It’s that time of year again! Many of us are excited to take our workouts outdoors. If the spring showers are keeping you indoors for a while longer, consider adding a few new tools to your home gym. You don’t need a bunch of fancy equipment to get a great workout, but with a few essential pieces, you can up your game with ease.
Fitbit offers a wide variety of devices that can help track your steps, measure your heart rate and analyze your sleep. You can connect with friends and family, and compete with them in Fitbit Challenges. Earn badges for milestones and get notifications throughout the day to keep working toward your goals. Logging food, water consumption and weight right in the Fitbit app keeps everything in one place, and it also pairs with other fitness apps and devices.
Argh, it hurts so good! Foam rollers are a great tool in your workout tool belt that will help ease muscle tightness and improve circulation. Runners can use it during cool down to optimize recovery during training, and regular foam-rolling will break down knots in muscles that can otherwise limit range of motion. Ranging from $10-$50, foam rollers are dense, log-shaped foam, and can be purchased at sporting goods stores and Amazon. The denser the foam, the more intense the experience. And these guys can last up to four years for a single user. Make sure to practice good form when using a foam roller, and never use to massage the neck area—it could put unnecessary strain and pressure on your upper spine.
A strong core is important to your overall state of physical health. BOSU® balls are a great way to strengthen balance and stability as well as provide more options for building a strong core. Visit their exercise library at www.bosu.com/bosu-exercise-library, for examples of cardio, conditioning and total body exercises you can add to your workout.
If you’re looking to ramp up your workouts but don’t want to take up a lot of space in your home, you can add resistance bands to your training routine. Resistance bands can be substituted for just about any exercise you would do with weights (bicep curls and butterfly press, for example) or to modify an exercise like side lunges. Working on pull-ups? Heavier load resistance bands can provide the assist while you practice form. Another advantage to using resistance bands is that they are easy to take along if you travel; so no excuse for not exercising on vacation!
For all you yogis, aspiring as well as professionals, the Dharma yoga wheel is an amazing tool that can assist you in advancing your skills, and helps you to move into more challenging poses, such as backbends and inversions. If you’re looking to gain flexibility, mobility and balance, a yoga wheel could be an excellent addition to your routine.
Please always consult with your chiropractic physician or general physician before adding in a new exercise tool; especially if you have any chronic conditions.