reviews & resources
I occasionally have the pleasure of working with a client who has a real home gym – like the home gyms you see on MTV Cribs (did I just inadvertently confess to watching brainless prepubescent entertainment?) minus the Swarovski crystal-encrusted stopwatches. Most of the time, my clients do not have a whole room they can afford to designate solely to the pursuit of fitness. Sometimes we work out in their bedrooms, sometimes we work out in their basements, sometimes it’s a corner of the living room and the attached staircase…
You don’t need a “gym” to work out at home. You just need a bit of creativity and a couple of basic props. Check out this video from the American College of Sports Medicine all about setting up your home “gym”:
I recommend the following inexpensive pieces of equipment. Most of these items can be purchased at any good fitness store – Fitness Depot is my local favourite – or even found in the sporting goods section of a large department store.
- mat, padded or yoga-style
- dumbbells of increasing increments – 5, 10 & 15 pounds are a good start but a single set of 10-15 pounds will do well if you have the guidance of an experienced personal trainer to show you some creative uses
- a resistance band of medium tension
- a bench or chest that can hold your weight (a sturdy kitchen chair or step will do in a pinch)
Cardio at home can be tricky. A staircase is a great way to inject some aerobic exercise into your home routine. If you are planning to purchase a piece of cardiovascular equipment, I recommend a treadmill or a rowing ergometer (find out which types of cardio burn the most calories here). DVDs are another great way to do cardio at home. And, of course, nothing beats lacing up your sneakers and heading out the front door for a walk, jog or hike. It doesn’t get much cheaper and easier than that!