How to Create a Home Gym for Under $100

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This blog was contributed by Alison Jacobson of The Safety Mom

We all know the recommendations on how much exercise we should get every day but let’s face it – it’s not always easy. Whether you don’t want to be intimidated in front of all the hard-bodies at the gym, classes are too expensive or you just can’t fit in the time, sometimes it’s a struggle to find the time and ENERGY! For me, after working all day, it’s hard to motivate myself to go to the gym when I’d rather be sitting with a glass of wine and watching Netflix. But having my gym equipment right in front of me makes it hard to ignore.

The good news is that you can set up an area of your home where you can work out anytime. Best of all it doesn’t require expensive equipment or a lot of space. Here are the few “must-have” items for a home gym that will keep you in shape and not break the bank:

Resistance bands ($16 – $30) – Hands down resistance bands are one of the best items for a total body workout. They are the equivalent of an adjustable weight machine but take up no room and can be taken with you wherever you go. They can improve your balance, strengthen isolated muscle groups and even help prevent injury. Make sure you get bands in a variety of sizes and tensions to work out various muscles. Here’s a video of some exercises to get you started.

Exercise Ball ($7 – $15) – There are so many benefits to an exercise ball it’s hard to capture but let’s start with one of the biggest – improving core strength. I mean really, who doesn’t want better abs going into the summer? Along with core strength an exercise ball improves posture and balance while engaging all your muscles.

Yoga mat ($12 – $48) – I’ve been practicing yoga for ten years and not only has it helped me physically (improved flexibility and strength) but mentally – you get focus and clarity! If you’re new to yoga you might not realize why a mat’s important but when you’re doing poses you don’t want your hands or feet slipping out from under you. You need to get a grip! Also, you want some padding as it can be hard on your knees and wrists at first. Yoga mats aren’t expensive but don’t skimp! You want one with good padding and one that doesn’t have PVC’s (a toxin found in some plastics).

For a yoga mat that stays cleaner between cleanings and resists the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew, check out Shock Athletic yoga mats by Venture Products. With great looks and variety of desirable features, these stain and odor-resistant mats make a great addition to your home gym.

Kettlebell ($15 – $50) – When I first worked out with a kettlebell I thought it was all about strength training like weightlifting. I didn’t realize it’s also a cardio workout. In fact, with a kettlebell, you can create the same heart rate spike you’d get in a 5-minute run! Best of all the kettlebell is the ultimate multi-purpose workout for people with a limited amount of time – it’s a cardio, strength and flexibility workout all in one. It takes up no room and will give you an incredible workout. Here are some exercises to get you started.

So, there you have it – a complete workout in your home that is inexpensive and takes up hardly any room. But even if you’re not working out at a gym, keeping all these items germ free is critical! Be sure to wipe them down frequently to avoid bacteria build up.

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