First let me apologize to you my readers. It has been a while since I posted to my blog. There has been a lot of craziness happening in the last while. I was sick for a couple of weeks, we have a new grand daughter, my daughter and husband (and kids) announced they are moving, and some of it was a lack of motivation.
Well I’m back and recharged after my recent holiday to the ventriloquists convention (wearing my other hat for a second) and now I want to finish the series I started by talking about fitness at home.
Fitness at home is in some ways the easiest because of convenience, but also the most difficult for the same reason – “Oh I can exercise any time” yet we don’t.
Here is my first suggestion. Take a walk around your neighbourhood for two reasons. The first is the obvious exercise you get from the walking but the second is a bit of homework. Take note of all the parks and green spaces and possible exercise places right near your home.
Are there playgrounds where you can get exercise while playing with the kids or grandkids? How about free tennis courts or basketball courts? Some parks even have horse shoe pits.
Some parks have fitness circuits in them. Here in Burnaby, we have a large park named Central Park (I know how original) and in the park is a complete outdoor fitness circuit, almost like a gym in the woods.
It covers all the areas like strength, cardio, balance and more. Here is a bit more information on it https://www.burnaby.ca/Things-To-Do/Explore-Outdoors/Parks/Central-Park/Outdoor-Fitness-Circuit.html Maybe you have something like it in your area.
The best part of all these parks and outdoor areas is that they are free! Just get up and out the door. However, what about when the weather is really yucky and you don’t want to go out?
Here you have a lot of options. You could just put on some music you like and have yourself a dance party. That was how Richard Simmons developed the Sweating to the Oldies series, He was uncomfortable going to the gym, so went home and just danced and soon realized you could exercise and have fun!
Speaking of Richard, there are almost limitless exercise DVDs out there, from beginner to advanced. There are cardio workouts, yoga, tai chi, pilates and many more topics covered. If you don’t want to invest a lot of money into DVDs, check with your local library. Many have DVD libraries and a lot of exercise DVDs that you can watch before you decide to buy.
The next area is home exercise equipment. I mentioned exercise bands when I talked about exercising on the road. You can use them at home too. By combining the bands with a door anchor so you can do more of a variety of exercises, and some cardio DVDs you can get quite a workout.
When it comes to home gym equipment, there are also a lot of options. You can buy weights and a weight bench, treadmills, cardio equipment and more. My suggestion would be buy from a fitness store and not the local Stuff Mart store.
The staff can advise you on the right equipment based on your goals. In the long run they can save you money but steering you away from equipment you don’t need, or that will not help you reach you goals.
Here is a bit of a warning. Good exercise equipment is not cheap. Don’t be shocked. You also have to know if you buy cheap equipment, it will not last long and will soon become a very expensive clothes hanger. The good news is that there are ways to save money on some of the equipment.
A lot of people buy equipment and after a few months the enthusiasm wears off and it for sale on Craigslist. My favourite piece of home equipment I bought was something that came into the Thrift Store in my neighbourhood. It is one called the Total Flex which is kind of like a portable Bowflex if you are familiar with that kind of equipment. These sell for around $200 and I got mine for $25!
The resistance bands are adjustable for stronger and stronger resistance. The whole unit adjusts to different configurations that allows me to do exercises that work every muscle group. I really like it and use it regularly. Check out their website http://www.thane.com/default/total-flexr-multi-pay-1.html By the way, I got nothing from them to post this as I bought mine second hand but just love it.
The other consideration if you are considering home equipment is “How much space do I have?” Do you have a space you can dedicate to working out? I don’t like it when commercials brag “you can just fold it up and put it under the bed.” because eventually that will be it’s permanent home. What if you don’t have a lot of space?
Maybe you live in an apartment. Does it have a pool or gym? Make use of it. I told a friend once that I envied him because his building had a beautiful pool and a pretty good gym with weights, cardio equipment and a Universal station. His reply? “Yeah. One of these days I will have to use it.” So sad.
In my TOPS group I have one lady who uses her building AS a gym. She takes an elevator up to the top floor and walks down a certain number of flights, or walks up the stairs, or even walks up a floor then walks all around that floor then up to the next one and repeat.
So what should you do first? I would take a look at what your goals are – weight loss, getting toned, gaining strength or what have you. Consult a trainer even for one or two sessions to get some guidance. Sometimes you local community centre has trainers available for a free or inexpensive one-time session.
When you know what you want to do, look at what equipment you might want to invest in or what other options are available like free fitness circuits or stair walking or getting out to find free tennis or basketball courts.
To paraphrase a certain Disney movie, “Just keep moving, just keep moving”
Until next time, have a healthy and happy day!