Getting Started Equipment

If exercise is something you have time for and would like to implement to speed up the process of your healthy lifestyle, then exercising regularly can help you achieve this. I am not talking about the long boring cardio or exercise sessions. It makes me cringe when I see people staring at TV screens while running on treadmills at the gym.

I am talking more along the lines of exercising for just 20 – 30 minutes a few times a week, to loosen your muscles up so you can become toned and more energetic. Exercising gives you that extra push to improve your overall health.

Exercise, also known as resistance training, has many tremendous health benefits such as:

Reduced body fat

Building lean muscle

Stronger bones

Increased stamina

Increased strength

Improvement in focus and clarity

Reduced or prevented health conditions such as obesity or heart disease

Exercising is for everyone at any age. If you’re over 40 it’s a good idea to be cleared by your doctor before you exercise. A common misconception about exercising is that many people think it can only be done in a gym, which is completely wrong. In fact, you don’t even need to step foot in a gym. You can perform some amazing exercises right from the comfort of your own home.

And the great thing about working out at home is that it’s an inexpensive way to get maximum results. Gone are the days where you need an entire room filled with numerous different machines.

You don’t need any fancy weights, a $20 monthly gym membership, or the trouble of sharing sweaty weights.

Nowadays, due to the advancement in exercise science, you only need a minimal amount of equipment to get the results that you desire. However, you need the right equipment so that you can adequately train your body for different purposes like strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, and agility.

To reach your goals and to maximize your results, the following pieces of exercise equipment should be included: dumbbells, resistance bands, medicine ball, and swiss ball.

Dumbbells

The dumbbell is a type of free weight that can be used for exercising. They usually come in pairs but can be performed individually as well. Dumbbells allow you the freedom to work each side of the body individually or at the same time. In addition to strength training, dumbbells can also be used to improve your overall cardiovascular health. If you hold dumbbells in your hands while walking, the extra weight can push your body to work harder by raising your heart rate.

Dumbbells are made of solid iron or rubber and they typically come in different weights from less than 5 pounds to well over 100 pounds. In the past, individuals used to have to buy an entire rack full of dumbbells to ensure that they had the right weight for each exercise. However, nowadays, people can use adjustable dumbbells to change the weight when needed.

You can get advanced and choose adjustable dumbbells that allow you to change the weight of the dumbbell, which is nice. All you’ll really need is a set of 5 – 10 lb. weights to get started. These are very inexpensive and can be found at any local sporting goods store. I’ve even seen them at some grocery stores too. There is also the option of buying used dumbbells too.

Dumbbells work great for me and you won’t need any more than 30 pounds of weight. You’ll be surprised once you see all the options and exercises you can perform with dumbbells.

Resistance Bands

Resistance bands, also known as exercise bands or just bands for short, are comparable to dumbbells in the sense that they are great for at home workouts. Bands offer a variety of resistance levels for different workouts and are relatively inexpensive.

In fact, brands are less than $30 on average and have resistance levels from 2 to 30 pounds.

When you combine the bands together, you can get a resistance level all the way up to 75 pounds. Many highly reputable brands also come with ankle straps, soft grip handles, and door anchors so that you can attach the bands to a door for different workouts.

Resistance bands also offer some advantages that dumbbells do not. These bands are easy to pack up and take anywhere you go. They are lightweight, so that you don’t have to strain yourself carrying them like you might experience with heavy weights. Additionally, resistance bands are easier on the joints.

They provide less stress and a more fluid resistance through your natural range of motion. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, strongly recommend that those of you who suffer from arthritis, use bands over any other piece of equipment.

And to make things even less complicating, resistance bands come in a variety of colors to signal the level of difficulty. Most standard brands of resistance bands breakdown into 6 categories:

Yellow for easy,

Red for a bit more difficult,

Green for difficult,

Blue for very difficult,

Black for extremely difficult,

Silver for extremely challenging or the most difficult.

Other great benefits of resistance bands are: less storage space required, can work out your entire body, don’t need a spotter, and you can combine these with other pieces of exercise equipment too.

Medicine Ball

Medicine balls can be used by exercisers of all ages and levels of conditioning. Like the previously mentioned pieces of equipment, medicine balls can help improve strength, range of motion, improve stamina and are easy to take with you on the road. However, medicine balls also offer a unique set of advantages that devices like dumbbells and resistance bands do not.

You can perform more functional types of exercise.

They are used for sports specific and physical therapy training.

Involves a higher level of core training to tone your abs.

Involves more balance and coordination than dumbbells and bands.

You can throw the ball against the wall, on the ground or high in the air.

With medicine balls you can train multiple muscle groups at the same time, unlike other pieces of equipment that mostly force you to isolate your movements and exercises.

The significant increase of core activity with most medicine ball exercises is enough of a reason for you to incorporate this piece of exercise equipment into your home workouts.

Medicine balls come in a vast array of sizes, colors, materials and weight. Often times, the large selection of medicine balls can be intimidating for beginners. They are color coded to distinguish between weights (which range from 2 to 25 pounds), they have surfaces that are easy to grip, they are durable and they bounce.

We recommend you get at least a 5 lb. medicine ball.

Swiss Ball

The exercise ball, more commonly known as a Swiss ball, was first used during the 1960′s in Switzerland where it aptly got its name. Over the last decade, this ball has become a main component in most gyms, Pilates training, Yoga training, and boot camps. This is because these balls offer many great benefits like:

Improving posture,

Increasing coordination,

Improving balance,

Increasing core strength,

Minimizing pain associated with labor.

Something I like to do is sit on a Swiss ball while I’m working on the computer. It can be great for toning your core because it requires balance and engaging your core. It’s a great way to alleviate back, neck, and shoulder pain from sitting for long periods of time.

Other common benefits when using Swiss balls are: improved stretching, increased intensity during various exercises and an increased sense of fun.

Swiss balls are typically made of a soft elastic with a diameter of one to three feet (12 to 36 inches). They are filled with air and can be adjusted for pressure and size. Most high quality Swiss balls are anti-burst, meaning they won’t pop if you put your full body weight on them. However, this only applies if you are under the maximum weight allowed. The average large sized Swiss ball can withstand a body weight of up to 300 pounds.

Swiss balls come in a variety of sizes and colors and are relatively inexpensive as they are under $20 on average, and they are recommended for individuals with a body weight of under 250 pounds. However, if you don’t fall within this weight limit, don’t worry because you can still use these Swiss balls for core exercises. Plus you’ll be burning fat with Slim Down Smart so you’ll be under the limit very soon.

Swiss balls come with an air pump to fill up the ball.

Final thoughts

As you can see, each one of these pieces of equipment offers different advantages over the other. But the one thing they do have in common, is that they can all be used at home for our 20 – 30 minute recommended exercise purposes.

Additionally, if you use all of our fat burning exercises, then you will surely be able to enjoy all of the benefits once you’re ready to implement exercise into your routine. Allowing you to maximize your results, tone your body, and increase the rate you burn fat and lose weight.

Chances are you may already have some of the equipment I just outlined. The great thing about each of these pieces of workout equipment is that all of them combined are less than $100.

Everything is very affordable making things extremely easy to get started. Remember, exercise is not necessary to lose weight but it can boost your results. You’ll lose the most amount of weight by tweaking your eating routine and making it healthier.