Items for New Year’s Good Habits in Your Home Part 1: Exercising

Tara Dickinson
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When it comes to fitness, working out doesn’t have to mean going out. No need to trek to the gym for a solid workout. You can accomplish all your fitness goals without ever leaving home. Want to build endurance, increase strength, burn calories, or all of the above? You can do it in the comfort of your own home. In fact, the benefits of exercising at home are pretty impressive.



Saving money is one of the best benefits of exercising at home. You will save cash because there’s no membership fee, no parking charges, or gas, and no pressure to have stylish workout clothes. Yes, you will need to buy equipment, but it doesn’t take much to furnish a basic home gym. Start simple and add additional fitness gear as you feel the need.


In your home, you can do it your way. You select the music, the décor, the temperature, and the activities. Stock the fridge with your preferred post-workout snacks and turn the TV to your favorite channel.


Having a home workout space and equipment means you can easily fit fitness into your hectic schedule any moment you are free.


No longer limited by a gym’s operating hours or class schedule, exercising at home allows you to hit the mat whenever you want. Thanks to an abundance of fitness videos available on the Internet, you can take a different fitness class every day. Try something new. There are new free classes being posted daily. Some ideas include:

  • Barre exercise
  • Boxing
  • Cardio funk
  • HIIT (high-intensity interval training)
  • Line dancing
  • Pilates
  • Yoga

Find a free video online, subscribe to one of the many online classes available, or download an app to guide you through home workouts. Many people find they are more comfortable trying something new when no one else is watching. Further refine your online search to be more specific to your needs, like ‘yoga for over 50’, ‘golf-specific exercises’ or ‘Pilates for beginners’.

New Year Habits


At this time, working out at home might be the safer option for you. Staying away from crowds, especially of hard working, heavy breathing individuals in a gym atmosphere could be preferable right now. This makes for a far greater sanitary atmosphere.


Some people thrive in community workout type of situations, others enjoy getting down to business on their own. At home workout allows you to focus on YOU and avoid any unwanted interruptions. When you exercise at home, the pressure is off. There is no fear of judgment, and you won’t have to worry about someone snickering at your missteps. You can wear what you want, try the exercises that interest you without worrying about looking silly. By eliminating the distractions of the gym, you can focus on your fitness and stay in the zone.


Can’t blame the weather if you exercise at home. When time is tight, it’s easy to fit in a few minutes here and there, since all you have to do is walk across the hall. When you exercise at home, you are in control.


Dumbbells- There are all types of free weights you can use for lifting and strengthening. Some of the high end brands give you the versatility of an entire weight rack without taking up so much space. You want weights that start low and go up incrementally, allowing you to get stronger over time without needing to buy more dumbbells. An adjustable dumbbell set is ideal for toning muscles in your upper and lower body.

Elliptical- front-and-center as it goes for machines that offer a low-impact, at-home workout.  Ellipticals are great for getting necessary exercise while putting less stress on your joints when compared to other workout machines. Higher-end ellipticals can offer a variety of additional features, from different resistance levels and customizable training modes, to heart rate monitors and high-tech displays. But good quality doesn’t necessarily equal a hefty price tag — affordable options can let you steadily meet your fitness goals without the bells and whistles of more expensive machines.

Exercise balls- Whether you call it a stability ball, a Swiss ball, or a yoga ball, a quality exercise ball should support the weight of your moving body, retain air, and deflate slowly if punctured. Look for those made of a sturdy yet flexible plastic that, when properly inflated, has a supportive seat.

Foam rollers- A simple foam roller that’s durable and firm enough to target soreness in the shoulders, legs, neck and back is the goal. Great for releasing tight muscle fascia. You can also easily use it with other home exercise equipment, such as a stability ball or ankle weights.

High-end smart workout equipment- WiFi connected treadmills and bikes, to rowing and strength training machines. See each category listing here for details.

Jump rope- Jumping rope is a great workout for its range of motion, calories burned, weight loss and getting your heart rate up. An adjustable, tangle-resistant jump rope with foam handles offer a comfortable grip. One with steel wire provides momentum for a steady, smooth rhythm.


Kettlebells- A set of bells with vinyl coating, versus cast iron, are designed for softer landings, in terms of both noise and impact, and with the longevity of the weight in mind, since the coating protects the weight from scratches and damage while training.

Medicine balls- Help you develop greater muscular strength and power. The ball is an ancient (and modern) way of improving your fitness. Medicine balls are usually just under 14 inches wide and weigh between 2 and 25 pounds. They can be thrown and caught, and are used in a range of poses and interchangeable routines designed to tone and strengthen every part of the body, including upper, lower, core and general muscle training.

Resistance bands- Durable resistance bands feature a scrunched nylon safety sleeve that protects the latex underneath from UV damage while also protecting you in the case the band snaps during use. Look for bands that offer 55 pounds in resistance, which is plenty for the average person.

Rowing machines- Rowing is a full-body workout: it's a great way to get your cardio in and to get toned. In one single exercise, you can work your arms, legs, core and back; one of the many reasons the rowing machine is a great workout. Rowing machines cost next to nothing to run, because you don’t plug them in like you would a treadmill. They are suitable for all fitness levels, from beginners to professional athletes.

Squat racks- If you’re a lifter with any interest in getting stronger, you need access to a squat rack. To find the perfect squat rack, you’ll need to consider the amount of space you have, what you’ll be using the rack for, and how robust of a rack you want.

Stationary bike- As the colder weather approaches, exercise bikes can satisfy your workout fix when the outdoor elements are harsh. Be sure to prioritize what your basic needs are; many of them might be met by relatively affordable options. Maybe you want to easily adjust the bike’s resistance, move its handlebars or just need something quiet for nighttime workouts. Look at the accessories like a padded, adjustable seat and easy-to-grip support handles. It might seem like these are added luxuries, but any discomfort has the potential to affect your performance and form while you bike.

Suspension Training- A whole-body gym system that fits anywhere, this type of system attaches to pretty much any door. The foundational moves (pushing, pulling, lunging, hinging, squatting, planking and rotating), are all meant to target core and resistance training.

Treadmills- Look for study models if this is going to be your main workout machine. A treadmill with a 4-horsepower motor and a cushioned running deck that helps absorb shock at higher running speeds is preferable. Options with screen allow you to watch streaming shows or follow along with trainer-led workouts.

Weight sets- It's important to do weight strength training to add muscle mass which helps to burn calories, speed up the metabolism, with joint flexibility, and it helps to energize the body. With a pair of weights, you can do an unlimited variety of workouts, exercising everything from your legs, rear, and thighs, to your arms and abs. An adjustable weight set is the best bet. Skip buying multiple weights by using an option that has various weights in five-pound increments from five to 25 pounds. When you’re done, the weights store in the tray.

Weight bench- A foldable bench is customizable with several back and seat positions while weight lifting. Some are even foldable for storage. Those with a padded seat and foot holds make longer workout or training session comfortable.

Yoga mats- Choose mats with grippy texture and enough cushion for hard floor-based workouts.



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