If trying to get into last year’s summer shorts has made you realise that now is the time to get in shape, then how about creating your own home gym – or at least a gym space? It can be a lot more convenient to exercise if you don’t have to go out to do it, and it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune either. Here are some top ideas for creating your own exercise haven.
You don’t have to spend pounds to lose them. Lots of household items can be used as weights, for example. Try filling empty water bottles with sand or using tins of beans, although a simple ProFitness Dumbell Tree Set will only cost you £19.99 from Argos. You could also pick up some 5kg Pineapple Wrist or Ankle Weights at Amazon for a bargain price of £9.60. These are great for adding to the energy you use during a wide range of exercises. Use them to give your upper body a workout whilst giving your heart a boost on a step routine using the Davina Aerobic Step, £19.96 at Argos, or whilst following a good DVD workout such as the heart-pumping new version of Davina: 7 Minute Fit, £12.99 from Amazon.
Whether you choose to dedicate to a whole room to your new exercise regime or simply have a space you can use every now and again, a non-slip mat will always be a good idea. It will prevent accidents and also help cushion your body to prevent exercise-related injuries, as well as improving your comfort levels. The Non-Slip PVC Yoga Mat, £10.49 from PhysioRoom.com, comes with its own bag, making it easy to store or to take with you if you decide to head out and about. Another great space-saving home-fitness essential is a skipping rope such as the £3.50 Lonsdale Leather Rope from Sports Direct. You can burn off around 140 calories in just ten minutes in your own home or garden. Or how about giving an exercise ball a go? This is a great all-rounder that won’t take up anywhere near as much space – or as much of your budget – as an exercise bench. You can grab one from PhysioRoom for £11.99 that comes with a free pump included. Use it for Pilates or yoga, to improve your balance or to have a rest on at the end of your workout. Resistance bands are another really versatile addition to a home gym and are also excellent if space is short. You can pick up a medium-resistance Bodymax Pilates Band for £6.74 from Tesco online. Use it for a whole range of different exercises to improve muscle strength and burn extra calories.
If you do have a little more money and space to work with, investing in a larger piece of equipment can give you the incentive to carry on exercising even when your willpower just wants to take you to McDonald’s. What you buy will depend on the type of workout you want, any areas of your body you particularly want to concentrate on and how much you have to spend. A good all-round option is a multi-gym. You could order a Bodymax CF372 Fitness Strength Trainer for less than £300 from Powerhouse Fitness, and there’s a zero per cent finance offer available. Cross trainers are another popular choice, and exercise bikes never go out of fashion. You could combine the two with something like the Roger Black Gold Magnetic Cross Trainer and Exercise Bike, which has £100 off and is down to £299.99 at Argos right now.