I hate the cold. I usually I do most of my exercise, biking and running, outside, but when it is bitter cold I find it very difficult to do. When it is raining, snowing or my usual gym with my back up cardio equipment (aka treadmill and stationary bike) closes as it is now (my gym is at the university closed for winter break) I have to find an alternative. Sitting on my couch isn’t a good alternative. I don’t have a treadmill at home, but I have equipped it with backup equipment, gear and videos so I don’t have an excuse not to exercise.
It has taken several years to acquire the equipment I have, and there are still more I would like, but here are my favorites:
- Step with risers which doubles as a “bench”: I was lucky to have this given to me by my mother who didn’t use it anymore.
- Fit ball: doubles as a toy for your children and it may wear out faster this way, but as a source of entertainment for your children, it is a great investment.
- Bosu: the piece of equipment that no one seems to know what it is. It looks like half a fit ball on a platform. Bosu = both sides up or both sides utilized, since you use both sides for exercise. I got this as a Christmas gift last year from my parents.
- Various weights/dumbbells: start with 3- 5 pounds and don’t be afraid to go up another 2-3 pounds. Over the years I have acquired various weights, but you can get a whole set at once. Kettlebells are similar, but different. These look like cannonballs with handles and also come in various weights.
- Resistance bands: these rubber bands with handles are versatile and travel well. They are also good for any physical therapy/rehab of joints since they are more stable than dumbbells (mostly).
- Yoga mat: while an exercise mat isn’t always necessary (a towel will do), a yoga mat aka a sticky mat helps you stick to the mat and help you balance.
- Optional items:
- Jump rope: for some reason jumping rope isn’t as easy as it was in the third grade. Wow, what a cardio workout.
- Foam roller: a Christmas gift this year from my husband. It is great to help with massaging sore muscles.
- Body bar: these weighted bars are great to help for balance as well as resistance training.
- Medicine ball: an item on my wish list, and one of the few items I don’t have. It is a weighted ball used for so many things…
While some people know what to do with this equipment, except the jump rope, I need an instructor. I don’t have much of an imagination when it comes to using all this equipment. Here is where I turn to videos.
- DVDs (and videos) you buy/own: I own several videos (nearly 40( that I have mostly purchased from CollageVideo.com (they have a great return policy). You can also try your local big box store like Target and Walmart. I have mostly 30-45 minute workouts, but a handful of 60 minute or longer.
- DVDs (and videos) for rent: There are dozens of videos at my local library branch and 100’s more in the entire system. Check your local library, and there is not buyers regret. Netflix also offered fitness videos.
- OnDemand: In our area we have Comcast On Demand with several free exercise videos. Look for them under the Sports and Fitness, Exercise TV.
- ExercisetTV online: the Website Exercisetv.tv has several videos you can stream online. Most are short but it is better than nothing. (Great for a fitness break at work perhaps.)
- SparkPeople.com: once you join this dynamic website, it will set up a fitness plan for you and has videos/demonstrations to show you how to do them. There are also workout videos from 10-20 minutes using all kinds of equipment or none. Also great for office/desk workouts (no sweating, just no more sore behind.)
- YouTube.com: Surprised? I was. But when I got my Bosu last year, I had no idea what to do. I found some cool resources on YouTube. Enter your desired equipment into the search and see what comes up. I cannot guarantee the credentials of the people in the videos, but it will help you with ideas.
What is your favorite piece of indoor equipment? What do you do when it is cold, rainy or snowy outside?
Special Note: For those wondering about “being cold” in New Mexico: there are four seasons on New Mexico. In Albuquerque, December and January have an average high of 48 and average low of 24 degrees. We also have 8 ski areas that are well used. Source: weather.com.