A lot of trainers will tell you that the only things you need to start working out are a pair of sneakers, open space and some motivation. If you’re serious about your fitness regime, though, you may need a bit more equipment. These following six items are essential to anybody who’s ready to get on a workout plan.
1. Resistance Bands
According to Livestrong, no fitness buff should be without resistance bands. They’re super portable, making them great to take along while traveling. They also make is easy to warmup before any workout. Plus, they’re inexpensive.
2. Stability Ball
A stability ball is a great piece of equipment to keep at the home or office, according to Prevention. They’re great for stretching and ab workouts, and there are also a series of stability ball-specific exercises you can learn. Stability balls help you to engage all of your core muscles, which can contribute to a toned body and improve your posture.
3. Yoga Mat
Whether or not you actually do yoga, a yoga mat is an exercise must-have, especially if you’re going to be working out at home. They cushion hard floors and offer more support than even a carpet. Use your yoga mat when you’re doing floor exercises or ab workouts, or when you’re warming up. You’ll also want a yoga mat if you plan on getting into either Pilates or yoga. As a bonus, when you roll up your yoga mat, you can use it for lumbar support if you need to lay down after a difficult day.
4. Foam Muscle Roller
Your post-workout recovery is just as important as the workout itself. Self-massage, also called self myofacial release, is when you massage yourself to release tension in your muscles and stretch, realign or unknot muscle fibers. A foam roller or a plastic massage stick can help you with this. If you don’t recover correctly, you won’t be able to stick to your workout regime. Workout success comes from following through with your regime and also making sure you treat your body right during the recovery process.
5. Workout Duds
It’s not enough to workout out in comfy clothing, the same stuff you usually go to sleep in. Cotton isn’t good for working out, even though it’s super soft and comfortably. You need breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics when you exercise. This goes for your socks, too. Quality workout gear will keep you cool as you work up a sweat. If you’re going to be working out in the rain or cold weather, make sure to look for workout gear that’s water-resistant and can stand up to wind.