Resistance Bands – An Inexpensive Workout Tool

I’ve talked about resistance bands a little in a previous post, so I decided to share a few more thoughts about why I love them. My friend, Laura at Heavenly Homemakers, and I have recently started using resistance bands in our training in order, just to switch things up a little. I try to change our mode of workout frequently to keep us from becoming bored. The resistance bands are a great way to do that!

Resistance bands are heavy duty latex bands with a handle attached.  Different bands offer different amounts of resistance.

Resistance bands add variety to your workouts, they are very inexpensive, and they don’t take up very much space. They are even portable. It is so nice to just be able to throw a band or two into my bag and take them with me when I want to work out on the road. Resistance bands can be used to execute a number of different exercises, making them a great substitute for dumbbells.

Here is an example of some exercises you can do with your resistance bands:

For me, it is just fun to figure out how I can use resistance bands in new ways to work different muscles. I can do an exercise with dumbbells, and then turn around and do the same exercise with resistance bands, achieving an entirely different effect. I love it!

So, if you are thinking of purchasing some equipment to get started on your workout journey, what better way than to buy some resistance bands!

What Clothing is Best for a Workout?

What type of clothing do you need to wear while working out? Whatever is comfortable and works for you. Typically you will want something that is loose fitting and allows you to move in multiple directions. For some that will mean shorts and a t-shirt. For others that might mean sweat pants and a t-shirt. Some people may prefer more form fitting clothing that will stay out of their way while they work out. It really comes down to your personal preference.

Just walk into any store that sells athletic apparel, and you will find a wide range of options. Stores stock everything from tight form fitting pants/shorts to super loose and baggy pants/shorts. There is also some new “high tech” gear that claims to wick moisture away from your body to help keep you cool. Having all of these options to pick from can be overwhelming, and we have even touched shoes yet! So what are you supposed to do? How do you decide what to spend money on?

You may choose to skimp in some items, but the one thing I would recommend spending money on is a good pair of shoes. It’s very important to have the foot support you need while you work out. Keep in mind that everyone’s foot is different so what works for one may not work for another. Try to shop in a store where knowledgeable employees can help you find a shoe that fits well. Remember, you are going for comfort and support, based on the type of workout you will be involving yourself in.

As far as the clothing goes, if you have something that you are comfortable working out in then you may not need to purchase anything new. However, in order to have an effective workout, you may want to try new and different options. Try some of the different styles of shorts and pants as well as some of the different types of tops, as your budget allows. If you can afford to buy a few new things to help motivate you to work out then great. Or maybe the reward for sticking with your workout program can be new gear. That’s always fun.

How do I feel about shopping and investing in good workout clothing?  Well, in general, I don’t like to shop at all, but I sure do love getting new workout gear! I personally love the Nike dri-fit gear. Does it do what it claims and wick the moisture away from my body? I think to some extent. But I like it more because it is super light weight, especially compared to a plain ol’ cotton t-shirt, making my workouts so much more enjoyable and comfortable.

Find out what works for you when it comes to workout clothing. The more intent you are about fitness and working out, the more you’ll find that quality workout clothing becomes a priority.  In no time, you’ll find your favorite gear, just like I have!

 

What Kind of Equipment Do You Need to Get Started Working Out?

 

If you are new to working out, you may be wondering what type of equipment you will need to buy as you are starting this journey. The simple answer is that by being creative, you can get a great workout without any equipment at all.

In order to have an effective workout that will strengthen your muscles, you need some type of force or weight that works against the movement you are trying to create.  There are so many ways to add resistance to a workout without spending a lot of money on equipment. Plus it can be fun to come up with new ideas.

To start with, there are so many different exercises you can do that simply use your body weight as the resistance. Push-ups, squats, and lunges are just a few exercises that you can do that will tone your muscles using only your own body weight as the “opposing force” you are working against. Or, you can pick up objects that you have around your house to use for weight, thus adding resistance. This could be milk jugs filled with water or sand, bricks, your child, canned food, bag of potatoes, or even books. Be creative and use what you have around the house to get more out of your exercises.

While getting started with your workouts can be completely free of financial investment, here are my thoughts on some of the basic equipment that may be worth buying as you get started. I would recommend getting a good water bottle, one that is BPA free or stainless steel. I love my stainless steal water bottle and carry it with me where ever I go. It is very important to stay hydrated while working out and this is much easier to do when you always have a water bottle available.

The next thing I would suggest is to purchase a set of resistance bands. They are cheaper than buying a set of dumbbells, they don’t take up much room for storage, nor do you need a lot of space in order to use them. Dumbbells can be fairly inexpensive, especially the lighter weights, and may be something you will want to look into as you continue in your training.

In the future, I’ll offer more equipment recommendations and suggestions that you may find helpful as you build your training programs, but in my opinion, as you are getting started, you simply need the above mentioned pieces of basic equipment to make your resistance training program easier.