Many people put off being active because they think that they don’t have the fitness equipment they need.
The reality is that you don’t need expensive gym equipment, just a little time and a lot of motivation.
Here are 10 fitness must-haves that will help you get active without breaking the bank. For each item there is a no-cost or low-cost alternative that is perfect for beginners who aren’t certain they want to make a financial commitment 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 or water 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 handy as a stretching strap for improving flexibility.
Alternative: Any piece of rope will do, or simply jump without one.
A resistance band is a great piece of fitness equipment for when you are on the road! They are practical, lightweight and easy to use.
Alternative: A piece of soft rope or a rolled towel can work well for basic exercises. 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.
Adjustable workout step
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.
Timer or stopwatch
It’s an essential tool for interval training. A stopwatch also keeps you honest about your workout length or running time
Alternative: A cell phone with a stopwatch app.
Put together a great workout playlist with 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 music app.
One perfectly fitting fitness outfit
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!
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.