Over the weekend it occurred to me that the “gym” that I belong to does not take up much real estate or put much of a dent in my wallet. No, it does not. No monthly fees or elaborate rooms with all mirrors and state-of-the-art treadmills and exercise machines. Rather, I’d say, my gym is small, rather modest (but gets the job done) and low key. In fact, so small, it just about fits in a mid-size box . . . under my sofa. Really! Come take a look!
WHY I DO NOT BELONG TO A GYM
I am in the midst of restarting my regular exercise program and spoke about how important it is to fit in a regular fitness routine and why I am trying to get back on track with it, but it does not mean I spend a lot of time at a gym or driving to one either. Although gym memberships can offer great incentive and be an effective tool for many, here is why, at this time, I do not belong to a gym:
- Gym memberships in my area are expensive.
- It takes gas and more time to drive to it and back.
- You have to wait to use equipment adding to the time to exercise.
- Sometimes the vibe can be sort of “meat marketish.”
MY HOME GYM AND WHAT IS IN IT
I am not an exercise fanatic by any means, but I try to move in some fashion most days of the week. I prefer to get exercise doing an activity (discussed here), but when I do not have time for that, my goal is to keep to a fitness routine that is generally short (so that I can get on with the other parts of my day) but more intense (so that I get the health benefits of exercise).
Here are the inexpensive tools I keep in that “gym” under the sofa to do just that and why. I simply choose a routine (I try to switch it up) and usually complete it in 30 minutes or so.
1. Choose your weight.
I have various weights for the various type of exercises I may be doing. Dumbbells allow you to do upper-body exercises as well as adding to lower body challenges like lunges or squats.
2. Swing your way to a great workout.
A kettlebell can serve as another dumbbell for strength training and used for a kettlebell exercise program (many of which you may find on-line). They offer a high-intensity, interval training cardio workout.
3. Hop along.
4. Open your laptop.
You can access all kinds of workouts ready to follow on YouTube. I like these quick barre3 videos a lot.
5. Pop in a CD:
Exercise CDs offer lots of variety of every workout imaginable. They are inexpensive and can be used over and over. I talked about one I have used a lot here.
6. Gentle jumping.
Yes, a rebounder does not technically sit under my sofa but it could as there are foldable varieties. Rebounding is a great tool to strengthen the lymphatic circulatory system and can be a gentle workout on the joints as well.
7. Strike a pose.
A yoga mat offers a bit of cushion to that downward facing dog, cobra, or triangle pose. Choose a PVC-free one though like one of these as many are made with toxic chemicals.
8. Just me.
Planks offer a great abdominal exercise and require zero machines or tools. The same goes for push-ups, jumping jacks, burpees and more!
9. Take man’s best friend.
Walking my Giant Schnauzer offers time outdoors in the fresh air and can be a great time to catch up with friends and family if you get them to come along too.
I like the fact that a lot of what I need to get in better health and feel and move a bit better too is all under the sofa, (with not too much time sitting on it).
So that is what is presently in my gym box at home. What’s in yours? Any suggestions of anything else I should include? Tell me, how do you keep fit?
- Here is one of my favorite spots to exercise. What about you?