Have you ever noticed even though the gym is a few steps away the last thing you want to do is leave your apartment when your finally home?
With routines that allow time for little more than getting to and from work behind a desk somewhere, then squeezing in a little sleep in between—many of us are leading increasingly sedentary lifestyles. Gym memberships can be expensive in both time and money, so it makes sense to find ways to incorporate exercise into your day-to-day routine right there at home. As with any exercise routine, you’ll want to check with your doctor before beginning; and you’ll also want to carefully review any product information included with any item to ensure you’re using it safely and correctly; but there are a wealth of small and effective tools, readily available at your neighborhood discount store—small enough to store in a closet or under the bed—that will turn your apartment into a really effective home gym at little cost!
IMPORTANT: Please note that the products mentioned below are included only as examples and don’t constitute a recommendation or endorsement.
Resistance Bands (like these) take up virtually no space and can be used at home even if you don’t have a lot of space to move around in. They’re incredibly cost-effective, adaptable to most fitness levels, are easy to use and can give you a great whole-body workout. They come in a variety of resistance levels including light, medium and heavy; and you can further adjust the intensive of your workout by giving the band more or less slack. You can even use multiple bands to increase the challenge.
Over-The-Door Pull Up Bars (like these) can be easily placed on the doorframe of an interior doorway in your apartment and offer a great toning workout for your upper body. Pull ups increase physical endurance, melt upper body fat, build lean muscle, tone your arms and chest, increase grip strength and can be great for your back with only 20 minutes of usage a day.
Exercise Balls (like this one) are great for muscle tone, balance and flexibility. They’re air-filled and comfortable to use in strengthening your abs and back muscles, which are the ones that protect your lumbar spine and build and maintain the core stability in your body. A variety of low-impact exercises can be performed using an exercise ball or it can be used to warm up and stretch your muscles before a higher-impact workout.
Hand Weights (like these) come in a variety of sizes and are easy to use either in your apartment or carried to add intensity to a walk around the neighborhood. Adding weights of any size to any movement of your body increases the benefit of the exercise, forcing your body to work a little harder. You’ll burn more fat, build more lean muscle and increase your physical endurance. And, you don’t even have to buy hand weights to get the benefit of adding weight to your workout … grabbing a couple of cans or small water bottles from the pantry will achieve the same result as free weights of similar size; and gallon-sized water jugs are great replacements for larger hand weights.
Jump Ropes (like these) are adult-level fitness versions of something you probably loved as a child. Jumping rope is fantastic for your heart, burns off a whole candy bar worth of calories in just 15-20 minutes and is a lower-impact workout than jogging. If your apartment is on an upper floor, save this one for the sidewalk outside, because no fitness benefit should come at the expense of a good relationship with your neighbors.
Exercise Hula Hoops (like these) again something you probably loved as a child. These weighted hoops are specifically designed to slim your waist, burn calories and fat, and promote overall weight loss. It also promotes spinal alignment due to the circular motion, which corrects for proper posture. Most importantly, it provides cardiovascular benefits. It also improves heart function, boosts your immune system, increases stamina, and increases your energy, endurance and efficiency. Some hoops even come in detachable sections to save space and easily store.
And there you have it—the end to every excuse to not get a good workout because the gym is either too expensive or too far away. Get equipped, turn your apartment into your own home gym and start working fitness into your life today!