Are you afraid of commitment? If you’re avoiding joining a gym because you cringe at the thought of having yet another monthly bill , do yourself one favor: commit to yourself. All you need is a closet-sized space and a few easy-to-tote tools and all the world’s your gym”¦if you know how to use it.
BUSTED: The notion that you need to hire an expensive trainer or invest in a monthly gym membership just to stay in shape is completely false!
There are a number of ways to work out any time, anywhere. All you need are the right training pieces. Here are my “essential six” exercise accessories:
- Yoga mat: Roll it out when performing any floor exercise for a little extra cushioning while you do planks, pelvic thrusts and push-ups. Of course, you can always use the mat for basic stretching, Pilates or an actual yoga workout, too.
- Stability ball: Use for ab exercises to up the intensity, as your core works twice as hard to stay steady. This large inflated piece may not travel well, but it’s a must-have for the house. A stability ball also makes a great weight bench particularly for chest exercises, such as chest presses and flyes.
- Jump rope: This is the ultimate quick-cardio weapon of choice, since it stores easily even in a handbag and gets your heart rate pumping in mere minutes.
- Stop watch (or any clock that shows seconds): You’ll need a stop watch to track interval times, because alternating bursts of speed with a short recovery helps boost your fat-burning engine.
- Dumbbells: I recommend a pair of 5-pound, 10-pound and 15-pound hand weights to help you build lean muscle with every push, pull and lift. Store these in a hall closet or corner of your living room, so you can make good use of commercials. Having the different weights on hand means you can do upper- and lower-body movements, and this allows room for your strength to improve. Maybe you start curling 5 pounds and within a month, you could be up to 10 pounds.
- Resistance bands (providing various levels of tension, from light to heavy): Stretchy and lighter to carry than dumbbells, resistance bands are a great way to challenge yourself. They can substitute for any exercise you would use dumbbells for, including rows, overhead shoulder presses, biceps curls and more!