Most of us are aware of the positive benefits brought by following a simple exercise regime. According to experts, it takes just 20 minutes of walking per day to combat strokes, heart disease and cancer. Of course, regular exercise not only helps to keep illness at bay, but it also increases stamina levels and can relieve stress. If you find exercising at the public gym a little daunting, with all those well-toned physiques strolling around, you might prefer to exercise at home using your own home gym.
What Makes a Home Gym So Good?
Many people join a gym with good intentions but 67% of them never make it past the gym door after signing up. Setting up a home gym with only a few essential pieces of equipment is less expensive than a gym membership and works out cheaper in the long run. It’ll also save you time: you won’t have to trail back and forth to the gym three times a week or more, lugging all your weight training gear around. Oh and there’s also the bonus of not having to queue for equipment, or find that some inconsiderate soul hasn’t bothered to wipe down the machine after them (yuk!).
You might want to ease yourself in gently yet still work every part of your body. The elliptical trainer is a suitable option for this. Similar to exercise bikes, these machines can offer you a safe, low-impact workout that attends to both your arms and your legs. A blend of exercise bike and a cross-country skiing machine, it tones, strengthens, and gives you a cardio workout all in one. Fabulous! Just 15 minutes a day and you can start to see results in a few weeks. Good work!
Be Free (With Weights!)
Free weights are easily stored in the home and are the perfect way to build muscle, tone the body, and increase stamina. A set of free weights is an inexpensive option for a home gym and you can buy additional weights as you get fitter (and stronger!). A bench press is an ideal accompaniment to a set of free weights and will allow you to perform a wider range of exercises. Combine free weights with a cardio exercise, such as on an elliptical trainer or a running machine, for a full body workout in less than an hour.
Being Open (Alternatives)
If you don’t fancy pumping iron or sweating it out on an exercise bike or elliptical trainer, or even if you just want to mix up your exercise program a bit, you can always purchase a few fitness DVDs. You can even hook up the Wii. There are all kinds of fat-busting and fitness boosting workouts out there (maybe even by your favorite celebrity, who knows!). Remember that simply walking every day or using the stairs instead of the elevator ups your fitness levels.
Whichever option you choose to whip yourself up into shape, you should remember to exercise regularly. Once per week won’t really cut it all. The physique you can attain, not to mention the general lifestyle improvement, are all worth it. You’ll probably find that a fitter you is a happier you, and who wouldn’t sign up for that?
About Writer: Matt Jefferson is a personal trainer and specializes in training athletes for triathlons. He is always looking for new fitness and endurance challenges.