A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog on Health Foodie Finds at Costco. As a follow-up, I wanted to do a post on fitness equipment that one should keep around the house or use at the gym. For my birthday this year, a very special someone bought me a ton of awesome fitness equipment to use in my apartment (He swore it was all for my own personal benefit….). Based on this gift, here are some things I recommend.
1. Skipping Rope- Remember how much fun it was to skip when you were a kid? Turns out this activity is a great cardio, calorie-busting exercise. If you find regular skipping too easy, invest in a good quality, weighted skipping rope for a higher intensity burn.
2. Bosu Ball or Stability Board- Either one of these items are great for balance exercises and increasing the difficulty of any exercise. Find squats too easy? Try doing them on a balance board! Bosu balls are also great for abs work, this video gives a good demo http://www.prevention.com/fitness/fitness-tips/ab-exercises-how-use-bosu-ball
3. Resistance bands- resistance bands are great because they are small and light weight. I usually pack my skipping rope and resistance bands when I am traveling. They can be used to tone almost any part of your body. Test out the resistance in the store ahead of time as different types and colours will vary in the resistance they give you. If you search the Internet, there are tons of websites that demonstrate good exercises using resistance bands.
4. A Medicine Ball- I love using medicine balls. They are great for partner workouts (think medicine ball throws back and forth while doing crunches) and are easy to hold. Again, try out different weights at the fitness store and have the staff help you pick an appropriate one.
5. A good yoga mat- this is NOT an item to skimp on. You want a good quality, anti-microbial thick mat, that will be comfortable and last you a long time. Yoga mats are great for stretching, Pilates, yoga and abs work. Best of all, they roll up when you’re done so they don’t take up very much space.
6. A Swiss Ball- the exercises you can do with a Swiss Ball are endless! Buy a ball that isn’t too small or too big for your size (again, a staff member should be able to help you with this) and make sure it’s well pumped up at all times. This website demonstrates numerous good exercises http://www.ball-exercises.com/exercises/index.html