It's January which means that many of us just made resolutions to lose weight or get in better shape. In fact, according to a study by the University of Scranton, losing weight is the #1 resolution we make for the coming year. Sure, you can opt for joining a gym, taking up a sport or hitting the pavement.
But with a few key pieces of gear, you can create an ideal fitness center right in your own living room. So whether you like to workout at morning or night, watch the nightly news or Real Housewives (we don't judge), get your heart pumping with cardio or tighten up your less-than-toned parts, we've got the simple, affordable gear for getting fit at home.
Get the Gear: There's no need to spend thousands of dollars on a piece of equipment you'd expect to see at a gym. These four pieces of fitness gear are compact, under $25 and versatile enough to work out multiple body parts. Kiss those excuses goodbye.
Resistance tubes or bands let you workout your arms, back, abs, legs and butt and to vary the difficulty based on where and how you hold the band. You can shove them next to the couch or even in your purse. For less than $10, resistance tubes are an easy, affordable way to add resistance training into your day. Pick one up in the fitness section of your favorite store and then head over to our Fitness & Health Pinterest board (you are following Momtrends on Pinterest, right?) to see our favorite exercises for toning your arms, tightening your tush, or getting a full-body workout with resistance tubes.
Weighted medicine balls help add resistance to your arm, ab and leg exercises. Balls usually start at 4 lbs and can get as heavy as 30 lbs. Choosing a ball that is light enough that you can lift it fairly easily but that will challenge you as you add reps to your workout. Balls without handles are cheaper, but you can opt for a dual-handled medicine balls to allow you even more versatility in arm exercises. Ready to go? Check out our favorite medicine balls exercises to work your abs, lower body and from head to toe.
Another easy way to add resistance to your workout is with a weighted body bar. Also called a workout bar, these bars start at 5 lbs and work their way up. They are perfect for working out your core, arms and can be used for stability for lower body exercises. If you like videos, try this 30 minute full body body bar workout or these a la carte body bar exercises. You can even do most of Momtrends founder Nicole's secret workout for getting amazing arms with the body bar.
Looking to get your cardio in, but hate running or biking? Go old school by dusting off that junior high jump rope (or just spend the $10 to get a new one). Jumping rope for 30 minutes burns an estimated 340 calories! Break that up into jumping 10 minutes before your favorite show and then during every commercial break (there are roughly 18 minutes of commercials for every hour-long program - no fast-forwarding if you've DVR-ed the show!). Then you can check off your workout and catching up with the latest episode of Project Runway. Bored with your jump? Try these jump rope variations to keep it fresh.
Dress the Part: You know the old saying, "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have"? No one feels great in ratty old sweats and an old t-shirt. Instead, boost your workout by getting an exercise wardrobe that keeps you supported, makes you feel good, and shows off your hard work - even if you're working out in your living room.
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I'm loving these workout tops by Gaiam. The Breathe Racerback top shows off your shoulders and arms, supports your bust with a built-in shelf bra, and slims your middle with contrasting swath of fabric. Not feeling confident showing off your arms or midsection quite yet? The Flourish Performance Tee gives you the coverage you want in a stretchy, wicking tee that looks as cute during cardio as it does during a trip to the store.
Hate trying to coordinate fitness gear that works together? Fabletics is a new line of activewear from Kate Hudson that blends high-performance pieces in pre-coordinated outfits that will take you from school drop-off to morning yoga feeling - and looking - good. A quick lifestyle quiz based on your exercises, style, and body type (including what you'd like to hide or highlight) helps Fabletics narrow down their product offerings. Then, you can buy individual pieces, whole outfits, or become a VIP member if you love getting new workout gear and get up to 40% multiple-piece sets every month. I'm loving the layered look of Replenish, the cute fitted jacket of Strenuous, and the bright leggings and tummy-forgiving top of Enliven. (Psst. Have you entered the Turn It On Fitness fashion giveaway yet?)
Add an App: My workouts would be nothing without my trusty smartphone. There are three great areas for apps to aid your workout - music, motivation and data.
First, music. For me, music during a workout is a must. I can run farther, lift higher, and plank longer with a great song in my ear. I usually rely on Pandora and more recently Spotify (which now offers their Spotify Shuffle for free on the phone). Whether you like pop hits or club music, classic rock or country, find a station with a tempo that keeps your heart rate - and your mood - up.
Motivation apps help you set (and reach) your fitness goals. I have friends who use the workout ideas on Shape Magazine app and Workout Trainer. I like the goals setting, reminders and support of Lift.
Finally, your phone can help you track your run (Runtastic), count your steps (Pedometer Free), monitor your food (Lose It) and more. (Click here for even more apps to help you meet your New Year resolutions).
Are you a fan of working out at home? What helps you (or hinders you) from exercising at home?
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