The big 3-0: a time of promotions, chiming wedding bells, and peaking physical health. Unfortunately, once you near the all-too-dreaded 40s, ache-free and doctor’s-appointment-free living becomes a thing of the past, as your physical health slides downhill. Basal metabolic rate, meaning how many calories are burned simply by existing, begins to decline. Hormones responsible for energy, particularly DHEA, may also start to reach record lows.
For most, the thought of your body falling apart once you begin to achieve pivotal milestones, i.e., property ownership, wedding nuptials, and newborn babies, is frustrating, to say the least. Luckily, staving off the effects of age and maintaining your health is attainable by sticking to an exercise regime.
Cardio and strength training lends to unique adaptations in our body, so incorporating both into your workout routine will allow you to capitalize on the best of both worlds. Truthfully, adhering to an exercise routine can feel like a monstrous challenge, even more so in the middle of a pandemic. Many gyms are closed, and those with illuminated open signs pose a risk to fitness fanatics’ health— all the more reason to invest in equipment for a home gym.
Besides the undeniable benefit of not exposing yourself to a particularly persistent virus, a home gym can help you stick to your exercise routine and save money. If you’re not sure where to begin, here are a few must-have pieces of exercise equipment for a successful home gym.
If you own a bike, you’re already one step ahead. Rather than storing your bicycle during the frigid winter months, bring it inside and pair it with a bike trainer for a simple yet immensely effective workout. The cardio you’ll complete is critical for your heart health and respiratory system function. Not to mention, home gym owners can successfully build leg strength while pushing against the pedals’ weight.
Using a bike trainer may also make you a better cyclist on the streets. You’ll get to focus on your posture and other technical elements of cycling in a controlled environment. Plus, using your own bicycle is much more cost-effective than other stationary bikes, and you can even participate in virtual races through apps like Zwift.
Strength training at home can be difficult when you don’t want to spend oodles of your hard-earned dollars on barbells, machines, and free weights. Resistance bands are here to save your workout (and your wallet) by providing demanding yet doable strength exercises. These bands come in all shapes and sizes, depending on what you’re looking for in a workout. Longer bands are typically used for various arm exercises, while shorter and thicker bands activate the leg muscles.
While most bands are relatively inexpensive, splurging on thicker fabric bands may prevent the cumbersome rolling up during leg exercises, as many have experienced when using cheaper latex bands.
Jumping rope isn’t just for kids on the playground or boxers warming up before a fight. This simple yet effective cardio method is conducive to on-the-go living, leaving you no excuse to skip a workout.
Jumping rope may also help sharpen your reflexes and increase your balance due to its positive core-strength-boosting effects. The cost to benefit ratio of this piece of equipment is fundamentally unbeatable, making it a basic essential for any home gym.
While they are the standard piece of equipment for upper body workouts, dumbbells also target a range of different muscle groups. Using them to weight hip thrusts or holding them during lunges can increase the resistance you’re pushing against during a workout. More resistance means more strength built in the long run, which has positive effects on metabolism. Try starting with one or two pairs, finding a weight that allows you to comfortably complete a workout with it still being a bit of a challenge.
Recovery is a hugely important part of the exercise process. Without allowing your body to recover, you may feel tired, sore, and perform poorly during your next workout. Remember, overexerting yourself can be detrimental to your health.
Fortunately, foam rolling helps repair the tissue you damaged during your workout, leading to less soreness. Think of it as giving your muscles a much-needed massage after a long day of work. Your body will thank you, allowing you to bounce back in a flash and move on to your next workout with ease.
Don’t let mandatory quarantine measures deprive you of your daily workout. Adapt to these uncertain times by investing in a home gym, complete with the essentials mentioned above.