Explore ways to stay fit at home
By Chris Michlewicz
With some fitness centers currently limiting capacity due to restrictions, millions of people are looking for ways to exercise at home. Fortunately, there have never been more do-it-yourself options to stay or get fit.
The new year brings with it resolutions to exercise more, and whether there is follow-through depends on many factors, including mental fortitude. But long-term success also requires the right equipment or know-how to get the desired results.
Traditional methods for working out at home, like treadmills, stair steppers and free weights, are ideal for some. However, there are other options to consider.
Peloton – The souped-up stationary bikes, complete with guided spin classes on a 22-inch touchscreen, were all the rage during the 2020 Christmas season, and will continue to be a popular choice in 2021. For those who regularly attended spin classes at a local gym or rec center or want to ride year-round without worrying about the weather, it’s an option worth exploring. Cost: $2,500 – $3,000, plus $500 annually.
Mirror by lululemon – The interactive mirror, which streams live and on-demand bodyweight workouts with an instructor in the mirror, is operated via mobile app. It’s gained some visibility in the last year (the advertisements are hard to miss), and generally has received good reviews. Mirror by lululemon can add variety to a workout routine, and helps with that pesky motivation thing. Plus, it connects to the Apple Watch. Cost: $1,500 before tax and installation, and an ongoing monthly subscription rate of $39.
Fitness videos (including yoga and pilates) – Streaming services like Amazon Prime and online platforms like YouTube carry a variety of videos for all ability levels in their libraries. But if you want to try something completely new, you might consider ClassPass Live, a platform for streaming boutique-style fitness classes, or Booya Fitness, which has live and on-demand workouts of all types from more than 25 fitness studios nationwide and can be streamed to your TV or computer. Cost: varies.
Resistance bands – It might seem like a rudimentary way to work out, with all of the high-tech gadgets available these days, but a resistance band is a versatile instrument that can be used almost anywhere to get in a full body workout. A quick online search leads you to videos of the creative ways people have come up with to use the bands. Cost: generally $10 – $50.
Personal fitness trackers – Trying to beat the previous day’s number of steps is, let’s be honest, kind of a fun personal challenge. They also track heart rate, GPS coordinates, and some models even have preloaded apps for indoor activities, such as yoga. Many are also equipped with the latest tool: alerts warning you about your sedentary behavior. Cost: $25 and up.
Zoom fitness classes – Some recreation and fitness centers are still hosting classes over Zoom, keeping daily routines intact for regular customers who also want to continue supporting their local gym during an uncertain economic time for brick-and-mortar establishments. Cost: depends on membership.
Chair workouts – For active older adults, there are low impact ways to tone and build muscle while retaining full range of motion. There are plenty of online resources, including ChairWorkouts.com, which has videos instructing you on how to do everything from seated core exercises to cardio routines for those with persistent back pain. Or you can explore www.SitAndBeFit.org, a nonprofit dedicated to healthy aging.