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Do you pay a gym membership to use their equipment? Do you feel like you can’t get a good workout unless you run on a treadmill? Do you wish you could workout in the comfort of home?
Don’t worry, this isn’t about home gyms, rather affordable exercise equipment – the ones that give you a great workout while saving your pocketbook and living space.
And remember, with over 200 bones, 360 joints, and about 640 muscles - we are designed to move.
- Movement and flexibility keeps your joints limber. If we stay sedentary, our joints become stiff and daily activities become more difficult.
- Bearing weight is important for bone health. Things like lifting weights, even light weights, dancing, climbing stairs, and walking increases bone density which is important as we age. The denser our bones are, the less likely they’ll become brittle.
- Getting your heart pumping and blood flowing with exercises like swimming, biking, and walking are important for a strong, healthy heart.
Favorite exercise equipment
Variety is nice. As you saw from our selection of workout DVD’s last week, a nice mix of styles keep it fun – and it’s no different with exercise equipment.
1. Jump rope
According to the Compendium of Physical Studies, jumping rope for 10 minutes can burn as many calories as jogging at an eight-minute-per-mile pace. (source)
I use my jump rope when I do bathroom exercises. I know that sounds funny, but it’s not as crazy as it sounds. The idea is to pick a room in your house that you go into several times a day. I picked the bathroom because that’s one room in the house I’m sure to go into several times a day considering how much tea I drink.
Each time you go into that room, pick an exercise to do. It might be 25 squats, 30 calf raises, or 100 jump rope reps, etc.
Does it work? Let’s say you choose to do 150 jump rope reps each time you enter your chosen room. If it’s your bathroom, and you enter it say. . . 5 times a day. You’ve jumped 750 times. Jumping rope is great for strengthening your heart and building bone density.
Tip of the day: Drink more water.
There’s a wide range of exercises you can do with dumbbells - over your head, out to the side, curls, lifts, etc. We often add them to workout DVD’s as well as using them in our own simple routines. A nice variety of sizes to start with is a range from 3 lbs. to 25 lbs. If you don’t want to buy a set of weights, you can easily start out with cans of beans, gallon jugs of water, etc.
3. Medicine ball
This is similar to hand-held weights, but somehow it’s more fun in ball form. I picked up our weighted ball at a garage sale for $1 and it has been a well-used purchase. Our two youngest like to sit on the floor and roll it back and forth to each other. It’s a 10 lb. ball so they have to put a little ‘oomph’ into it. The older boys and I like to toss it back and forth or just throw it up into the air to ourselves. It’s surprising what a good workout throwing around ten pounds is!
Have you ever heard ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’? Well, a good brisk walk a day. . .can do the same thing. Your feet are one of the most beneficial pieces of exercise equipment you own – and the cheapest.
Fewer than 5,000 steps a day is considered sedentary. You’re ‘low active’ if you take between 5,000 and 7,499 steps; ‘somewhat active’ if you take between 7,500 and 9,999 steps, and ‘active’ if you take more than 10,000 steps per day.
Even modest amounts of walking, if performed on a daily basis, can help to maintain a healthy body weight.
~Dr. Bassett, University of Tennessee Obesity Research Center in Knoxville (source)
Dr. Bassett’s study (above) compared 1,136 adults wearing pedometers with similar studies conducted by researchers in Australia, Japan and Switzerland. Americans were found to be the most sedentary group with men averaging 5,340 steps per day and females average 4,912 steps a day. (Australia adults averaged 9,695 steps per day, Swiss were at 9,650 steps, and Japanese at 7,168.)
Take a few extra steps to add walking back into life. Take the stairs, walk downtown instead of driving, park further across the parking lot, walk the dog, walk with the kids, walk around the block, walk down the road, walk on trails. . .I think you get the idea.
Exercise in any form is heathy. The fact that it can be fun and help you lose weight
is icing on the cake and added bonus.
What’s your favorite exercise equipment?