You may not be able to go to a gym yet you want to stay fit? While outdoor exercise, like jogging, running or even walking can help you keep up your endurance or cardio respiratory function, you may not necessarily be meeting all your exercise needs. These fitness needs can be met at home, sometimes with equipment but often without. There are plenty of different exercises and workout equipment you can try for all levels of fitness.
Components of Fitness
One aspect of fitness is cardio vascular endurance. There are 3 other areas you need to tackle to ensure you are or remain or get fit. These are strength, flexibility and balance. We will consider what exercises are needed for each of those and then how you can meet your needs at home.
Cardio Vascular Endurance
Often just known as “cardio”, this is the stamina to keep going without getting breathless, to run for a bus, do a 5K or a marathon. Running, cycling, jogging or even fast walking can all help you get fit and improve your endurance
This is the ability to lift your shopping or your child or a set of ladders for painting the house. Muscles need exercise to keep them strong and you can use weight machines, free weights or even bodyweight exercises, such as press ups to keep your muscles strong for everyday living and more.
This is the ability to scratch your back, reach down to tie your laces, cut your toenails or put your socks on, reach up high to lift something down or twist and turn when dancing or playing sport. Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi can all help with improving and retaining flexibility.
If you have ever had a bout of vertigo (infection of the inner ear), you will know just how important balance is to being able to do anything. It’s also crucial for anyone suffering from osteoporosis or osteopoenia to ensure they have the best balance possible, to help guard against falls. Again, Pilates, Tai Chi and Yoga can all help to improve balance. There are also simple balance exercises you can do at home to improve, not only your balance but also, possibly to help remove the sense of nausea and vertigo.
Now, how do you get all of these aspects of fitness carried out at home, if you cannot even go out and jog? You may now be on the hunt for must-have workout equipment for home use. You could be like many who are searching for these items, but are unsure where to begin. With a little planning and attention you can have everything you want and need. You don’t even have to own a huge house or have a lot of space. Many workout essentials are small and simple enough to store, while bigger fitness tools may need a closet or dedicated floor space but with a little thought, you may not need the bigger items if you do not have the room or the budget to get these.
One workout essential that can fit in almost any room is weight plates. Weight plates are great because they require very little space and yet give you a full body workout, whether you use them with a bar or alone purely as weights. A great way to get started with weight plates is with a home gym exercise machine that these will fit onto but of course, this will be more expensive and will take more room. You may be able to acquire the weights quite cheaply on a local recycling page or app. If you have a home exercise bench, that’s perfect. They come in all shapes sizes and forms, and are an essential piece of workout equipment for home use. A good exercise bench will keep your form correct and keep your body in proper alignment during your workout. Most full machine home workout equipment comes with free weights, dumbbells or a combination of both. If you like to workout with free weights, you’ll need to make sure the weights you choose are of the right quality. While most are not too heavy, you do want to be careful of overusing them and hurting yourself. You don’t have to spend a fortune on these, just pick ones that are durable and will stand up to your workouts.
If you are not ready for a weights machine, medicine ball, dumbbells or kettlebells, you can also improve muscle strength with the use of resistance bands which are inexpensive and versatile. Resistance bands can help you lose weight, tone up and build muscle at the same time. These are like giant pieces of elastic that are used to create resistance for your muscles to work against. You can get different strengths (or levels of resistance) so you can improve your muscle strength gradually. These are very easy to store, they can be rolled up and put in a drawer.
There is also a no-equipment option using your own bodyweight to improve muscle strength. This can start off as easy as you like – doing pushups standing up leaning against a wall, progressing to pushups while resting on your knees, to full pushups. There are also other options, like “the Plank” and standing options lifting your knees.
You can use an exercise bike for a home workout. These are small pieces of workout equipment, but they add a cardio benefit to your routine. Exercise bikes let you get some serious cardio action without having to use up more space than you have. And since many of the smaller ones can be folded up, you can easily find space for them. If you have the space and budget for a larger exercise bike, you can get ones with extra programmes, including adding resistance to provide a tougher workout and ones with variable programs to give you the option of flat ground and hill climbs in varying amounts. If you tend to suffer from backache, there are cycle machines (recumbent bikes) that you can operate lying down. These can be a great home gym investment because the smaller ones allow you to exercise in different areas of your backyard or front yard. While you won’t have to worry about weights, an exercise bike still provides a great way to burn calories and get fit. Look for one that’s easy to use and has a comfortable seat. Cycling is also a great piece of exercise if you are normally a runner or tend to get tight hips. Cycling does not put a strain on the hips and can even help open them, so they are more comfortable.
If an exercise bike does not sound like a must have piece of equipment to you but you have the budget and the space, you could try a running machine, a rowing machine or an elliptical glider. A smaller option is a stair stepper.
This aspect of fitness does not require equipment, although a large Swiss ball or stability ball can help extend the exercises you can do. Many of the flexibility exercises will require sitting on the floor and a yoga mat or exercise mat can be helpful here. You may also use some of the weight plates if carrying out twisting exercises, to add an extra dimension to your workout.
You can find DVDs and online videos to help with exercises for flexibility
Again, there is very little equipment needed for practising balance. A chair or other surface to help support you during the exercises is useful and a floor mat or yoga mat can help prevent slipping.
Looking For Must Have Workout Equipment
When looking for home workout equipment, look for the must have features and find what fits your needs the best. In summary, choosing home exercise equipment is not all that difficult. However, you must be sure to do your research and purchase what will meet your personal goals. and that will be easy for you to use. Once you have done all of this you will be ready to get started.