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The Home Exercise Equipment You Shouldn’t Live Without

If you have the time, money, and access to a convenient gym, it’s a great place to get in shape and stay that way. However, with a relatively small investment, you can create your own gym environment at home and ultimately save time, money, and accessibility. All you really need are a few basic pieces of equipment that will focus on cardio and strength training.

home gym

Having a home gym filled with the right equipment can save you hundreds of dollars a year in gym fees, babysitting services, and even cute gym clothes! Let’s face it ladies, most of us have the gym outfit and then the home gym outfit and I’m guessing the home gym outfit is way more comfy.

Clear the ping pong table out of the way and declare that corner of the basement yours. Add the following gym staples and you’ve got your own circuit training course that can be done any time of day, in any weather. Bonus reason for the home gym? If your exercise playlist includes a heavy metal, smooth jazz, country music shuffle, you just take out the headphones and crank it right up.

Must-Have Home Gym Equipment List

Elliptical: Easy on the joints and limbs, this home cross trainer mimics stair-climbing, walking and running. With the touch of a button you can go from slow crawl to an intense workout. You have the power to challenge yourself every time you step on.
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Don’t Succumb To “Sitting Disease.” Stand Up and Live Longer At Work

Stand up! Whether you work in a cubicle farm, an office with windows or other desk “situation,” stand up! Because all that sitting is not only bad for your waistline, it contributes to  muscle degeneration, poor circulation, foggy brain, disk degeneration, and a whole host of other bad consequences for your body. If you have a sit-down job, you need to rethink your workstation – now!

standing desk 1

Create a Standing Work Desk

You may be chained to a desk job but that doesn’t mean your butt has to be chained to the seat. Studies show you burn 40 percent more calories standing than sitting, and it may even be better for your metabolic system. The beauty of the standing work desk is that you can get creative and DIY yourself a solution, or purchase a commercial desk.

standing desk 2This stand-up station from Office Max costs $219.00 and allows the user to adjust the keyboard and monitor to the perfect height for standing, then back down for sitting.  Experts say that a 50:50 sitting/standing ratio per day is optimal.

Low on funds? Don’t let that be an excuse to keep on sitting. My standing desk is comprised of a laptop stacked on an empty Amazon delivery box that sits on the kitchen counter. It’s not pretty, but it works. Bonus – When the dishwasher goes through the final dry cycle, I get a nice little steam facial because it’s nestled under the counter below me.

As you set up your standing desk, be sure to remember these important tips:

  • Adjust the monitor height so it doesn’t cause neck fatigue
  • Wear comfortable shoes
  • Place a mat underneath you to reduce fatigue and joint pain


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Work it Off: Burn Off 672 Calories from 3 Slices of Pizza

This past week I organized a viewing party for the Olympics. On the menu that evening: Pizza. Regular pizza nights have become a tradition in my house over the last year, ever since acquiring a pizza stone that helps the crusts of our pies bake evenly and all the way through. Each gathering is a bit of a potluck—guests bring toppings for a pie, or a salad, beverage, or dessert.

pizza

We were all glued to the TV during Shaun White’s time on the half-pipe—and his ultimate defeat—but it was really the pizzas that stole the show that night. We had fresh pineapple and prosciutto, roasted cauliflower and caramelized onion, and even a bacon-apple-rosemary pie. I had a big slice of each one, which seemed like a good idea in the moment. (An hour later, I was still in the same place on the couch.)

The pizza was good, but it came at a cost of around 224 calories a slice, or 672 calories for 3 slices. Yikes! That was definitely more of a meal than I’d been hoping for.


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Fire Up Your Glutes with an Incline Interval Workout for the Treadmill

Out of all of the cardio machines that I have to choose from at the gym, the treadmill is usually the last one that I would choose. It’s not that I dislike walking or running – I actually kind of like it – but to me, walking or running indoors can get extremely boring. There’s something about the other machines (like the elliptical and stairmill) that just seem to hold my interest more and make my workout more enjoyable. That being said, I know that running on a treadmill can provide a great cardiovascular workout.

I almost always run outdoors and my surface of choice is definitely dirt. Unfortunately, because of weather and other factors, that’s not always possible. Recently, I decided to give the treadmill another chance, with a different approach this time.

treadmill

I’m an avid hiker and walking up an incline is often a big part of my hikes. Hiking can be a great cardiovascular and fat-burning workout because it tones your lower body and (depending on the trail) can alternate between high and low intensity.

I tried utilizing the treadmill to get the same benefits of a hike by adjusting the incline and speed during a thirty minute period, which would offer the same type of interval training that I naturally get while hiking. Walking at an incline burns more calories than walking on a level surface because your body has to work much harder to push itself uphill. You’ll definitely feel your heart pumping faster as the incline percentage increases, and it will drop as you come back down to level ground.
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The Big Weight Loss Pay Off: Find What’s in it For You

Whenever you venture into a healthy lifestyle journey, it’s important to establish what will feel like you’re winning. Being really specific and clear on what you would like to do when you get healthy will inspire you along the way when you feel like giving up.

dreamer
Some questions to consider as you look ahead include:

How do you want to live your life?

What kind of new activities will you get involved in?

Will you present yourself differently? A new look perhaps?

Will you make a career change?

Spend more time with your family? Make a family of your own?

Picturing yourself in the life that you dream of is important and acknowledging all the steps you are taking to make it a reality is priceless.
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