Like so many of us making New Year’s resolutions, it’s likely that getting in shape may have likely been at the top of your list. Committing to a healthier lifestyle including a fitness regime can be hard work, especially when you have so many competing demands. Let’s face it, finding the time or the money to commit to a gym membership isn’t for everyone. Unlike those who live in condos offering a resident gym, those of us who’ve just bought a new house don’t have that opportunity. That’s why dedicating a space (and time) for a home gym right in your house can be the perfect option for so many. So if you’ve committed to working out at home, here are some of our essential picks that are must-haves for any home gym:
You’re probably familiar with the stability ball which goes by other names like yoga ball, swiss ball, physio ball..etc. These balls are extremely versatile and can be used for a whole host of movements and exercises improving your balance and coordination. The balls come in different sizes (based on your height and weight), and can range anywhere between $15 to $35.
Exercise Mats are a must for things like Pilates and yoga. Giving you the ability to turn any floor into a gym floor, these mats allow you to stretch comfortably as your body is cushioned from the hard floor. They can range in price from $15 to $50 based on their size and thickness. You can find them almost anywhere now from Winners to Shoppers Drug Mart.
An inexpensive accessory like the Jump Rope provides a quick and effective cardio workout. You could burn up to 140 calories in just a 10 minute stretch depending on how fast you’re jumping. They store away easily and help you improve your dexterity and coordination.
If you have the space in your house or condo along with the room in your budget, you may want to consider a cardio machine like a treadmill or stationary bike. Make sure your machine has different resistance levels to allow for workout variety and challenge as you progress. Costs vary, from $400 for a basic stationary bike to over $600 for a good treadmill.
Strength training is really important and can be achieved in the comfort of your house by getting a set of dumbbells (or free weights). A good set of dumbbells can start at $10-$20 for a pair of 5 pound weights. If you don’t have the real estate for dumbbells, consider starting off with resistance bands; they’re compact and portable and allow for a wide range of motion helping you go deeper into your stretches and can also be used for strength training. They start at $15 for a set.