Home gym for seniorsIf you’re missing your trainer or the gym, you’re not alone. Now may be the time to consider purchasing some equipment and creating a safe exercise environment, at home. You might even follow along with our Exercise Snack Videos for some fresh ideas to add to your practice.

If you’re ready to cancel your gym membership and have started thinking about alternatives, consider exercising at home. You won’t need to invest a lot of money. What you will need is a little ingenuity and creativity.
You can start by carving out a space in your home or apartment and make it into a haven, a place where you can go to get away from it all. You’ll be rewarded for your efforts and your return on your investment will be well worth the time and commitment you put into this project. You’ll improve your health and feel better both physically and mentally. Your wallet will also thank you as you won’t be paying for an expensive gym membership every month.

When creating a home gym, I recommend buying equipment in increments and not everything at once. You need to choose wisely: equipment can be very pricey, so choose from general, inexpensive list vs. bonus equipment. Many pieces of equipment have multiple uses, i.e. resistance straps and bands that can be used for upper and lower body, for your arms, shoulders, legs, core, etc. in addition to cardio and floor exercises.

Also remember, you do not need to exercise the same muscles every day. Working out muscles like your biceps, triceps, chest, shoulders, back and legs can be done two times a week. Cardio exercise should be done at least three times a week, so keep that in mind when purchasing pricy equipment.

Any equipment you purchase, make sure you can also use it outdoors for variety, or if you need to move it to another place. Being able to move your exercise station outdoors will allow you to work out on that beautiful sunny day and get some fresh air. That’s something most gyms will not be able to offer you.

Here is a list of equipment to help you get started:

General Equipment

Chair with arm rests – Make sure it is sturdy and not on rollers. You can find a variety of chair exercises on YouTube or the internet. These workouts are absolutely effective to develop full-body strength. There also especially great for seniors with limited mobility
Towels – Both thick and long. You’re going to want a towel for obvious reasons, like clearing off sweat. However, purchase some additional towels, as you can use them in your workout and they’re a great way to build stabilizer muscles. In addition, thicker towels can be used in place of a yoga mat.
Light hand weights – These are great for the following upper body workouts:

  • Bicep curls – Palms face forward as you lift towards your shoulders, without touching your shoulders and return to a straight arm
  • Tricep extensions – Palms face inward at your hips, bend and straighten your elbows as you lift the weights alongside your hips returning to your hips
  • Lateral lifts – Palms face inward at your hips, elbows slightly bent, lift your arms moving slightly forward instead of directly to the side for less stress on the shoulder joint
  • Overhead lifts – Palms face inward, elbows bent and resting at your waist. Push overhead as you maintain a slight bend in your elbow, then return

Ankle weights – Purchase the kind with removable weights for lower body. Step laterally making sure not to drag your feet, walk in place being sure to keep your body steady and not bent over or try kickbacks, pretending to get mud off the bottom of your shoes.
Resistance straps – TRX, is one example, but doesn’t have to be a name brand. You can do plenty of bodyweight exercises and diversify your workout. It’s easy to setup by securing it on a door and you also have the option to hang from the ceiling. You’ll find a ton of great workouts on the internet and YouTube.
Bands – Long and short ones for alternatives to weights and they take up less space. They’ll act as a substitute for multiple weight training exercises. Click here to learn the right way to use resistance bands.
Balls – Weighted or not, preferably in different sizes. If you do not have someone you can throw to underhanded, overhead, or sideways (rotation), bounce it off a wall or the floor in front of you. A good cardio workout can include throwing the ball the retrieving it each time. Larger balls can be used for seated balance or similar techniques as smaller balls.

Bonus Equipment

Yoga mat – If you do not want to use a towel for lying down to do floor exercises
Massage table – With height adjustment for an alternative to lying on the floor
Mirrors – To check your form, the kind you might place on the back of a closet door
Treadmill or Recumbent bike – For aerobic/ cardio workout; you need to consider the space required for the machines
Stability ball – A large over-sized ball for a variety of exercises from standing to lying down Click here for advice on purchasing the right stability ball.
Exercise ladders – For agility training and basic movement fundamentals such as sidestepping, cadence speed, and step length
Bosu trainer – For balance, core and more
Balance Disc – for balance and core Click here for advice on purchasing the right balance equipment.
Foam rollers and tennis balls – To increase blood flow to the muscles, decrease stiffness

For more information about home gym equipment or exercises for seniors, call 818-620-1442 or email us. Follow us on Facebook or subscribe to our YouTube channel for more advice on staying in shape. We see fitness differently!

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