It’s not every day your doctor tells you not to go to the gym, but in this new world of social distancing and self-quarantine, public health officials are advising people to skip the crowded gym. So how can you get a decent workout at home without breaking the bank?
An at-home gym doesn’t have to be overly expensive or take up a lot of room, says Lisa Hartman, supervisor at Fitness Center & Fit Zone Methodist Charlton Medical Center.
Here are the top seven must-haves, according to the hospital’s resident fitness expert:
- Loop resistance bands
Small, convenient, and perfect for training your glutes and legs, loop bands force your muscles to engage by working against the tension. Each band has a different resistance level so you can adjust accordingly. Starting price: $2
- Tube resistance bands with handles
These colored, stretchy bands have two handles at each end and can substitute for free weights or a cable pulley and can withhold heavier exercises. Shoulder presses, biceps curls, and hip exercises are just a few workouts you can perform. Starting price: $9
- Yoga mat
“For stretches, warm-ups, bicycle crunches or other exercises on the floor, a good mat is key,” Hartman says. Look for the proper thickness, texture, and material to make sure it sticks to the floor without sliding. Starting price: $7
You can’t go wrong with this classic piece of gym equipment. They’re versatile and easy to use. Depending on the amount of weight or the quality of the product, you can find some great deals. Starting price: $6
- Stability ball
Want to improve your balance, flexibility, and core? A stability ball may be right for you. It’s great for abdominal and oblique crunches. Starting price: $20
- Jump rope
Forget the treadmill and snag a jump rope to get your heart pumping. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to burn calories in a small space. Starting price: $5
- Gliding discs
These slippery discs, placed under your feet or hands while exercising, are great to perform cardio and core strengthening moves. You can even use gliders to advance your pushup sets. Starting price: $8
Playing it safe
When performing each workout, make sure your muscles and core are engaged when lifting or doing any cardio. Safety is a priority, so check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.
“If something is hurting besides the normal pain of muscle fatigue, you need to modify what you’re doing and take breaks when needed,” Hartman says.