A woman riding on a bike trainer.

How to Build Your Own At-Home Gym

Best Home Exercise Equipment to Help You Stay Healthy

It's always important to stick to your fitness goals, even at home. While outdoor exercise offers a variety of options — like biking, running, and hiking — inclement weather or crowds might nix that idea. This is why we are going to talk about best home exercise equipment, so you can stay healthy from the comfort of your home.

What is Home Exercise?

Fortunately, there is no need to travel to a gym for a good workout. You can stay fit and healthy right in the privacy of your own home, getting the same results that you had in the gym. Home exercise offers a way to achieve your fitness targets without having to go outside. Even when the weather is bad or the gym is closed, you can exercise at home without losing your momentum.

Pros and Cons of Home Exercise

Exercise is always a plus, whether it is done at home or in a gym. Keeping the body moving helps to release stress, lower blood pressure, and — among many other benefits — lengthen your lifespan. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has limited exercise options for many people, especially those who depend on gyms and studios to exercise. The gym serves as both motivation and a community to workout with, but it is also this community setting that is so dangerous during a pandemic.

That’s where home exercise comes in. With home exercise, individuals can still get a good workout without the risk of infection. With a little help from technology, people can even get the same social experience through apps, like Activity and Strava, while they are safe at home.

A big downside of home exercise is not having access to the equipment available at a gym. Though purchasing all the same equipment that a gym has is not feasible for most people, buying a few key pieces is. Finding ways to get a good workout using home exercising techniques might take some planning, but it is well worth the time and money.

Best Home Exercise Equipment Options

Granted, some home exercise equipment is pricey. It’s still possible to find cost-efficient options that fit your budget and your living space. Here are a few budget-friendly and highly rated options.

1. Recumbent Bike

Recumbent bikes give riders with back problems a more comfortable ride and, overall, are gentler on the joints. Recommended as Shape Magazine’s 2020 “Best Value” bike, the Marcy ME-709 Recumbent Exercise Bike offers the best bang for your buck at $208. While this model lacks some luxury features, its compact size, durability, and exceptional warranty more than makes up for it.

2. Rowing Machine

Rowing machines are ideal for people looking for a low-impact cardio workout. In contrast to treadmills, rowing machines do not exert direct force on your joints, but they do provide a full-body workout. Considered the “best bang for your buck” by BestReviews, the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Rowing Machine gives a great no-frills workout. At $248, it offers eight magnetic resistance levels and easily breaks down to save space.

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3. Treadmill

The NordicTrack T-Series Treadmill is another Shape magazine recommendation. At $600 this treadmill comes with a free month of the iFit training app to help you jumpstart your home exercise program. The treadmill’s shock-absorbing belt is easy on the joints, while its powerful motor offers a smooth and steady run.

4. Bike Trainer

If you already own an outdoor bike, you do not have to spend thousands of dollars on a computerized upright exercise bike — you can simply purchase a trainer. A bike trainer attaches to your outdoor bike to make it stationary, allowing you to bike indoors to your heart’s content. At $109, the Unisky Magnetic Bicycle Training Stand lets you utilize your bike indoors for your home exercise.

5. Jump Rope

If space is at a premium in your home, you can choose equipment with a smaller footprint. Jump ropes, for example, are typically inexpensive and can give you a solid cardio workout in your home. The DSMates Weighted Jump Rope has a timer, counter, and can convert itself. So, if you are worried about hitting objects with your rope, you can even opt for a “rope-less” version!

6. Free Weights

The $105 Hhusali Adjustable Dumbbell Set stores efficiently on a weight plate and goes up to 25 pounds. An easy push and slide system allows you to adjust quickly between weights, and the textured metal grips prevent the weights from slipping.

7. Yoga Mat

The SKLZ Trainer Mat is no ordinary yoga mat; it’s a multipurpose mat that can be used for strength training, Pilates, or yoga. It also includes convenient illustrations on the mat itself, giving clear direction on how to execute 21 exercises properly. For a low-impact, low-cost workout, this $29.99 mat might be all the home exercise equipment a person needs.

8. Workout Bench

The Bowflex 4.1S Stowable Bench provides five different angles for a complete exercise experience. Its space-saving design lets you tuck the bench away when it is not in use. At $229, this bench comes with a frame warranty of 20 so you know it is durable.

9. Clothing

High-quality workout clothes, such as women’s workout leggings, do not have to be expensive to be comfortable and fashionable. Large retailers offer cost-effective options like Old Navy’s activewear line and the Gap’s GapFit. In any case, one of the perks of home exercise is that you can wear whatever you want because no one will see you. An old t-shirt and sweats can work just fine!

One of the most recommended styles and brands of women’s workout tights is Asics Tokyo High-Waist Tights. These leggings come in a poly-spandex blend and are even comfortable for working from home. The fit is tighter and form-fitting, and these are great for yoga, Pilates, and even running.

Finding What’s Right for You

According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) being creative and staying motivated is the key to making your home exercise equipment work for you. After all, buying your equipment is one thing, using it consistently is another. Establishing a routine and setting a fitness goal are excellent ways to maintain your enthusiasm for exercising at home. And, as always, consult with your physician before starting a new exercise regimen to ensure you are on the right track!

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