Regular exercise has many benefits from weight control to cardiovascular health, but who has time to drive to the gym and wait in line to use the machines? Working out at home is a great way to fit exercise into your schedule, but having the right equipment is essential if you want to get fit on your own. Whether you’re installing a full-fledged home gym or setting up a small fitness nook, you’ll definitely want to add these four items to your personal workout space.
Jamming out while you exercise is a great way to rev up your routine. One study found that stationary bikers who worked out to their favorite tunes burned seven percent more calories than those who pedaled in silence. Invest in a quality sound system with at least two speakers and a subwoofer to keep the bass pounding. If your workout of choice is one that depends on music, such as step aerobics or Zumba, an awesome audio setup isn’t optional.
Weight-bearing exercise is one of the most beneficial types of workouts you can do, so stock your fitness space with a variety of weights and a weight room rack. Lifting weights two or three times a week can pay off with increased muscle mass, stronger bones and a faster metabolism. If you’re not up to heavy lifting, start small with a set of dumbbells and work your way up.
If you have a medical condition like obesity, diabetes or fatty liver disease, a daily cardiovascular workout is a great way to improve your health. Consider investing in your own cardio machine so you can exercise on your own schedule and avoid the long lines at the gym. Affordable and fun machines to get your heart rate up include the treadmill, stationary bike and rowing machine.
Whether you’re practicing downward dog or trying to prevent bruises when doing calisthenics, a yoga mat is a great way to add comfort and safety to your workout routine. Choose a washable, sweat-absorbing mat with plenty of padding. While more padding makes your workout easier on your joints, make sure that you don’t have so much give that it puts strain on your wrists and ankles during more difficult yoga poses.
Is your budget tighter than your abs? You don’t have to break the bank to get a great workout at home. Simple pieces of equipment like kettle bells, ropes and bands can build muscle just as well as that thousand-dollar fitness machine. You can also take advantage of failed New Year’s resolutions by shopping for used equipment at yard sales, thrift stores and online auction sites.