We’re racing toward the wet and chilly months of winter, so it’s probably a good time to start thinking about how you’re going to take your workout indoors once the weather turns.
When it comes to building an at-home gym, a lot of people think they have to go out and buy a multi-thousand dollar piece of equipment. If you have the budget and space for it, that’s certainly an option, but the truth is that with just a few key items, you can bring everything home that you need to get a great workout.
In fact, you might already have a number of these things lying around.
Many people find it difficult to get in cardio during the winter because they don’t want to go outside and it’s hard to move around enough to get your heart really pumping when you’re stuck inside. The easy solution is a treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike.
For some people, these options might be out of your budget or be too big for your living space (although there are a number of stationary bikes on the market that take up virtually no space, and most treadmills can be folded and tucked out of the way). If you’re worried about the cost, check Craigslist or any other classified ads. I once purchased a perfectly good treadmill for $50. The only catch was that I had to move it myself.
As far as versatility goes, nothing beats a pair of dumbbells. There are seemingly an endless number of workouts that they provide, and even with just one, you can apply strength training to pretty much every muscle in your body.
You can get a set of non-adjustable dumbbells, but as you build your strength you’re going to want to be able to add more weight. From there, simply search the web for videos that show how to work out different muscles.
A lot of people avoid doing push-ups because they can be really hard to do, but let me remind you of something – the whole point of exercise is to push your body beyond its comfort zone. That’s where the gains come from.
Pull-ups are great for working out your entire upper body, and there are even a number of ways you can use the bar to exercise your legs and core.
Be sure to get a bar that is right for your doorframe, however, to avoid having it drop and cause injury.
What’s the alternative to a costly, space-consuming machine? A jump rope! You can get them for as affordably as $5 or as much as $50, depending on whether or not you want features such as weighted handles or electronic progress monitors. And a jump rope is an excellent tool for achieving cardio.
A lot of people question the effectiveness of resistance bands, but they can be a great addition to your home gym no matter what your level of fitness happens to be.
For people who are looking for a gentle workout, resistance bands are a great way to tone the muscles and build strength. And for more advanced exercisers, they can be used in conjunction with a dumbbell or pull-up bar to add difficulty and variety to your motions.
Having some equipment on hand certainly makes it easier to get in a good workout, but never forget that your own body is the best piece of equipment you have.
Between your body and the help of gravity, you can perform a wide variety of highly-effective exercises. Squats, lunges, planks, pushups, crunches, bicycle-kicks, and the classic burpee are all fantastic workouts. And if you add a dumbbell or resistance band into the mix, you can make these motions even more effective.
Once winter rolls around, it can be easy to neglect your fitness routine. Between the unpleasant weather and holiday feasting, it can be tempting to just hole up and wait until the sun comes back again. But once spring is back again, you’ll be kicking yourself as you frantically try to get ready for swimsuit season.
So instead of letting yourself go for the winter, bring your workout indoors.