Happy Juneteenth, everyone! I hope you are all celebrating today in some form or other. I know we will be!
So this is something that I probably should have written months ago. When we first started doing virtual classes, I don’t think we were thinking that we’d be doing this months later. Although things are slowly starting to open up again, a lot of people are still preferring to exercise at home, at least for the time being. I hope some of this info is helpful for getting you guys situated to work out comfortably at home. If you haven’t already geared up on the essentials, now a good time to review.
A journal or app to log your workouts. It’s a good habit to log your workouts, even if you’re following along during classes. You can add details like your mood, how your energy was, how tired/not tired you are after a workout, etc. Eventually, you’ll be able to look back and see the progress that you’ve made over time. Getting into shape, getting into better shape, losing weight, it’s all a “marathon and not a sprint.” You want to invest in yourself long term, and journaling is a great way of recording that. Also, you might really like some workouts and want to remember them. Your brain might not, so keep a journal!
A yoga mat. Yoga mats aren’t only useful for yoga. You can use them while you’re stretching, when you do core exercises (like planks, crunches, mountain climbers), and when you strength train. You can also use them to meditate on. It’s a multi-purpose tool that I think is absolutely worth investing in. If you don’t have a yoga mat and you’re shopping around, just know that there are a ton of different kinds with different thicknesses, material, and textures. If you’re not sure if you’d use a yoga mat often, you can start off with an inexpensive one. There’s a wide range of choices.
Resistance bands. Resistance bands are incredibly versatile. And obviously they’re great for any apartment or home gym because they take up no space and you can bring them anywhere. Resistance bands can be used when you’re stretching, doing physical therapy exercises, or to work out with. We often use resistance bands in our classes for stretching and conditioning since it’s an affordable piece of equipment that anyone can use to add a more challenging element to your workout. Also, not everyone has the luxury of having weights at home.
Foam roller. Even when you’re not working out at home you should have a foam roller. It’s a useful and convenient tool to have for performing self-myofascial release. It’s such a relief to use when you’re feeling tight or sore. Obviously we can’t all get massages whenever we need, and foam rollers are the next best thing. As with everything else on this list, there are many different types and sizes of foam rollers to choose from, including vibrating ones. Did I also mention that foam rollers are relatively inexpensive, too? I always recommend them for my clients, especially for back and lower-body pain (like tight calves, glutes, etc.). Also, while you’re at it, buy a lacrosse ball or OPTP ball to target muscle knots that a foam roller can’t roll out in the right way.
Jump rope. If you don’t like going out to run, don’t have space/budget/access to a cardio machine like a treadmill, stationary bike, rowing machine, jump ropes are amazing for getting your heart rate up and getting that cardio workout. They’re convenient, portable, and affordable, and relatively low-impact on your joints in comparison to running. Jumping rope is also a pretty efficient way to burn calories. It burns more calories per minute than running, which kind of seems like a cheat, if you ask me.
Phone or tablet stand. If you’re doing virtual classes or following an app, get yourself a phone or tablet stand. Otherwise, it can be a real pain having your phone/tablet fall down every few minutes. Plus, it’ll be helpful if you ever want to take video of your workouts.
That’s it! If you have any questions or are on the border about what to buy, let us know in the comments or ask one of our trainers! Stay healthy and safe, everyone. Keep working out and keep speaking out!