
You don’t need to splurge on expensive and massive gym equipment. All you need are essential tools and a little bit of imagination. Similar with dumbbells, resistance bands can be used for any type of strength training exercises. This fitness tool is made of thin yet strong rubber with handles at the end.
Resistance bands are used for biceps curls and chest press instead of weights. Some people combine this equipment with other tools such as iron plates.
Where to use: Anywhere in your house. After your routine, you can easily stash your resistance bands in a drawer.
5. A Doorframe Pull-up Bar
Level up your home gym with a doorframe pull-up bar. A pull-up bar is perfect for muscle building especially in the arms, back and chest. There are various types of bars that you can mount on your door frame or wall. You can buy an upper body workout bar, a chin-up bar or a screwless pull-up bar station. Whichever types you choose, this equipment will camouflage in any house design.
Where to use: A pull-up bar is ideal for your living room or bedroom door frame. If you’re getting one that can be mounted on the wall, choose a space where you can also do your other fitness routines.
6. Suspension Trainers
Suspension training is a bodyweight exercise that allows natural movements for strength building, weight loss and toning. If done regularly, this challenging exercise can help you get fit at home in 20 minutes. Suspension trainers are adjustable straps attached to an anchor point. But don’t worry about ruining your room design, as this piece of equipment is only temporarily attached to your wall or door frame.
Where to use: Suspension training is rigorous. A patio is the best place for your training. You can also temporarily attach this equipment to your bedroom wall or in your home gym, if you have one.
7. Tech Fitness Tools
Every modern home has a reliable Wi-Fi connection. Nowadays, fitness instructors are available to guide you 24/7 via online instructional videos and apps. There is a wealth of free materials online that you can use for exercise tips on how to get fit at home fast.
Some of the most popular fitness apps include Fitocracy, which offers customized workouts; the Workout Trainer, which provides exercise tutorial videos; and Fitbit, which tracks your fitness progress. You may also check out Youtube for videos by certified fitness instructors and wellness gurus.
Where to use: Anywhere in your home or apartment.
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