These days, it’s become increasingly difficult to find any time for self-care, let alone time for a workout. Kids are H-O-M-E, errand lists are long, and excuses for avoiding a workout are longer (is the gym even open?). So we don’t blame you if your current idea of exercise involves chasing after kids around the kiddie pool, going for stroller walks, or runs back and forth across the sprinkler pad. Gotta count your steps where you can.
If you’re constantly telling yourself there’s just no time to go to the gym, let the gym come to you. With some essential fitness gear (we mean good running sneakers, running shorts and maybe a bomb sports bra), you can turn your spare room or corner into a personal workout space and make it easier to sneak in some cardio sets between loads of laundry.
The best home fitness equipment will help you stretch, strengthen, and sweat on your own schedule, free of crowds and weird smells (other than the ones that may already be in your house). And unlike some other workout products, you won’t have to spend thousands (mumbles desired bike brand under breath) to pedal your way into shape for #HotMomSummer. Just sayin’.
Too busy to work out? Nonsense. Allow us to introduce you to Crossrope, one of the latest fitness fads to hit the scene. You can choose between three different jump rope sets (get fit, get lean, get strong), but we’ll be spotlighting the “get lean” jump rope which helps to burn fat, boost cardio, and build lean muscle. Depending on your height, you’ll be able to choose the appropriate rope length (if you’re petite, then a small rope will be your best bet). Did we mention that you can work out from ANYWHERE with your jump rope set?! Yup. There’s even a Crossrope App that you can download for additional resources and fitness challenges to keep the momentum up. Says this mama, “I use both the light and heavy ropes, and together with the app, this is a perfect daily workout for a busy working mom with 3 small kids. No need for babysitters, personal trainer standby, and the quality of the ropes is TOP. I truly enjoy the whole Crossrope experience.”
A durable yoga mat is key for turning your family room into a home gym—having a soft, non-slip surface can provide extra cushioning for your downward dogs, bodyweight exercises, or even stretches in front of the television. Imagine how happy we were to discover this “aesthetically beautiful” Yoga Design Lab mat from none other than Anthropologie. It’s recommended for yoga, Bikram, hot yoga, sweaty practice, pilates, and daily stretching. It has ZERO odor and is even made from recyclable materials.
Raves one Anthro shopper, “This is the best mat I have ever used. It is soft AND grippy on top, and grippy on the bottom as well. I’ve used other mats that are equally grippy, but they are not soft like this one. This surface feels really nice and doesn’t pull on my skin when sliding into poses. I no longer want to use my Manduka mats, (which are still slippery after years of use). I misted this mat with water the first time, and it was good to go. No break-in period needed. Also, the colors on the mat are so beautiful!”
We don’t know who needs to hear this, but you don’t need to be forking over two grand for a Peloton. If your wonderful husband wants to surprise you with one, then that’s another story. 😉 Otherwise, a shiny, new indoor exercise bike will do, TYVM. If the thought of having to exercise indoors makes you cringe, then hold that thought. While you may not be able to feel the wind in your hair, this bad boy rides as though you’re pedaling along country roads. There’s even a convenient tension knob to “up” the intensity if you want to feel like you’re rolling through Tuscany’s hillsides. The seat cushion and padded handlebars can be adjusted for an ergonomic fit. But it’s the 40 pound flywheel that makes this bike unique by giving riders a very stable, smooth ride.
With over 3000 ratings, we couldn’t help but share this one, “We originally purchased one of these bikes in June of 2015. We were a bit concerned about the low price because our intention was to use it in our fitness facility. This bike is rock solid. We now have 9 of them and will be purchasing 2 more this month. The bikes are used in spin classes daily. We have everyone from small, uber-fit petite women to hulking 6’2″ 255lb men. These bikes get hours and hours of use each week.”
Foam rolling is an underrated and underutilized part of most workouts. Rolling out tight and/or sore muscles can help loosen you up during both warmup before and recovery after workouts, potentially reducing soreness. The TriggerPoint foam roller has a grid surface and a hollow core for durability. One Amazon reviewer said, “I wish I had known the ins and outs of foam rolling earlier in my life because I truly do believe it could have prolonged my ‘prime’ athleticism” and “If you’re into exercise and/or an active lifestyle but do not own a foam roller you better add to cart and check out.”
Resistance bands are one of the easiest and most affordable ways to instantly up-level your workout at home. This set comes with five color-coded bands of varying resistance, so you have something for days where you want some light assistance (X-Light) with your stretching as well as ones where you really want to feel the burn (X-Heavy). Best of all, resistance bands take up almost no space in your already crammed house, and they’re small enough to pack and toss in any bag if you want to transport your workout on-the-go. The set also comes with an ebook with illustrated guides.
One Amazon customer weighs in, “I have been slowly working my way into strength training, where before, I was solely a cardio and yoga girl. I watch several you tubers who use resistance bands to either A) warm-up or B) increase intensity on various exercises. I chose these bands because of the resistance variation, as well as the outstanding reviews. The price was a wonderful bonus as well, coming in at between 5-10 dollars cheaper than most resistance bands, that typically only include a couple of resistances (however, I could see the use for these other options if you were familiar with resistance bands or knew the resistance intensity you were looking for). The Fit Simplify bands are incredibly lightweight and I still carry them around in the small drawstring bag that was provided (I have owned these bands for a little over a month now). I most often use the top two intensity bands for warming up on leg day. I will use the others for several arms exercises and to increase several specific exercises (mainly to target balancing muscles).”
Remember as a kid when you used to do double dutch jump rope during recess? It turns out you were exercising without even knowing it. Jumping rope is a great form of cardio (it can burn around 540 calories per hour, though just a few minutes will get your heart pumping), and it doesn’t require any fancy, bulky equipment. The compact Survival and Cross jump rope has lightweight handles, a tangle-free cable, and is fully adjustable for various heights. You’ll be jumping, criss crossing, and double under-ing in no time.
An exercise ball can help increase your flexibility and balance while stretching or working out on it. (FYI: A lot of pregnant ladies also swear by an exercise ball during labor or to relieve pain.) And the simple act of sitting on one can provide benefits to your posture and abs without you even realizing — by providing an unstable surface, your core is constantly activated to keep you sitting up. It has a non-slip surface and anti-burst coating, so put your fears of sliding off or popping the ball out of your head. Bonus use: It can help transport babies to dreamland, according to one Amazon shopper, who says, “Now it’s like my babies sleep kryptonite. No matter how fussy he may get, if I bounce on the ball holding him he clonks right out!”
Feeling out of shape for one reason or another? We got you. Whether you’ve been working remotely for the past few months and didn’t have access to your regular gym or have been a busy-bee keeping your little(s) entertained, a set of dumbbells is a great place to start. These SPRI Deluxe Vinyl Coated Hand Weights can be used to step up your workout. They’re especially recommended for smaller hands—the next time you take a neighborhood stroll or do a cardio exercise, just grab a set and feel the burn. Says this Amazon customer, “Since the quarantine I have been struggling to have good workouts but ever since I bought the 6lb weights I have been able to use them effectively for different upper body workouts (I’m not that strong and at the gym I mostly use 5-10lbs for upper body). The weights have a great grasp and feel extremely comfortable. I definitely recommend.” As they say, baby steps, mama. Baby steps. You’ve got to start somewhere!
Check out our other home and kitchen picks to help transform your house into a work from home, school from home mecca.