Friday, February 26, 2010
Here is my list, in what I feel is order of importance, of things someone who is new (or just coming back after a break of years) to exercise would need to start an at-home exercise program:
1.) An instructional book on weight lifting. I don't care if it's designed for men or women because we all lift weights the same way, but it needs to have a good description of many different weight-lifting exercises for all body parts, because eventually you're gonna get bored with doing the same stuff and want to change it up. Plus, change is good for muscle growth and symmetry.
It is better to lift correctly with no weights than incorrectly with weights, so pay close attention to the technique instruction in the book!
2.) Dumbbells. If you are a woman I'd recommend starting with two each of 1 lb, 3 lb, 5 lb, 7 lb (if you can find them), 8 lb, and 10 lb. For a man I'd recommend starting with two each 5 lb, 8 lb, 10 lb, 12 lb, 15 lb, 18 lb (if you can find them), and 20 lb. The cheapest iron ones will do. That's what I have. As you grow stronger you can go out and buy two dumbbells in the next size up. This keeps the cost in check, as well.
If you cannot get dumbbells, don't despair! I worked out when my children were small and we were flat broke with cans of food!
3.) An adjustable (you can make it taller) step aerobics bench. This not only works for it's obvious purpose, but it doubles as a weight lifting bench for most exercises requiring a bench. And it's usually cheaper.
4.) A step or other kind of cardio DVD. I like step best because it gets my heart rate going in a small amount of square footage. This is great for getting in cardio on those days that you can't get outside for a walk or rualk (run-walk). I have a bunch of aerobics DVDs because the same one over and over gets monotonous.
5.) An exercise ball appropriate for your height. Between this and the step bench, my need for a traditional weight lifting bench at home is pretty much gone.