Category Archives: fitness

My Home Gym Essentials

One of the most common questions I’m asked is how I fit my fitness into my life. I have 3 young kids, commitments and a daily requirement for at least 8 hours of solid sleep that I rarely, if ever get (thanks kids…). Life around here is largely unscripted and rarely follows any kind of timeline. Most days, success is defined by putting the same number of humans to bed alive each night as got up that morning. Believe me…there are days…

And yet, I fit in my fitness. I prioritize it. I need it. I’ll also be the first to admit that I really do enjoy working out. It’s a hobby for me. Not many people fit into that category and there are certainly things I don’t like doing (looking right at you step aerobics. Right. At. You.) but by and large, I love being active.

So how do I fit it in? Well the easy answer is that I make the time. It’s a part of my life and so it’s something I fit in as time to be spent bettering myself. I don’t view it as something I do if I have time or if nothing better comes up. I get it done. Now, as a disclaimer, it doesn’t always go smoothly and my mom duties trump all else so there are definitely times when a run doesn’t happen or is canceled because my kids need me or I didn’t sleep the night before etc. I also allow myself a little grace in this season I’m in and don’t beat myself up too much if I miss here and there.

I’ve also been building up a home gym to help me with the goals I want to achieve. It’s not something that needs to cost a fortune and can be built over time. Remember, you body is the best resistance tool you have. And it’s free. But sometimes you need variety or, in my case, help to get started. Here are a couple of things I’ve been using pretty regularly since being home with the Little Lady:

1. Resistance bands: Seriously, these are the cheapest and simplest tools you can have. The can work to both make an exercise easier (band resisted pushups are what helped me go from zero pushups to being able to do a few at a time unassisted) or harder. They are inexpensive, travel well and come in a variety of tensions to help you progress. If I had a chin up bar, I’d be using them to help me get stronger and to my goal of an unassisted chin up.

2. Treadmill: Ok, this is one of the more expensive purchases you’d be investing in however, if you’re a runner with young kids, questionable weather and no easy ticket out of the house to run, a treadmill is a great investment. It doesn’t have to be top of the line. Mine sure isn’t but it gets the job done and allows me to get some miles in while the kids sleep or are playing nicely for a few minutes.

3. Suspension trainer: I’m totally new to this. I used a TRX for the first time when I started at my gym back in November. I was instantly hooked to it and how versatile it is to use. I couldn’t budget for the brand name one so I opted for a much cheaper Woss version instead. It’s not fancy but it does the trick.

Those 3 things plus body weight exercises have helped me tremendously over the last few months to get stronger and to complement the workouts I do at the gym. There are a few things I’d like to add in time (Ultimate Sandbag, a wall of kettle bells to name a few budget busters 😛 ) but for now, I’m more than happy with what I’ve got going on at home.

If you need other ideas, check out Unique Fitness Concepts and browse around for ideas. Remember that what suits one person may not suit another so invest your money in stuff that makes sense for you.

Your Turn: What’s one must-have piece of equipment you need for your home gym?

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