If you want to work out at home, you might embark on something as complicated and costly as setting up an entire gym, or you can simply buy a few inexpensive fitness equipment to make exercising easier.
If you want exercise at home, you probably won’t want to lie on the bare floor, you certainly won’t want to stretch out on hard tile, and you might not even want to be that close to a padded carpet. If you are going to be doing any floor work, such as crunches or leg raises, you probably will want a real exercise mat – sooner rather than later.
Mats come in a number of different styles, sizes, and colors. You can buy mats specially designed for yoga or exercise, and you can select from styles that roll up, fold up, or stay flat for storage. They usually are made from some type of foam encased in a flexible plastic covering that wipes off easily.
Mats generally are about two feet wide, but they come in a variety of lengths, thicknesses, and heights. If you want to be able to stretch out and fit all or most of your body on the mat, you will need a longer one. If you don’t mind having your legs and feet off the end of the mat, look for one as short as three feet. Even that length should cushion your head. Thickness varies from as thin as 3/8 inch to as thick as two inches. If you are buying a mat for home use, these are all criteria you will have to consider. Decisions should be based on where you will be using the mat, how hard the floor is in that area, and how much space you have to store a mat when it’s not in use.
If you want to buy weights to use at home, you have a number of options. Hand weights or dumbbells, similar to those you might use at the gym, are available in pairs in a variety of weights ranging from one pound to 110 pounds. You can buy them vinyl-coated, which gives them a better appearance, makes them easier to clean, and is more forgiving on a wood floor if you drop them. In addition to hand weights, you can purchase leg weights. These generally are made from some type of heavy Cordura with straps and Velcro to attach them to your wrists or ankles.
Swiss balls, improve balance and coordination, tone and strengthen muscles, and are fun and interesting to use. They are also good for rehabilitation when recovering from an injury. These large, inflatable rubber balls come in different diameters in 10-centimeter (about 2 1/2 inches) increments. For effective and comfortable exercising, you need to order the right fit.
Diameter of Swiss Ball
|Under 5’0″ –||45 centimeters|
|5’1″ to 5’6″ –||55 centimeters|
|5’7″ to 5’11”-||65 centimeters|
|6’0″ to 6’3″ –||75 centimeters|
|Over 6’3″ –||85 centimeters|
If you have trouble balancing on a sphere, you might be happier with a Physio-Ball, which resembles a rubber peanut and therefore rolls only backward and forward, and not in any random direction. Whichever product you choose, you also might want to invest in a pump to keep it inflated to your comfort level.
Resistance bands & Tubes
Resistance bands are elastic bands made of rubber tubing used for strength training. They are lightweight, portable, and space saving exercise equipment. Designed to effectively build muscle strength and tone the body, there are resistance bands for a variety of exercises that target specific muscle groups. They are usually color-coded according to the resistance levels they offer – extra-heavy, heavy, medium, light, or extra-light.
Thin And Flat Resistance Bands measure about four feet long. They are ideal for training the lower body and strengthening the ankles. Tube resistance bands on the other hand, measure around four to five feet long. They usually have plastic handles. They are ideal for working the upper body and both sides of the body.
Jumping rope is a high-intensity cardiovascular workout that requires balance, strength and agility. You can use it nearly anytime and anywhere as a complete workout or for quick intervals between weight training sets or circuit training stations. Pack one in your suitcase and you never will miss another workout due to your travel schedule.
Step aerobics is one of the most popular forms of exercise these days. Apart from being easy to do and lot of fun, it is very beneficial for the physical well-being of a person as well. Steppers give a good workout aerobically, strengthen and build the lower body muscles, and are low impact. The costs involved in step aerobics is also not much. All it requires is a pair of good shoes and a stepping platform. Most of the stepping platforms are light and only requires very little storage place. Step platforms can be adjusted to give a four inch, six inch, or eight inch height by simply adding an additional layer. As you increase the step height, you’ll work harder and challenge yourself more.
Probably the most common use of the balance board is for strengthening injured ankles. Regular use of a balance board can improve the strength and co-ordination of the ankle and lower leg helping to prevent ankle sprains and other injuries. In order to decide which balance board is right for you, you have a think about the following questions:
- What level of difficulty do I want?
- Plastic or wooden?
Plastic boards are generally lighter, wooden boards are probably more difficult and have more of a quality feel. Similarly you might have to choose between size 40 or 50 cm wooden or plastic board.
Heart Rate Monitor
If you’re trying to lose weight and get in shape, aheart rate monitor (HRM) is a great way to monitor your intensity and make sure you’re working in your target heart rate zone. If you are trying tolose weight, try a HRM that tracks time spent in your heart rate zone and calories burned. On the other hand if you are looking for improved fitness level, try one that helps you improve fitness with information about intensity and training zones. The most accurate heart rate monitors use a chest strap which fits snugly around your chest just below the breast. The transmitter detects the electrical activity of your heart just like an ECG. It relays this to a display, usually worn like a wristwatch, although some use earphones instead. It is important for the strap to maintain contact or you get wild readings.
Working out to videos is a great way to exercise; it’s cheap, you can workout regardless of the weather, it’s convenient and there are tons of great videos with excellent instructors. Videos are usually marketed for Beginner, intermediate and/or advanced exerciser, therefore choose one suited for you. The total time listed in the video description usually includes an introduction, a warm up, the workout and a cool down. If you only have a few minutes a day to exercise, consider getting a circuit training workout, a DVD that allows you to mix and match workouts or a timesaver series.
Home Gym Exercise Chart
Hanging home gym exercise charts on the walls of your home gym can prove to be a big help to you in making best use of your home gym exercise equipment. Fortunately, home gym exercise charts are readily available and if you go online you will find many sites that sell such charts. You can easily purchase one or more of these home gym exercise charts to help you with whichever kind of exercise you plan on performing and so get maximum benefits and more desirable results. You can also make your home gym exercise chart help you in developing as well as designing the ideal home gym exercise program.
Another important factor to make home exercise routine a success is, the location. You may choose the basement. But if it is dark and damp, this is not an inspiring environment. Another consideration is an extra bedroom or part of a family room or den. You want an inviting location that is well ventilated and provides sufficient light. For those that like to keep up with the latest news or the soaps, a room with a television would be appropriate.