Gyms have closed, recreational centres are empty; self-isolation and shutdown have forced us to change our normal exercise routines. Never has there been a better opportunity to exercise at home. If you’re looking for gym equipment for your home, here are some suggestions.
What kind of equipment can be used for home workouts?
Basic items like elastic bands, exercise balls, and utilising your own bodyweight have been shown to give better strength results than traditional weight lifting with the added benefit of being far safer.
Here are some of the most recommended exercise types and the tools that you can start using in your home on a regular basis;
Low Impact equipment
Low impact exercise will give you the benefits of increased muscle tone without impacting the joints. Low impact exercises include bodyweight exercises, like sit-ups, push-ups, floor exercises and gentle weight lifting. The following equipment will enable safe and simplified low impact exercising;
> Dumbells of various weight require strong grip strength and can be used for a variety of chest, back, bicep and tricep exercises. Never use dumbells that are heavier than you can manage comfortably.
The idea is not to train when you hold them in a resting position. The idea is to increase the strain during the range of movements you are performing, only. Simple movements done with intensity and at a slow pace will yield better results than heavier weights lifted quickly. It is especially important to remember never to fully extend when using a set of hand weights. Never fully straighten your arms with weights or lock your joints, this places a major strain on the cartilage and can lead to injury. You will also engage the muscles more effectively by not fully extending your movements.
> A yoga/pilates mat is the perfect barrier between your body and the floor. Designed for those who regularly perform floor exercises in classes like yoga or pilates.
Yoga and pilates classes are also offered online which gives you plenty of opportunities to practice at home. This mat is ideal for you if you want to exercise within the comfort of your home. A yoga mat absorbs the shock of sudden movements, keeping your routine low impact and comfortable. Ideal for ab workouts, stretches, and any other floor exercises.
> An exercise ball is one of the best items to keep in your home if you want to get serious about strength. They’re lightweight and their large size makes their design ideal for exercising. Build your core strength by sitting on the ball with both feet on the ground and knees bent at 90 degrees. Straighten one foot, balancing on the other. If you feel shaky, your core muscles are working. See how long you can hold it before switching feet slowly and carefully. This is only one example of the many low impact exercises that can be done on an exercise ball. This exercise really makes a profound difference to your overall muscle tone and strength..
> Forearms are easily strengthened with a hand exerciser. If you feel your grip losing its youthful strength, an eggsercizer hand exerciser is an ideal tool. Made of a washable rubber material which is latex-free, the eggserciser is a great way to regain dexterity. It is also designed to help you if you battle with hand, finger, wrist, or forearm strength, providing safe and low-impact resistive training. The actual exerciser is pocket-sized enabling you to use it whenever you are waiting in a queue, out and about, or relaxing. Additionally, the eggsercizer hand exerciser can be frozen or microwaved for a hot or cold therapy.
> Resistance bands are some of the most underrated fitness accessories. They have the ability to facilitate almost any exercise. Resistance bands are almost equivalent to having an entire gym in your hands. By locking the bands around external tether points, you can do shoulder exercises, arms exercises, leg exercises, back exercises and even ab exercises. Increase the resistance by shortening the elastic. Resistance bands are very effective without being too complicated to follow or too bulky to carry around with you. The colour-coded bands provide a choice of resistance strength to help in training, exercise and rehabilitation.
If you’re ready to increase your heart rate and burn calories, seated equipment enables safe cardio exercise that doesn’t impact the joints and minimises the risk of injury. Remember to stretch well before and after exercise, paying close attention to the leg muscles like the hamstrings.
> A pedal exerciser is an ideal tool to enable strengthening and cardio exercise for the shoulder, arm, leg, hip, knee, ankle and leg following injury or surgery. It is a convenient item that can be transported easily.
A seated leg exerciser acts as a stationary bicycle. Strengthen your muscles while you work up a sweat safely from the comfort of your own home.
Exercise machines worth using
Some of the exercise machines worth using include a balance of low impact and high impact machines.
> A treadmill, for example, enables walking. It is an excellent way to stay active. Just 30 minutes a day of brisk treadmill walking, can help you meet the recommended daily physical activity to reduce health risk and maintain fit. Regular walking is also part of the exercise plan if you live with diabetes, arthritis or high blood pressure. After a while you might even consider running. which could strain the knees and lower back but builds excellent fitness levels, very fast. Make sure to wear the proper athletic shoes!
> A rowing machine simulates rowing movements, strengthening the arms and shoulders and back while working up a good sweat. This low impact movement is highly effective and safe.
> An exercise bike enables indoor cycling at different resistance levels.
> Another lower-impact cardio exercise which will build strong legs is an elliptical trainer. If you love the treadmill but battle with the impact associated, this piece of equipment can enable the same level of cardio work without the impact.
These exercise equipment devices can be very expensive to purchase for your home. You would also need to have the space to fit them.
Stretching is important, especially following exercise. Muscles naturally shorten when they are exercised. Stretching helps to pull them back into their elongated positions. If you neglect to stretch, you will find your muscles become stiff and you will have a shorter range of movement. Use the following equipment to safely stretch out your muscles;
> The magic back support stretcher is designed to lengthen the back muscles, making them supple and strong. It facilitates the stretching movements in a way that reduces the risk of injury or strain and ensures your technique is optimal for the best results.
> Foam rollers are suitable for you to use if you are recovering from an injury or simply wish to stretch your muscles safely and effectively after an exercise routine. They are easy to transport and take the strain off your lower back, enabling a deeper impact where it matters.
> There are several ways to massage your muscles, but the most effective remains a professional sports massage. You don’t have to be a sportsman to get a great benefit from having the tension pushed out of your muscles.
Prevent injury during exercise
While many exercises are simple to execute, a slightly skew stance or a misstep can lead to a devastating injury.
If you are experiencing the effects of ageing, recovery can be a long process. If you know you are weaker in an area, perhaps from a previous injury, there is no better choice than the wraps, braces and supports from Vulkan.
We have a range of support for joints such as a wrist wrap, a tennis/golf/elbow strap, a shoulder support, a sacro lumbar support for the lower back and elastic elbow and knee support devices. They allow great stability without compromising on comfort.
Post Exercise Muscle Rehabilitation
Stiff muscles are every fitness junkie’s favourite sensation, but if you’re simply trying to stay healthy, the extra aches can be difficult and frustrating to deal with.
> That said, hot and cold packs can alleviate the pain effectively. We have several hot and cold packs to provide you with a hot and cold treatment exactly where you need it. Place it either in the microwave or have it ready in the freezer. The pack will instantly provide excellent therapeutic properties for relief of aching muscles. For pain associated with exercise, add warmth to the muscles. This will melt the crystalising lactic acid which builds up in the muscle that causes pain and discomfort.
> If you need something stronger, a pain-relieving gel will help to give you use of painful muscles while they recover. Alongside the gel, remember, the best way for muscles to recover is by gently exercising them again. A simple stroll down the road can help to move the lactic acid out of the muscles.
> The Pain Gone is an acupuncture system that alleviates the temporary pain and discomfort associated with bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons. It is simple, quick and effective. The best part: it is completely unobstructive! We sell both PainGone systems: the PainGone Pen and the PainGone Plus Pen.
> A TENS pain therapy system can also provide relief to painful muscles and aching bodies. TENS stands for 'transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. Low-voltage electrical pulses are used with electrode pads to block pain signals that are sent to the brain. At the same time, it stimulates the production of the body's natural pain killers. We have a range of Tens pain therapy system for you to choose from.
They can be used for a wide variety of purposes. A Tens therapy system is easy to use and can help with: arthritis, shoulder pain, muscle stress, sports injuries, rheumatism, osteoarthritis, neuralgia, tenosynovitis. At Bettercaremarket, we stock a range of Tens devices that are specially designed to tackle pain and stiffness.
Monitor your health & wellbeing
Keeping track of your daily activity keeps you accountable for what you achieve and the effort you put in. It’s also motivating to keep track of your days and your progress.
> An Aerobic 2 Activity & Sleep tracker will help you monitor your daily progress. You can track your results on your LifeSmart app as it easily synchronises the data to your smartphone or tablet. It will even show you how you have slept, analysing sleep duration and consistency (how long you have slept and been awake at night).
Keeping track of your results? The scale can’t measure how well your organs are benefitting from your effort, but it can track how well you’re managing your weight, BMI and full body composition.
> The Smart Bluetooth Body Scale from Lifesmart is a sleek device that works wirelessly over Bluetooth, making it possible to upload all data to your tablet or smartphone.
> If you would prefer to have this information on the scale itself, we would recommend the Diagnostic Scale from Medel. This bathroom scale will automatically display your measurements while analyzing your body composition. A good scale is important for accurate results - remember to stick to one scale only.
It is important to use the gym equipment correctly; the exercise equipment pieces are designed to facilitate the correct movements for each exercise and prevent injury due to lightheadedness when used correctly.
We know shutdown and self-isolation has impacted all of us, especially those of us who are used to going to the gym. Navigating these uncertain times poses a real challenge for those who want to exercise. Sometimes, investing in your health can help to motivate you because it makes it easier to complete your exercises each day.