Make this the year you prioritize fitness and pledge to become more fit. Take a look at my list of home fitness equipment must-haves, and get ready to get active—without breaking the bank!
I want you to reach your fitness goals, but many people put off being active because they think that they don’t have the fitness equipment they need. I’m here to bust that excuse apart. You don’t need expensive gym equipment to workout. I’ve put together my top 10 list of fitness must-haves, but before we get to that, let me share a fitness secret.
It’s important to understand that your own body weight is perfect for gaining strength. Simply walking and running is great for cardiovascular fitness. And you can easily stretch your body to improve your flexibility from the comfort of your own bed.
Join me in saying that no excuses are good enough to be a barrier to fitness! I’ve created lots of fun video workouts that you can do at home without any equipment. I also have a list of things that might make it easier to workout. For each item I’ve added a no-cost or low-cost alternative that is perfect for beginners who aren’t certain they want to make a financial commitment just yet.
If you’re working out, then you need to hydrate. Be sure to take water if you’re out for a walk or any other type of exercise. Even if you’re at home, remember you need to drink and refill your water bottle a few times a day.
Alternative: Use a recycled drink bottle.
A yoga mat is a portable workout zone! You don’t have to be practicing yoga to get good use out of a yoga mat: they are perfect for push-ups, sit-ups and work great as a non-slip, clean surface for workouts on the go.
Alternative: A cushioned surface, like a carpet or a towel.
Dumbbells are great for portable strength training. Be careful to choose the right dumbbell weight for you: good form with a lighter weight can create better results than bad form with a heavier weight.
Alternative: Anything that you can pick up safely, such as sand bags or full water bottles.
You can have fun and do a great cardio workout with a jump rope. Jump ropes also come in useful as a stretching strap for improving flexibility.
Alternative: Any piece of rope will, do or simply jump without one.
A resistance band is my must-have piece of fitness equipment for when I’m on the road! They are practical, light-weight and easy to use.
Alternative: A piece of soft rope or a rolled towel can work well for basic exercises. Please don’t risk using tubing or rubber bands not designed for fitness, as they could snap and cause an injury.
There are so many effective upper and lower body exercises that you can do with a medicine ball, and they’re especially useful for partner workouts.
Alternative: A basketball or soccer ball. Even without the added weight, you can still do many movements to help improve your coordination.
A workout step takes up very little space, and you can use it as part of a circuit or get a great cardio blast. Choose a workout step with a non-slip surface and adjustable height to suit your personal needs.
Alternative: A sturdy wooden box, crate or stairs.
I’m a huge fan of interval training, and using a timer is essential for doing it correctly. A stopwatch also keeps you honest about your workout length or running time
Alternative: A cell phone with a stopwatch app will do the job.
Put together a great workout playlist of your favorite motivational music. Music can relieve stress and take your mind off how many minutes you have left!
Alternative: Turn on the radio or find your favorite CD.
Treat yourself to a quality workout outfit, including training shoes. Choosing an outfit that fits well, supports you in all the right places, and makes you look good to help you find the motivation to work out!
Alternative: Comfortable pajamas are an acceptable workout outfit. But, ladies, make sure you invest in a supportive sports bra!
Samantha Clayton is responsible for all activities relating to exercise and fitness education for Independent Herbalife Members and employees. Through in-person training sessions, educational tools and materials, and her blog (www.discovergoodfitness.com), she ensures that the important role of exercise as part of a healthy, active life is understood by all. She also helps create, organize and promote employee fitness programs and activities as an integral part of the company’s corporate wellness program.
A native of Liverpool, England, Samantha initially worked as a consultant for Herbalife for two years and led the Herbalife24-Fit program, the company’s first comprehensive fitness training program and DVD series.
Before joining the corporate ranks, Samantha was a professional athlete. She represented Great Britain in the 2000 Sydney Olympics in both the 200m and the 4x100m relay events. Prior to the Olympics, she won two medals in the Olympic AAA trials – a silver medal for the 200m and a bronze for the 100m – as well as a silver medal in the 4x100m relay during the European Junior Championships in 1997. Her personal records include 11.40 seconds in the 100m and 23.02 seconds in the 200m.
Samantha is a personal trainer and group exercise coach through the American Fitness and Aerobics Association (AFAA) and International Sport Science Association (ISSA).