Health & Wellness Wellness Wednesday

6 inexpensive exercise & fitness tools that really work

March 7, 2018
6 exercise & fitness tools that really work & don't cost a fortune

6 inexpensive exercise & fitness tools that really work

So you want to exercise and eat healthy but can’t afford expensive gym memberships or personal trainers? 

Regular readers know how important being fit and active both physically and mentally are to me and to positive aging.  However, sometimes the budget won’t stretch or you just don’t want to spend the money for your health and fitness.

Today, as part of Wellness Wednesday, I’m sharing my 6 exercise and fitness tools that I use at home.  They won’t cost a fortune and they really work (if you are commited to using them!).  That is the key isn’t it?  Making the commitment to being fit and healthy and no-one else can really do this for you.

Last year, after having our P.T. for 5 years, she decided to take a different career path.  Both my husband and I were devastated as we adored Nikki and she really knew how to get the best out of both of us in our sessions.  Unfortunately, after Nikki no one compares as a PT and the gym wasn’t that enticing.  We had always worked out in the park which was refreshing and a lovely way to train.

I have been exercising for many years so I’m familiar with what is required to keep fit and also I have the self-motivation (most of the time) to keep to a regular health and fitness program.

Caution:  If you haven’t exercised for a while check with your doctor first and also perhaps take a couple of classes until you feel comfortable with your technique.

6 inexpensive exercise & fitness tools that really work

These are the 6 exercise & fitness tools that I use at home, they are inexpensive and also don’t take up much room.  You can even turn your lounge into a workout area, so no excuses!  Some can be purchased at retailers such as K-Mart.

Roller

My P.T. was always on my case about using a Roller, however, they can be quite painful to use.  I recently injured my back and the Osteopath also suggested using the Roller to loosen muscles.  Taking it easy when you first use it, you will find that it really can get the knots out of stressed muscles and I’m actually enjoying using it.

Use Technology

There are so many apps out there now for all types of exercise.  My two favourites are, Yoga Studio & My Daily Workouts.  Both are free or you can upgrade for more classes if you want to for a small payment.

Yoga Studio

This is great and I used the free version for quite some time and then upgraded. However, the free version provides several practices in each category of Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced each with various lengths of time – from 10 minutes to 1 hour. I’m never bored and I feel like I’m in a class with the instructor.

My Daily Workout

Again, this has a basic free version which is quite sufficient or you can upgrade for a version where you will have so much variety you will never feel bored.

You can select your workout in 5 minutes, 8 minutes or 10 minutes.  Each session has 10 exercises and I usually combine exercises to make up a 30 minute session. For example, Abs, Upper Body Strength and Butt or Legs each at 10 minutes.  There is also pilates, stretching and cardio sessions so you can mix up your workouts weekly.  Again, there is an instructor showing you what to do.

Fit bit/step counter

You have probably heard about the 10,000 steps daily challenge and this is a great way to make sure you are moving!  A basic step counter is really all you need but you can also purchase a more expensive and sophisticated version such as FitBit trackers or similar which has many features to measure your progress, including heart rate, calories burned etc., and some even monitor your sleep patterns!  It is amazing how you keep going when wearing a monitor because you keep checking the number of steps you’ve done.

Resistance Exercise Bands or Small Hand Weights

Strength training is so important especially as we age to keep our bones strong and help prevent osteoporosis.  You don’t need heavy weights, even a couple of tins of canned food can be used but the emphasis is on taking it slowly and the number of repetitions.

Resistance Exercise Bands are another good tool for strength training, sculpting and strengthing your core.  I was given a pack of Michelle Bridges Micro Sculpting Bands as a Christmas gift and it comes with a wall chart with 18 exercises and how to use the bands.  The bands, which come in varying resistance, strengthen your legs and core plus can be used for cardio and conditioning workouts.

Yoga Mat

Invest in a yoga or gym mat to make workouts a little more comfortable. They are also great for just laying down in the ‘Corpse’ Yoga pose and relaxing whilst concentrating on your breathing and clearing your mind.

Blender

We are told that we should be eating 5 cups of raw vegetables and 2 pieces of fruit each day to keep healthy.  Sometimes that can be difficult to organise, so having a blender is a great way to get the nutrition you need and only takes a few seconds to whizz up each morning.

Okay, over to you to make a start. We only have one body so look after it!

Do you exercise at home?  If so, what do you use to keep fit?

You might also like to check out some of the other contributors to Wellness Wednesday.

6 inexpensive exercise & fitness tools that really work

Let’s Keep Sizzling!

Disclaimer:  I have not received any payment for the products I have mentioned or have any affilitation.  I have purchased them for my personal use and are opinions are my own.

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32 Comments

  • Reply Donna March 7, 2018 at 04:36

    Hi, Sue – Thanks for the great tips. Although I regularly attend yoga classes, I was looking for a low-cost supplement to them. I am off to check out Yoga Studio now.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 7, 2018 at 07:44

      I hope you enjoy it Donna. I actually upgraded which was only about $20 for the year I think but the free version is quite sufficient which I found out after I upgraded 🙁 I just find it so convenient if you can’t get to a class. Let me know if you download it and your thoughts on the app. Have a great day and hope the holiday is going well. xx

  • Reply Christie Hawkes March 7, 2018 at 06:35

    I actually own all of these tools, Sue! I’ve recently moved more of my workouts to the gym, but still exercise at home once or twice a week; and for a time, I was exercising almost exclusively at home. I definitely agree with all of your picks for top tools that work. I’ve never been a big smoothie fan, but recently had a bunch of kale, so decided to give it a go. I followed a recipe I found for a Spinach Kale Strawberry Smoothie and fell in love. I’ve fixed it several times since then.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 7, 2018 at 07:22

      Hi Christie, we are so alike we must meet IRL one day – wouldn’t that be fun! I’m not usually a smoothie person but lately I’ve been making my own concoction of whatever I have to hand and ensure I’m getting my veggie intake. I just love the two apps that I use and working out at home is more convenient for me. Have a beautiful day. xx

      • Reply Christie Hawkes March 7, 2018 at 08:13

        We really must meet, and visiting Australia is on my bucket list, so I’m more motivated than ever to make it over there. Of course, if you are ever in my neck of the woods, I’d love to show you around. Utah is a beautiful state.

        • Reply Sue Loncaric March 8, 2018 at 07:22

          Oh Utah does sound beautiful and I would love to visit or vice versa. You would love Australia but it is quite a big country with so much natural beauty. People think that they can see Sydney Harbour one day and Uluru the next which is impossible. So if you come, make sure you allow plenty of time. xx

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au March 7, 2018 at 17:34

    I’m still a work in progress when it comes to fitness (as you know) but my Fitbit has certainly given me a boost in the right direction. The fact that there are cheap versions available (that work perfectly) means that someone like me can give it a shot and see if it helps boost your movement without having to pay out the big dollars. If it’s not your thing then you lose nothing (or you could sell it on Gumtree – there are always people unloading their latest fads that didn’t do the work for them!)

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 8, 2018 at 07:18

      Yes it has been a great motivator for you Leanne. I don’t have one but I think anything that motivates someone to get off the couch is a winner. You don’t have to have the latest whiz bang product, as you say there are cheaper versions to try and if you do make use of it you can always upgrade. xx

  • Reply Jennifer Jones March 7, 2018 at 20:27

    Great tips Sue. I have all of these tools except I have s Garmin instead of a fit bit. I love working out at home now after years in the gym.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 8, 2018 at 07:15

      Hi Jennifer, I did an hour of yoga at home yesterday using my Yoga Studio app. It was pouring outside so I loved the convenience of still being able to workout at home and not venture out to the gym. Have a great week! x

  • Reply Danielle Park March 8, 2018 at 04:10

    Great tips! I need to do more yoga. It’s always such a humbling experience for me.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 8, 2018 at 07:10

      I did an hour of yoga yesterday Danielle. Usually I only do 30 minutes and it certainly was a challenge to do the extra half an hour. It was so worth it though I felt great after the session. Have a great day and don’t forget to include some yoga!

  • Reply Natalie March 8, 2018 at 11:18

    Hi Sue, I agree with you that these are six inexpensive tools that really work. I’ll check out the apps that you mentioned. Thank you for sharing them.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 8, 2018 at 20:04

      I love both the apps Natalie so would be interested in your thoughts if you download them. Have a great week!

  • Reply Sydney Shop Girl March 8, 2018 at 11:47

    Go me, I use three of the six. I agree, they’re simple and effective.

    SSG xxx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 8, 2018 at 20:04

      Yes Go You SSG! I’m happy with all that I have at home and saves me going to the gym. I can do it in my own time and have plenty of variety. x

  • Reply Kooky Chic March 8, 2018 at 11:56

    Yoga studio sounds great. Just what I need, thanks.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 8, 2018 at 20:03

      I love it and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to try yoga at home. Have a great week and thanks for stopping by.

  • Reply Min@WriteoftheMiddle March 8, 2018 at 15:31

    Fantastic post Sue! I have a yoga mat from when I did a 6 week beginners course (bought a mat for it). I got sick soon after and never continued with yoga. I would very much like to get into yoga, I just lack the time and money to go regularly to a studio. I already do pilates 3 times per week. An app where I could do the yoga at home would be perfect. I’ll check out the Yogo Studio one – thanks! 🙂 #TeamLovinLife

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 8, 2018 at 20:00

      I love Yoga Studio Min as it has different levels and you can schedule in your own time. I did a one hour session yesterday and usually I do 30 minutes so the extra half hour was quite challenging. Let me know how you go if you use it 🙂

  • Reply Jo Tracey March 8, 2018 at 18:32

    I downloaded yoga studio and…cue white noise…have not touched it since. I know, I know…bad bad Jo. I also have a yoga mat – rolled up nicely on its hook on the garage. I know I need to do more yoga, or something…I know I do…

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 8, 2018 at 19:59

      Well at least you have the app and the mat that is a start! 🙂

  • Reply Nancy Andres March 9, 2018 at 06:08

    Yahoo. Exercise Makes Us Feel and Look Great. Thanks Sue for hosting wellness Wednesday. My share is “Low Cost Colorful Ways to Create an Exercise Habit.” Have a wonderful day!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 10, 2018 at 17:33

      Hi Nancy, I loved your post it was so positive and a great title. I’m all for bringing colour into our lives and combined with exercise, how could you not feel great! Have a lovely weekend and thanks for stopping by x

  • Reply Leslie Clingan March 9, 2018 at 13:43

    You are one smart cookie!! The blender! I use mine for smoothies all the time. Never would have thought to add it to my list.

    Have never tried yoga but PC mentioned trying to find a class we could attend. Maybe we could try it first using the Yoga Studio app you mentioned. Going to check that out. We want to stretch more and PC heard that yoga is the way to go.

    My 91 year old mum uses bands and hand weights. Isn’t that crazy? I will be going to exercise with her while I am visiting. Their trainer gets my heart pumping and I am ‘only’ 60.

    Enjoy your weekend, love!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 10, 2018 at 17:35

      Your mum sounds fabulous Leslie and I hope I’m using bands and hand weights at 91. I miss my Mum who passed away 32 years ago this June. I think you would enjoy the yoga app and you do it at whatever level you feel comfortable. Let me know how you go if you download it. x

  • Reply Jean | DelightfulRepast.com March 10, 2018 at 02:49

    Great suggestions, Sue. One inexpensive piece of equipment I suggest is the foam roll – about 34 inches (86 cm) long and 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter. You can do all sorts of things with it, including just lying on it to release your shoulder joints. Then with it still under your spine, you can roll it from side to side and work your core.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 10, 2018 at 17:23

      Oh yes, I love the roller Jean. It took me ages to get into using it but now I use it regularly and I feel great afterwards. I like the one where you lay on your spine and just let your arms drop over head and to the side.

  • Reply Fabiola Rodriguez March 10, 2018 at 06:38

    You’re totally right about how you don’t have to spend a lot of money to work out. For example, when I was just starting out, I used water bottles as a substitute for dumbbells and I worked my way up.
    One thing I would add is a stability ball. There are many exercises you can do with a stability ball that are not too hard on the joints. It’s also not expensive at all.
    Tweeting and pinning this. Greetings from the Blogger’s Pit Stop!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 10, 2018 at 17:22

      Yes I was going to add that one as well Fabiola a stability ball really is great for your core and as you say it isn’t expensive. You really can set yourself up at home for very little expense. Then you just need the motivation to get going!

  • Reply Deborah March 10, 2018 at 11:20

    I’m going to pilates twice weekly at the moment and love that it uses momentum and springs etc to work muscles rather than weights. I love the feeling of elongating muscles and tendons etc….

    I need to get a bit better with my steps though and add a bit more cardio in (even if just getting to my measly 6000 step target daily.)

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 10, 2018 at 17:21

      My running friends go to reformer pilates on a Monday night and just love it. It really is good for your core and I must try it one day.

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