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Building A Home Gym on A Shoe String Budget

Let s face it; convenience is key when it comes to fitting in your exercise routine. When you think of the time consumed in packing your gym bag and toiletries, driving to the gym, parking, checking in, going to the locker room, waiting for equipment, making some polite conversation with staff or members and then reversing the process, you can potentially be looking at taking 2 hours out of your day. Do that 3 4 times a week and it s easy to begin making statements about why you don t have time to exercise.

The home gym is quickly becoming the solution for your no time objection. You no longer need to agonize over researching and paying for a health club membership when with a small investment and the discipline to execute your routine; you can get the same results in the privacy of your own home.

When exercising from home you can maintain regular workouts even when you life becomes irregular. You just can t beat the convenience.


Building a Home Gym without a budget and with limited space.

Start by knowing there are many exercises you can do simply with your body weight especially if you are a beginner. Some examples of strengthening exercises include; push-ups, wall squats, stationary lunges, leg lifts and sit-ups. Jumping jacks, stadiums (taking the steps), walking and jumping (with or without a jump rope) can be done for cardiovascular endurance. No equipment is necessary for flexibility exercises.

Without any equipment at all, you can set up a mini-circuit around your living space that includes alternating the above strengthening and cardiovascular exercises. Build up to repeating the circuit several times per session. Printing out the names of the exercises on index cards and placing them around the room will help you to keep order and efficiency in your routine. Change the sequence of the exercises each workout for variety and fun.

As you get stronger, progress by using household items like soup cans, gallon and gallon containers filled with water for the strengthening exercises. You can also fill a back pack with weighted objects for added resistance as you do lunges and squats. You can increase the intensity of the cardiovascular exercises simply by moving a little faster which will ensure that you continue to work within your target heart rate.

For your flexibility program simply plug in your favorite soothing music, dim the lights, relax and slowly go through a total body stretching routine. You re only a few steps away from a hot shower.


Minimal Budget

If you have a small budget up to $100.00 the following items will give you the most mileage for your money. With limited funds you want to include equipment that is flexible and can grow with you.

Resistance bands also known as fitness tubing are a great alternative that can be used in the smallest of spaces as well as thrown in a suitcase when traveling. These are available with variable resistance and most exercises can be adapted with a little creativity. Adding door connections to resistance tubing will aid in completing a full-body workout. Fitness tubing kits are available for under $30.00.

Exercise Balls Also known as Stability Balls, Resist-A-Balls, Therapy Balls or Swiss Balls, are the best-kept secret for the home as they are cherished by physical therapists and personal trainers. The balls can provide a total body strengthening workout as well as be incorporated in cardiovascular activities and assist in stretching. Exercise balls can be used with your body weight or you can add resistance to it like the bands mentioned above. They can replace a flat or incline workout bench and create a challenge not only to your strength, but balance, stability and coordination as well. Exercise balls come in several sizes and beginners should work with a larger less inflated ball. As you become accustomed to the exercises add more air to your ball.

One of the best features of the ball s that most of the exercises incorporate the abdominals and lower back which are great for posture and giving you a taller and leaner appearance. You need a space about as long as your body to work within. Fitness Balls can be purchased found for around $30.00. And when you are not exercising, you can sit on them in place of a chair at your desk.

Exercise Video s are a wonderful way to add variety to your program and keep your routine interesting. There are thousands of videos available in every discipline of exercise including kick boxing, Pilates, step, tai chi, flexibility, funk, belly dancing and abdominal conditioning. Most video s average $20.00, can be done in minimal space and with little or no equipment. Video s can also be rented from a video store or library or swapped with a friend.

Dumbbells run about $.89 cents per pound. A beginner should get a set of 3, 5, 7 & 9 pound weights to start. Dumbbells will add many options to your exercise equipment repertoire; they are very functional and can produce wonderful strength gains which will ultimately increase your metabolism. Dumbbells can easily be stored under a bed or couch or at the bottom of a closet for convenient access to your total body workout.

Ankle Weights are a great tool for a total body strengthening workout. They should not be used in conjunction with cardiovascular conditioning. Ankle weights can be placed around the wrists or ankles for a complete workout. They are especially desirable for hip, butt and thigh work that is difficult to target with dumbbells. Most exercises that can be done with a dumbbell for the upper body can be done safely with ankle weights.

Use all of your resources If you have a bike for outdoor use, simply hop on and start pedaling. If you reside in a place which has facilities like a meeting room, fitness center or swimming pool, take advantage of their space and equipment if any. Borrow equipment from friends that are letting it collect dust or shop for equipment in the classifieds and at auctions like eBay. Many equipment stores will also sell reconditioned equipment or floor models for pennies on the dollar.


Here are some buying tips

When possible, purchase equipment from knowledgeable sales people who are savvy about health and fitness equipment. They should be able to answer specific questions and help you buy the right equipment for you.

If you can t try it don t buy it. Go to the store in workout gear and use the equipment for at least 10 minutes. If you re ordering by phone or through the Internet, be sure to check out the return policy, time limits, warrantees and guarantees.

Home equipment can be a hit or miss when it comes to quality and durability, as you may have witnessed. If you are going to make a purchase, it should be durable and well made and stable during use. The action should be smooth and most importantly, it should be an activity that you enjoy doing and will continue doing down the road. See if there is a loner program for a week to take it home and try it out.


There s Still No Quick Fix

Beware of infomercials have helped sell over $450 million worth of exercise equipment over the past few years. These slick commercials with beautiful bodies and celebrity endorsement prey on people wanting a quick fix. Here are a few ways you can spot misleading claims and avoid getting stuck with something you won t use:

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Fitness results don t come easy and they definitely won t come in only 5 minutes a day without sweating. "Rocking away fat" or "squeezing your way to a trimmer you is not realistic. To burn fat, you ve go to strengthen your muscles and get your heart rate up.

If you can duplicate the movement without the equipment then you probably don t need it. If you aren t getting the results you want from abdominal crunches, then an "ab roller, ab trainer or ab twister isn t going to do it either.

Nothing is going to take the place of good old-fashioned hard work and discipline. Don t look for a short cut or an easy way out. The best way to get a fabulous body is by combining a low-fat healthy diet, regular cardiovascular exercise and weight training.

When putting your routine together think about keeping a balance between cardio and strength options.

If you can do your aerobic training outdoors year round, focus on strength equipment for the house. If you are limited to seasonal outdoor activities, a cardio video may be a priority for your home gym.

Remember, you can get a complete strength workout with very little equipment. A plethora of exercises can be done with limited space or tight budgets. As long as you follow the basic principles of exercise training such as challenging your muscles, progressing your workouts and working within your target heart rate, you are guaranteed to see results.

A one-time investment in minimal equipment can give you a lifetime of enjoyment. I m confident you won t miss the drive to the gym to wait to get on sweaty equipment.

Kelli Calabrese MS, CSCS, 2004 Personal Trainer of the Year, Exercise Physiologist, Author of Feminine, Firm & Fit. Kelli is a 20 year fitness industry leader and spokesperson. She has helped thousands of people just like you achieve their fitness dreams. For more information, go to http://www.KelliCalabrese.com or e-mail Kelli@KelliCalabrese.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kelli_Calabrese


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