Gym memberships can get expensive and, often, people cannot find adequate time to use them and get their money’s worth. One great, low-cost alternative to a gym membership for busy people is to exercise in the comfort of home. One big perk of home exercise is that you can squeeze in a quick, simple workout whenever you have a few minutes. There’s no need to dress up and no need to travel.

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Having the right kind of equipment can maximize your workout routine to achieve your goal of weight loss or strength training. Consider the following equipment for optimal home workouts:

  • Resistance Bands – Resistance bands are available in different color-coded resistance levels. You can adjust your level depending on the types of moves you will be doing and on your current strength. Rubberized resistance bands offer many of the benefits of dumbbells, but they’re easier to store and travel with.
  • Dumbbells – Dumbbells, also called hand weights, are a great way to sculpt your body and build muscle. Beginners can start with a 3-pound or 5-pound pair, then build up from there to the next available sizes (usually 8-pound, 10-pound, 12-pound, 15-pound, etc.)
  • Exercise Ball – An exercise ball works well for developing balance, core strength, and flexibility. Balls can be paired with dumbbell exercises for a challenge to both muscle and balance. Sitting or lying on an exercise ball will engage the core muscles in addition to other muscles you may be honing with dumbbell repetitions. Along with working the stomach, back and pelvic muscles, exercise balls can help promote good posture. They are also light and easy to transport.
  • Yoga Mat – A yoga mat or exercise mat is very helpful for home workouts. You will most likely be on the ground if you are doing stretches and abdominal exercises. Rather than lying on the hard floor or even on carpet, opt for an exercise mat to add an extra layer of cushioning and support. Yoga mats are made of rubber material which can help reduce slippage. They come in different colors and design. The mat can be easily rolled up for space-saving storage.
  • Heart Rate Monitor – A monitor is important in keeping track of the acceleration of your heartbeat. Based on your normal heart rate, you can assess if you are overdoing or underdoing a workout. Too little exertion won’t produce results, but too much can be hazardous. A monitor will also help show you how your heart’s efficiency improves over time.
  • Workout DVDs – These provide fun ways to add life to your exercise routines. You can try kickboxing, Zumba, or step aerobics. If you get tired of the same old drill, DVDs can help you “mix it up.”

Exercise equipment isn’t a big investment when compared to monthly gym fees. Having it in your home can help entice you to exercise in a way that fits your schedule.