With gyms across the country closed to fight the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, you may be wondering how to keep up with your exercise routine while maintaining social distance.
Enter the home gym.
Creating a home gym will not only help you stay in shape, but can also save you money in the long run, considering the high cost of gym membership and boutique fitness classes that can cost more than $ 20 … for one hour.
The TPH editor Caitlin Constantine knows the expenses for the training. As a triathlete, much of her available money goes towards racing fees and nutrition. She has completed two Ironmans, seven marathons and even two ultramarathons.
But these racing fees add up, not to mention the time and energy she spends on her extensive training. Why should you drive additional hours back and forth in a gym?
However, she knows that staying in shape can extend and improve life in every way, from preventing injuries to compensating for mental health problems – which is especially important in these stressful times. That is why she is passionately interested in deconstructing the myth that fitness has to be complicated and expensive.
"It is our birthright as a human being to be able to use our body and make the best of it," she says.
So she was thrilled to share the details of the cheap home gym she built to help her exercise cheaply and comfortably – all for less than $ 100.
How to build a home gym for less than a Benjamin
To reduce the cost of their fitness membership, Constantine built a home gym for under $ 100.
If that still seems expensive to you, remember: you can spend it on just five Pure Barre classes or a few months of gym membership. Activation fees or the gasoline you spend on the outward and return journey are not taken into account.
Once you have your home gym in stock, you need to keep it – no membership renewal is required.
Learn what is in Constantine's training room and how she uses it.
Costs: $ 10 +
Exercises: Shellfish, Lift a leg, almost every body weight exercise
You can reinforce almost any classic exercise you can think of by adding additional resistance.
The cheapest way to do that? Resistance bands.
Constantine found her in a sports shop for $ 12, but you can find her online for less than $ 10. They are usually available in different tensile strengths so you can customize your workout.
Constantine notes that they are a great addition to any runner's fitness program.
"As a runner, I'm always trying to strengthen my hips," she says. Doing resistance-assisted shells and leg raises helps her achieve this goal, and also helps with her race-related knee problems.
Costs: $ 10- $ 30
Exercises: Folding knife, plank (not really only for men, despite the video!), bridge, Back extension
Ah, that Stability ball. It turns out that it's not just good to replace your office chair and make your colleagues lazy!
"I like the exercise ball because it works well for a lot of core work," says Constantine.
And as great as the stability ball is for core work, you will find that you can use it for anything from the buttocks to the arms. Tons of Whole body workout need nothing but a really big stability ball.
They're also dirt cheap – from around $ 16 and up to around $ 30 depending on the size and brand.
Costs: About $ 20 each, depending on the weight
Exercises: Bicep curls, Shoulder press, Overhead triceps extension, flies, Deadlift, the works!
Full disclosure: this is the most expensive item on the list. Dumbbells can go $ 8 or more each – and yes, that means a single barbell, not a group of two.
That said, dumbbells are fantastic. They are one of the most versatile and durable devices that you can add to your home gym.
Constantine jumped for two pairs – a £ 10 and £ 20 set that she uses for everything from chest presses on her stability ball to deadlifts.
your costs about $ 20 each, but the lighter ones are a little cheaper if you're not quite at Constantine's super-strong level yet.
If you are just starting out and are unsure of where you are standing or crouching, you can consider a Set of several dumbbellsor a adjustable version. This way, you have a few options to choose from and can scale in either direction if things turn out to be too heavy (or too easy!).
You can find them (and everything else on the list!) On Craigslist to further reduce your costs.
That even applies to larger items of equipment if you have a special interest in strength training.
Constantine says you can find many online from hopefuls who bought their weight shelves and then never used them. ("They ended up becoming expensive hangers," she says.)
Other home gym opportunities and ends
While you can create an effective workout with some or all of the home fitness equipment listed above, Constantine has picked up a few more little things.
Since she practices yoga to complete her intense workout, she has a yoga mat. You can get one as cheap as $ 20 or get fancy – Manduka mats are quite expensive, but offer a lifetime guarantee!
And your next purchase? ON Door pull-up baras long as she can find a good place in her house to install it. They cost between $ 20 and $ 40 and look far more body parts than just your arms: core, back, shoulders, as you call it.
Staying fit may be difficult, but it doesn't have to be complicated
Caitlin Constantine complements your training at home with a strenuous training program with long runs, swimming and cycling tours. Heather Comparetto / The Penny Hoarder
Since Constantine is an A-athlete, she complements her training at home with a strenuous training program with long runs, swimming and cycling tours.
("How long is long?" I asked. "Well, the long distance I did on Saturday was about 12 miles," she replied. So, yes.)
But you don't have to be in a competitive sport to be fit and healthy – or to take advantage of the life-changing benefits of engaging in fitness.
"All the triathlon stuff I do is extra," says Constantine. She sees it as her hobby.
"If I only tried to be healthy, I would only do a few boards, do pushups, maybe walk around my neighborhood for an hour every night."
"I have a feeling that there is a tendency to make fitness seem more complicated than it actually should be," she says – also because fitness is a huge and profitable industry.
However, you don't have to pay a trainer or buy a gym membership to be healthy.
No matter what, just do it something that doesn't sit for at least an hour every day. It doesn't have to be intense or uncomfortable – it should actually be fun!
"There is no specific way to get fit," says Constantine. "Most of the time the body just wants to move."
So choose an activity – any activity – that you enjoy and move around. Yes, if you dance around in your underwear or playfully chase your toddler through the garden, both count.
Ideally, increase your heart rate, do some exercise to keep your muscles strong, and stretch enough to maintain your flexibility. But it doesn't have to be complex.
Constantine's favorite full-body workout? The humble push-up.
"The push-up is the most amazing workout," she says. "You do a push-up, you do it in good shape, your whole body will feel it."
It's not about losing weight or fitting into your favorite clothes. That is just the icing on the cake. (Yes, you can and should still eat cake.)
It's about how good it feels to live in a strong, capable and not sick body – and that's especially important when you're exposed to a pandemic like the corona virus.
"Your body is the only thing you really get that you are guaranteed to have for your whole life," says Constantine. "Everything else can be taken away from you."
So you should do everything you can to take care of it – especially if it doesn't have to cost a lot.
Jamie Cattanach is an associate of The Penny Hoarder. The editor Sushil Cheema contributed to this contribution.
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