Are you ready to now plan and incorporate another aspect of an active, healthy lifestyle for weight-loss, fitness and health success? We’ve talked about the tips, considerations and questions to ask yourself to determine the best form of exercise and the best diet or eating plan to ensure you the best possible scenario to help you lose weight.
But there is another thing that needs to be considered – the extra tools and equipment that you may (or may not) need. Again, each of us is built differently, function differently and have many factors that will make or break us in our health goal success! But you do need to consider whether extra tools are needed!
This is a subject that is way too broad and can be a book series most likely and so we want to open this up for discussion; plus we would love to have you share your tools that have helped to aide in making this process easier and more successful, or at least helped to keep on track or lose a little more, find a little more motivation and such!
That is part of your assignment for preparing for a successful 90-day challenge! Do you have everything you want to use? Have you budgeted and planned for a few expenses that may be involved to get what you need to be successful. The great news is that you probably have many alternatives to equipment and tools found in your home!
In fact, let us share some ideas on what you can use “instead of” to save money on your workouts – first, working out at home saves you the cost of a gym membership, but I also know that for some “paying for a gym membership” is motivating enough to do it…so in that case, if you have the money set aside I would say go for it! It’s the cost of getting healthy which will save you money in the long run.
For popular equipment, you can make these “thrifty” swaps:
1. Soup Cans/Misc. Bottles – use like you would hand weights! If you need more weight, find shampoo/conditioner bottles or other bigger bottles. You can also use water bottles and fill them with sand or other materials to make them heavier. You could eventually “graduate” to half filled and fully filled gallon size bottles.
2. Towels – Build, tone and strengthen your shoulders with a towel. To do this: Bring arms over your head and pull each end of the towel and pull from for resistance. You can also use your towel to stretch and give you a little more resistance and stretch!
3. Robe Ties or Nylons – as a replacement to resistance bands. The robe ties will give more resistance!
4. Pillows – Make an incline to do dumbell bench press exercises. These work even for inclined ab crunches.
5. Paper towel roll, pool noodle, etc. – place on the floor and jump over in mogul like fashion. Start with something smaller like the paper towel roll and move up from there. You can also use a pool noodle for push ups!
6. Chair – great for toning triceps with the tricep dips and inclined push ups!
7. Stairs – both for running up and down and strengthening calf muscles with toe lifts.
8. Wall – holding squats (pretending like you are sitting in a chair and standing with back against wall) to tone upper legs.
9. Paper Plate and Hardwood/Pergo/laminate floor – these work well for gliders replacements for “sliding” on the floor for the sliding ab and leg workouts.
10. Basketball or soccer ball – as a replacement for medicine ball routines and a soft kids ball for thigh and leg squeezes.
11. PVC Pipe or broom handle – For the balancing exercises and to make a more challenging lunge and presses workout! For more advanced, you can fill the PVC pipe with sand or water for added weight and advanced balancing exercises as the weight of the sand/water sloshing around give greater challenge.
12. Your baby/toddler! That 15-30lb. blessing can have a fun time working out with you! It’s true! They can often “disrupt” your routine, but how about including them instead? They think it’s play time and you are getting a fantastic workout! Youtube is a great place to find workouts with baby.
There’s a dozen ideas with items you have at home to make for a thrifty routine. Don’t forget – we mentioned that YouTube is an incredible, unending source of “free” workouts of all types and times – even if you have little time, just do a 5-minute workout video from YouTube – this is much better than nothing!
Now that I’ve shared those “free” pieces of equipment, you can purchase many helpful tools for a small cost. I have been getting these slowly over the past couple of months to have “real” equipment on hand.
The VERY first thing that I feel everyone should have (the others below are nice to have, but with the tips above, not necessary) is a food scale! I tried the first week or so without one and I just wasn’t getting things measured out correctly. I invested a whole $15 into this nice food scale and I saw the weight fall off even faster; in some cases I was shocked how “little of a serving I could have” but in other cases I was “pleasantly surprised”! So if you don’t think you need one, you may want to think again! I got mine on Amazon with free shipping HERE.
Now on with other items that I have found helpful the past 30-days! Here’s what I have been using:
– Push Up Bars – My wrists hurt when I just use the ground for pushups. I’ve found these bars to be a
life wrist-saver! 🙂
– Over the Door Pull Up Bars – I use a chair at first to help “spot me” through the first pullups. Its great to see my back strength improve from this one simple exercise.
– Heart Rate Monitor – Out of all the equipment here (except the food scale) this is probably my biggest recommendation. I have come to really understand how important it is to exercise in the right heart-rate zone. If your heart rate is too high then you’re not going to get the results you are looking for – no matter how much you sweat! We’ll be sharing another article soon on the important of heart-rate in your exercise – its just so critical! But another thing I like about this particular heart rate monitor is that it also tracks your calories, which then in turn allows you to put that into myfitnesspal.com or other method you are using to track calories. And it does this without expensive fitness equipment! That is a big plus in my book!
– Hand weights/dumbell set – Although you can use the soup cans mentioned above, its sometimes nice to have a set of barbells at your fingertips.
– Resistance Bands – Many of those workout videos on YouTube use the resistance band as a great way to strength train at home.
– Mat – It took me just one day to do crunches on my hard floor to realize I needed to go find our yoga mats. OUCH! 🙂
We hope this list helped provide you some additional ideas on how you can make your exercise routine work for you at your home. No matter what you choose – the important thing is to do it! We would love to have you share with us – what have you decided to do? Are you ready to get started?!
Need to catch up? Come join us on this challenge from the very beginning by clicking on the 90-Day Fitness and Health Challenge and sign up to start receiving your automated challenge from the very beginning!
One final thing…we also have a private Facebook Group where you can engage in discussions, receive encouragement and talk to others that are participating in this challenge for more ideas! Head to the Fitness and Health Challenge with The Thrifty Couple Facebook Page HERE and ask to join us there! You can also invite friends and spouses too!
Disclaimer: We are not licensed health professionals. We are only a couple that are excited to offer you a place where you can find encouragement and resources to help you in your quest for health, weight loss and fitness. Any tips we share should not be construed as medical advice but is only there to let you know of other options for your health. If you have questions or before starting any weight loss or fitness challenge please make sure to talk to your doctor.