Staying active is important for keeping physically fit and supporting your mental well-being. This is especially true today as we continue to practice physical distancing and are likely feeling its effects on our physical and mental health. If your gym is closed or you are not comfortable returning to a gym setting, there are still ways to break a sweat at home – without breaking the bank. In fact, creating your own home gym will help you save time and money in the long run and make it more convenient for you to meet your fitness goals.
Here’s a list of what you’ll need to create an effective home gym on a budget. Use these tips as a starting point to customize your home workout space to meet your specific exercise goals and needs.
Stretching and recovery
It is essential to start your workouts with a warm up which can include dynamic stretching and end your workouts with static stretching to warm up your muscles and prevent injuries. Your stretching station should include a yoga mat (or other soft surface) and a foam roller. You may also choose to include yoga blocks or a yoga strap for use in mobility exercises. If you don’t have yoga blocks or a strap already, you can find alternatives lying around the house – such as textbooks or a towel.
Cardio is important for maintaining a healthy weight, supporting heart health, improving lung capacity and boosting energy. While a cardio machine such as a treadmill, elliptical or exercise bike would make a great addition to any home gym, there are many budget-friendly alternatives. A jumping rope or step bench are both cost-effective pieces of cardio equipment to get your heart pumping. Many cardio exercises can also be done equipment-free, such as jumping jacks, walking lunges or burpees. If the weather’s nice, you can take your cardio outside by going for a walk, run or bike ride. Getting fresh air and sunshine will add bonus feel-good benefits to your workout.
Strength training can help build muscle, promote better bone density, improve flexibility and keep weight in check. The strength training section of your home gym will look different depending on your fitness goals, but you don’t need expensive equipment to reap the health benefits. In fact, strength training exercises using your own body weight can be incredibly effective when done regularly.
Resistance bands are a budget-friendly addition to a home gym and can be used to target and tone specific muscle groups. If you’re ready to add more weight to your strength training exercises, look for a set of free weights or dumbbells. While weight sets are currently in short supply due to growing demand for home gym equipment, you can use items you have around the house in the meantime. Anything from cans of soup to water bottles filled with rice or dry beans can be enough to elevate your home workouts. If you’re looking for an easy kettlebell substitute, fill an empty laundry detergent bottle with water. Not only is this a cost-effective solution, but you can adjust the volume of water to change the weight.
Your home is more than where you live. During the pandemic, it can also be your gym, your office, your school and your safe place – so you want to protect it with a good insurance policy. If you have questions about your home insurance coverage, contact your OTIP broker at 1-800-267-6847. If you would like to get a quote for home insurance, connect with an OTIP broker today at 1-866-561-5559.