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!
Jennifer Nicole Lee is an international fitness model, best-selling author and motivational speaker who has appeared on Oprah, CBS The Early Show, Inside Edition, E! Entertainment and Fox and Friends. She is the author of the The Fun Fit Foodie Cookbook and was named one of the “Three Top Females in the Fitness Industry” of 2011 by Yahoo Sports. Check out her health and fitness tip videos exclusively on the Vitacost Live Wire.