The Best Home Gym Equipment


Those of you who read my blog know that I am an avid supporter of getting up and getting moving! This doesn’t mean that you have to run a marathon, but it does mean you have to get off the couch, put one foot in front of the other and start moving toward the door!

If you haven’t been active for a while, start out slow if you need to, but start!  Take a walk.  Go for a bike ride.  Sign up for a yoga class.  Call a friend and play a little one-on-one.  It doesn’t have to be pretty, it just has to be active!   Little by little, day by day, you’ll find yourself doing more and more, feeling better and better with more energy each time you lace up those sneakers.  Before you know it, you’ll be heading out with your head up high, breathing in the morning air with big, deep breaths, and thinking just how great life is!

To help you get started, here are some the best items I’ve found that help me with my workouts.  I do a combination of some light hand weights three times per week, plus bench presses.  I also walk at least thirty minutes (I try for forty five) five times per week at a pace that gets me a little breathless.  I also try to do thirty to forty five minutes of yoga two or three times per week for flexibility and core strength.

These are the Hand Weights I use for resistance training.  I like them because they don’t roll around when I put them down.  I also like them because they don’t hurt my hands.

Isokinetics Inc. Brand Vinyl Coated Dumbbells - 1 lb through 10 lb - Sold as A Pair   priceIsokinetics Inc. Brand Vinyl Coated Dumbbells – 1 lb through 10 lb – Sold as A Pair
These Isokinetics dumbbells are perfect for resistence training at home. The come in ten different weight sizes in 1 lb increments. Sold individually, as pairs or as a set of 10 (one each of each weight). Color coding helps identify each size. You can work with just the right amount of weight to tighten and tone arms, biceps and shoulders. They are ready to use when you are ready to exercise.

 My husband and I use this weight set.  I use this bar and free weights for my bench presses.  I do not lift a lot, just 125 lbs, but I like being strong enough to do this.  I always have a spotter (usually my husband) when I am bench pressing. 

Amber Sports Threaded 110 lb. Weight Set   priceAmber Sports Threaded 110 lb. Weight Set
Take the gym out of your workout routine by adding the Amber Sports Threaded 110 lb. Weight Set. Designed to save you money and build your arm and upper back strength, this complete weight set comes with all the necessary stuff to keep you in shape. The plates are solid and will endure years of abuse. It doesn’t skimp when it comes to the bars either; these are solid steel, and will not bend under normal (i.e., somewhere around 250 pounds of weight) use.

 This is the type of bench we started out with.  We use something a bit more complicated now, but a bench like this served us well for many years.  

Universal Five-Position Weight Bench   priceUniversal Five-Position Weight Bench
The simple, effective challenge of a free weight workout remains one of the most efficient ways to build strength and muscle mass. The Universal Five-Position bench, from parent company Nautilus, offers positions of -10, 0, 15, 30, and 45 degrees, and dozens of exercises to challenge your entire core and upper body. Its contoured shape and five-inch foam rollers ensure a safe and comfortable workout, while stabilizer levelers provide a stable base on almost any type of flooring. The bench measures 17 by 25 by 51 inches (W x H x D). It has a 250-pound maximum user weight and a maximum combined user weight and lift load of 430 pounds.

 While I much prefer to walk outside, I do have a treadmill that I use when the weather keeps me in.  Mine is an older model, but is much like this one.  I have a digital console where I can input various routines: uphill, city, rural, and save favorites.  I can also monitor my heart rate and pulse and keep track of calories burned, steps taken, miles walked and minutes used.  I use all of these on my treadmill and find them useful.  

ProForm 6.0 RT   priceProForm 6.0 RT
Treadsoft cushion deck Space-saving design with sturdy handles LCD window with 5W x 7L matrix display for racetrack and priority iPod-compatible audio with two 2-inch speakers Zero to 10 mph digital quick speed control Zero to 10 percent digital quick incline control 4 quick timed workout apps 4 quick calorie workout apps EKG grip pulse reader.

This is a wonderful DVD for anyone who likes yoga or who would like to learn yoga.  Rodney Yee does a great job teaching and demonstrating yoga techniques.  I enjoy this DVD especially for stress reduction and meditation.  The photography is gorgeous!

Yoga Journals Yoga for Meditation DVD (2004)   priceYoga Journal’s Yoga for Meditation [DVD] (2004)
Meditation is awareness of posture, ease of breath, and attentiveness of the mind. In this beautiful video, Yee quietly and expertly leads you through five yoga practices that release bodily tension, improve posture, and open up breathing. The setting is grand and gorgeous Yosemite National Park, where Yee demonstrates poses in a meadow flanked by trees and cliffs or at the edge of a lake or under a waterfall.

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