The Ultimate Fitness Checklist

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Anyone who has just decided to start a new fitness routine knows that getting started can be the hardest part. The sheer number of choices out there-whether in equipment or exercises-can lead to a lot of questions and confusion! Is it best to do an at-home workout, or get a membership at the gym if you are unhappy with your fitness evaluation results? How much does it cost, and how much time does it take? What if I can’t afford all this stuff?

If you’re not sure where to begin, we have compiled this list of what you’ll need for your ultimate home fitness routine.

1. A Good Pair of Running Shoes  

This is probably the most important piece of equipment-after all, it is the only thing that comes in contact with your body as you exercise. Running shoes are especially important if you will be doing any running or jogging. They are designed to help absorb the shock that your body feels when you run, preventing injury to the knees and ankles. As a general rule of thumb, new runners should buy their shoes at least a half size larger than their regular shoe size. When buying running shoes online, remember that online retailers usually use a different sizing system than other shoe stores; your 9’s could be an 8 1/2 in some cases.

2. A Good Exercise Mat  

Don’t get a cheap mat, even though you can get good ones for under $50. The good ones will last you years, and will protect your hardwood floors. If you’re serious about maintaining that careful posture while working out at home, this is a must.

3. A Good Exercise Ball  

While the mat is meant to protect the floor and prevent injury to your body, the exercise ball actually uses the force of gravity to do most of the work for you. In addition to providing a place for your feet to rest when lifting weights, it provides an extra layer of resistance when doing sit-ups and crunches. A good ball should offer at least 10 pounds of resistance, and several different models are available to meet your needs.

4. A Pull Up Bar  

This can be either a pull up bar that hangs from the ceiling or a pull up bar mounted to the wall. If you’re not yet strong enough to do a standard pull up with your body weight, you can either start out on a lower bar or work your way up to it. Often there are add-ons that will make the bar higher off the floor, making it easier for beginners. Regardless of how you use it, using the pull-up bar is a great way to build arm strength and endurance.

5. Dumbbells  

A variety of sizes is best. The most common is the 3-pound size; these are ideal for women and beginners, but men should purchase an array of dumbbells that begin at 5 pounds and go up to 50 pounds. This way, you can challenge yourself on each set without having to change weights as often. Dumbbells are ideal for toning arms, shoulders and chest muscles.

6. Resistance Bands  

Resistance bands are great because they’re cheap, portable and easy to use. They provide a great range of motion, can be used almost anywhere, and some can be attached to door frames or your exercise ball. Using resistance bands is a popular alternative to weight machines because it doesn’t take as much space.

7. A Workout Poster or Chart  

Good workout posters can help you chart your workouts and keep you motivated while working out on your own. While it’s nice to have a few at home, you don’t need many; one large poster can work very well in your home gym, and it’s certainly better than nothing!

8. A Solid Bench  

If you’re going to spend quality time at the gym, make sure that you have a solid bench for your workouts. The weights you use will be heavier and more dangerous if they’re not securely mounted in place! Avoid unstable benches that are designed for kids or lightweights.

9. A Sturdy Pull Up Bar  

A pull up bar attaches to a door frame, or you can mount it to a wall. This is a great way for beginners and intermediates who want to work out their upper body muscles. Although you won’t be able to do an infinite number of pull ups, you can build strength and endurance that will help your overall fitness level.

10. Fake Grass for Your Mat  

You can find fake grass for about $10 at your local dollar store or hardware store. This way, you have a more solid surface on which to work out more effectively.

Summary:

The key to success in fitness is to stay organized, and that means keeping up with your workouts at home. In order to work out more effectively, you need a variety of different workout tools that will allow you to increase your strength and speed on the road to fitness. With these tools and equipment, you’ll be able to get started right away in your quest for a fit new body. Remember, patience and consistency are key to any plan. Never give up!

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