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Top Five: Home Fitness Essentials for Beginners

Are you a busy professional or parent who just can’t seem to find the time to workout? Or are you frightened by the idea of setting foot in a gym?

If you answered yes, do not worry. Whether you are taking the first step towards a lifestyle change or just trying to get back in shape, here are my Top 5 Fitness Essentials to get you started without leaving the comfort of your own home.

Now before I share my five home fitness essentials with you, let me clarify that I am not a personal trainer, strength coach, or nutritionist. The information provided below is based on my own personal research and years of vigorous training as a college and semi-pro athlete.

I strongly recommend that you consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regime as the information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice.

Did You Know…

The American Heart Association recommends a minimum of 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate aerobic activity per week. Doing so not only helps reduce the risk of chronic diseases, but it is also known to help slow the aging process, boost brain and mental health, increase sleep quality, provide a boost to sex life, and balance energy levels throughout the day.

Therefore, I hope this post can be a reminder that your body is your temple, and it is up to you, and only you, to maintain its longevity. We only get one life to live, and I hope these five fitness essentials help provide the necessary insight to spark ideas on how you to can implement and create a daily exercise routine that fits your schedule.


1. REEHUT Yoga Mat

Health Benefits

  • Provides Comfort
  • Improves Balance
  • Prevents Injury

Recommended Use

  • Basic Calisthenics
  • Yoga Practice
  • High-Intensity Interval Training

The Facts

  • Most yoga mats today are made of either vinyl or rubber.
  • When it comes to texture, ideally, you want a mat that provides maximum traction with moisture control.
  • The thickness and length of yoga mats are dependent on its user.
  • For balance and a stronger connection to the floor, consider a mat that is about 1/16 inches thick.
  • If back and knee support is what you seek, I recommend mats that are around 1/4 inch thick.
  • Most standard size mats are around 1/8 inch thick, which provides a happy medium between the two previous options.
  • Mat length also depends on your height and can be anywhere from 68 to 74 inches long.

Why I Recommend…

I’ve always been inspired by the connection between the mind and body. Plus, I started noticing self-care was a common theme between world-class athletes and entertainers that I follow. Once these practices began to surface within major companies and corporations, it became evident that it was an aspect I wanted to include in my journey to living a healthier life. 

After suffering a few athletic injuries, I would often seek low impact movements to avoid unnecessary stress on my joints. If this sounds like you then I highly recommend this mat. It provides maximum comfort and is great for absorbing impact. Now that I have one, I no longer have to limit myself and don’t know how I ever exercised without one.

Whether your fitness journey starts with a basic yoga practice or high-intensity interval training, I strongly recommend investing in a mat mainly for comfort and its role in preventing injuries.


2. REEHUT Exercise Ball

Health Benefits

  • Strengthens Core
  • Enhances Balance & Flexibility
  • Aids in Sports Performance
  • Improves Back & Spine Health
  • Good for Cardio Burn

Recommended Exercises

  • Lateral Roll
  • Russian Twist
  • Reverse Crunch
  • Lying Opposites
  • Hip Crossover

The Facts

  • The Exercise Ball (also known as a yoga ball and/or physioball) is most commonly used for alleviating back strain, correcting posture, and developing muscle tone.
  • Exercise Balls are available in three different sizes.
  • A small exercise ball is around 55 centimeters and is suitable for individuals under 5 feet.
  • A medium-size ball is about 65 centimeters and will be the standard choice for most, as this size is recommended for those between 5-6 feet.
  • For those 6 feet and up, I highly recommend a large ball which can measure up to 75 centimeters.

Why I Recommend…

When I decided to get back into strength-training, I remembered the benefits of using an exercise ball for training and recovery. Using the exercise ball not only provides comfort, but it also helps increase core stability, and alleviate lower back pain. You can also use it to incorporate full-body movements, which is great for improving flexibility and stretching after an intense workout.


3. CAP Barbell 150-Pound Fixed Dumbbell Set

Health Benefits

  • Improves Bone Density
  • Enhances Metabolism
  • Produces Lean Muscle Mass

Recommended Use

  • Resistance/Strength Training
  • High-Intensity Interval Training
  • Basic Cardio & Aerobics

The Facts

  • Dumbbells are essentially great for workouts that incorporate full-body movements.
  • They allow full range of motion when isolating the shoulders, chest, arms, back, and legs.
  • There are three different types of dumbbells.
  • The three most common types are adjustable, fixed, and selectorized.
Adjustable
Fixed
Selectorized

Why I Recommend…

When I first started going to the gym, I spent most of my time on the weight machines. I was never a fan of free weights until college, where I was exposed to advanced strength and resistance training. Now, I prefer free weights over the more complex machines you see in gyms today.

As basic as they may seem, they’re probably the most overlooked piece of equipment, that’s also the most effective. I recommend dumbbells because the free range of motion forces you to focus on performing each movement correctly, ultimately increasing effectiveness and preventing injury.

Incorporating dumbbells into your workout routine also comes in handy when traveling as most fitness centers in hotels and resorts are equipped with a standard set. The compact nature of this particular set is also ideal for anyone starting a home gym with little to no space.


4. CamelBak Chute Mag Water Bottle

Health Benefits (of Drinking Water)

  • Regulates Body Temperature
  • Boosts Skin Health and Beauty
  • Helps Lubricates Joints
  • Helps Maintain Blood Pressure
  • Flushes Digestive System
  • Prevents Kidney Damage
  • Boosts Performance Exercise
  • Detrimental to Weight-Loss

The Facts

  • This water bottle is 100% BPA Free and dishwasher safe.
  • It is durable, leak proof, and lightweight.
  • Features a ergonomic high flow sprout, with a magnetic handle that keeps the cap in place while drinking.
  • Available in seven different sizes (up to 50 ounces).

Why I Recommend…

My goal is to drink a minimum of 100 ounces per day, and since I’m not the type to carry around a gallon of water, finding a large water bottle was important to help me stay consistent with meeting my daily goal. I’ve tried several different bottles throughout my fitness journey and having a 50-ounce bottle I found works best.

If you have similar goals, I found it a lot easier to keep track of how much I consumed throughout the day. I basically fill up my bottle, shoot to have it finished by midday, refill and repeat. Drinking two full bottles a day ensures that I’ve reached my daily goal without second-guessing my intake.

One thing is for sure, with this bottle, you won’t have to constantly go back for refills or rely on remembering to log your cups in an app. If this is something you are trying to avoid, then I highly recommend you give this water bottle a try.


5. KOIOS USB Rechargeable Waterproof Kitchen Scale

Health Benefits and Facts

Having a kitchen scale is a major essential for health conscious individuals looking to establish healthy eating habits. Plus, it also provide accurate and consistent measurements while providing a visual for meal portions and mindful eating.

Why I Recommend…

One aspect of fitness training, and leading a healthy lifestyle is understanding that the journey doesn’t begin in the gym, it starts in the kitchen. Portion control is an aspect easily overlooked until one starts weighing their food. If you are someone who tracks calories, having a kitchen scale comes in handy when its time to log your meals. However, if you find tracking calories to be challenging, having a scale also allows you to know how much food you are consuming.

The most important thing that I have learned (regarding meals) is that there is a huge misconception between what portion sizes look like in our minds compared to what actually should be on our plates. Having a kitchen scale not only helps create a new perception of how we view our food, but it also gives us insight into what a balanced meal should look like.

Most kitchen scales operate on lithium coin cell batteries because of their longer shelf life. But speaking from my own experience, after a while, purchasing these types of batteries can become a hassle, and once I discovered this rechargeable scale, I never looked back.

NOTE: Although this type of scale may require frequent charging (depending on use) but I find charging a device to be less of a hassle than constantly having to buy batteries. Not to mention the scale can used while its being charged.


In Closing

I just want to restate that your body is your temple, and it is up to us to maintain it. If there is anything we can all take away from current times, is that life is short, and tomorrow is never promised. Therefore, we need to do everything in our power to better our mind, body, and spirit, for ourselves and for those around us.

If you have any questions regarding basic fitness or the products listed on this page, please do not hesitate to leave them in the comment section below. Wishing you luck as you start your journey to living a healthier lifestyle, and I’ll see you in the next post!

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