If you want to lose weight and tone up, but can’t bring yourself to join a gym, then why not consider creating a home exercise space instead? Gone are the days of ugly, bulky machines that only allow a limited range of exercises, and end up as expensive ironing racks! With a few pieces of key equipment and a little imagination, you’ll have all the benefits of a regular gym without the smells, sweat and stress.
Expert health, fitness and weight loss consultant Sally Symonds shares her home gym must-haves in order to get a full body workout without walking out the front door.
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Why: Wear it while walking (or even just cleaning the house) to really ramp up your weight loss. It’s also a clever way to add extra weight while doing more traditional exercises such as squats and lunges.
Cost: $150 – $200 (depending on whether you choose the 5 or 10 kg option)
Tip: They last for years, so it’s a good idea to opt for the 10 kg vest—then you can still use it when you’re a lean, mean fitness machine!
Why: Resistance bands are extremely versatile pieces of equipment that can work every major muscle group of the body. They’re also fantastic for travel because they’re lightweight and compact.
Cost: Anywhere from $5 to $35.
Tip: Buy a medium strength band and vary the tension by adjusting the distance between the two anchor points (e.g. your two hands, one hand and one foot, one hand and a door knob etc.).
Why: You’ll never be bored on a BOSU (which stands for “both sides can be utilized”). They’re great for cardio, mind/body exercises such as Pilates, strength training, and core work. Any floor exercise can be done on a BOSU, so it’s a great tool for varying your routine and helping you lose weight.
Cost: Approximately $200
Tip: When you start out, position your BOSU next to something sturdy so you can hold on until you find your ‘bosu-legs”.
Why: A relative newcomer to the fitness market place, the freeFORM is a cross between a Swiss ball, a BOSU and a sliding disc. It builds muscular endurance and cardio and aerobic fitness. It’s also heaps of fun—not many pieces of exercise equipment let you unleash your inner Michael Jackson or secret skateboarding fantasies while you work out!
Tip: Work through the instructional DVD to get started, and then let your imagination do the rest!
Why: Foam rollers are the massage you can give yourself when you don’t have time for a massage. They’re great for releasing tension through your back, neck and shoulders, and are a soothing tonic for the legs after too many squats and lunges. While primarily designed for myofascial release (which increases circulation and lymphatic drainage—cellulite, beware!), they’re also sensational for general stretching and strength routines.
Cost: Approximately $65
Tip: Choose 90 cm version, as it’s more versatile.
All fitness equipment available from www.aokhealth.com