Are you the kind of person who loves exercising but hates the gym? It’s understandable why.

Working out at the gym is a convenient way to access different types of equipment, but the gym is not for everyone. You can exercise your way and save money with a home gym.

But most home-gymmers aren’t sure which equipment to use. Unless you’re a fitness expert, it’s difficult to know what you need or the best equipment to use.

And trainers in specialized fitness areas, such as Crossfit, may have a harder time finding the equipment they need for their training regimen.

Don’t be intimidated by a home gym any longer! Here are 9 home gym necessities to buy for your home gym.

1. Dumbbells

Dumbbells are the staple of any exercise. Do you only plan on exercising for short amounts of time or sporadically throughout the day? You can get a quick muscle workout with dumbbells.

You can use several different moves with dumbbells, they come in a variety of different weights, they help tone your body, improve strength, and build muscle. Dumbbells are also extremely simple to use.

Some people may say dumbbells are the only fitness tool they need. For best results, buy a set of dumbbells with different weights to maximize your fitness routine.

It doesn’t matter which fitness goals you’re conquering, anyone can use dumbbells.

2. Exercise Ball

Exercise balls are a useful tool when toning.

The classic exercise ball move is doing ab crunches while sitting on the ball. But you can do any move while lying on the exercise ball.

Since you’re trying to stabilize yourself, your muscles work even harder.

While there are many exercise balls on the market, opt for a pricier one. Cheap exercise balls can easily deflate. Expensive ones are made of quality material and can handle body weight.

3. Resistance Bands

If you want to increase flexibility without paying for yoga classes, add resistance band workouts to your fitness regimen.

Resistance bands, such as these from WODFitters, help improve strength but also work on your flexibility. They can be used for any workout and there are plenty of exercises recommended with resistance bands.

Your best bet is to buy a set of resistance bands with varying resistance. There are light bands that are easy to use and heavier bands if you really want to increase your strength.

4. Floor Mat

If you do any floor-based exercises, such as yoga, a floor mat is essential. Rather than stretch it out on the tile or wood flooring, a floor mat gives enough comfort while adding a solid surface to support your body.

If you aren’t a yoga person, there are even plenty of workouts that require floor activity. A floor mat is inexpensive and provides the support that your body needs.

5. Bosu Balance Trainer

Have you tried the exercise ball but found it challenging? Maybe you like the resistance challenge but don’t really care for the ball. Opt for the Bosu Balance Trainer.

This is an exercise ball cut it half. The flat side is on the bottom so the ball keeps its balance, but the ball’s surface provides a challenging surface for your workouts.

You can do any exercise on the Bosu for best results. But certain workouts, such as push-ups and leg raises, are recommended on the Bosu.

6. Resistance Bands with Handles

Do you want more possibilities with the resistance bands? Buy a set with handles.

You can have a handle in each hand and do great workouts such as the pec fly, or you can attach the handle to a steady surface and do bicep curls or ab crunches.

These resistance bands offer a full-body workout like the traditional resistance bands: they increase strength, flexibility, and endurance while improving stabilization, coordination, balance, and mobility.

If you don’t need intense gym equipment, resistance bands are all you need.

7. Cable Machine

If you want the most diverse piece of gym equipment and are willing to spend a few bucks, a cable machine is a necessity. With cables, you adjust the height where you pull and have a variety of weight options to choose from.

You can easily do bicep curls and tricep extensions, leg lifts, and even oblique crunches with cables. Just about every workout you perform can be done on a cable machine.

Be prepared to spend a pretty penny. On average, cable machines run about $2,000. But it’s money well-spent.

8. Plyometric Box

Who knew a simple box would be an amazing fitness tool?

A plyometric box helps increase your cardio efforts exponentially. You can even incorporate this box into your strength training regimen, such as stepping up and down with lunges or stepping up while working triceps.

Be sure you get a fitness box. These boxes are made of strong material that supports your body weight. These boxes cost around $50 but make any workout more challenging.

9. Cardio Machines

Finally, what kind of home gym doesn’t have cardio machines? Regardless of your fitness goals, cardio is essential for everyone. Cardio has many benefits, such as burning fat, improving your heart rate and even increasing your metabolism.

There are a variety of cardio options. You can spend a pretty penny and buy an effective cardio bike. Or, you can buy a quality treadmill that helps you increase and decrease your resistance.

For cheaper options, a stair climber is a favorite for those who want to build leg strength while getting their cardio fix. Finally, the elliptical is the perfect all-in-one cardio, stabilization and strength training machine.

Will You Use These Home Gym Necessities?

Whether you’re ditching the gym or are beginning your fitness journey, a home gym is a great alternative to the traditional gym. Understanding gym equipment is vital. But it’s natural to be intimidated by all of the options.

Fortunately, these home gym necessities will give you results that challenge the benefits of the home gym essentials.

Use all or most of this equipment and conquer your fitness goals from the comfort of home.

For more health and fitness advice, visit our resources.

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Here is Why It’s Never Too Late for You to Achieve Something Worthwhile

Have you ever asked yourself if it’s too late to achieve something worthwhile in life. These two most upvoted responses by Marcus and Jim respectively on Quora will help you if you still have doubts about what you can do at any stage of your career.

1. Marcus Geduld, Shakespearean director, computer programmer, teacher, writer, likes dinosaurs.

Too late for what?

If you slept through your 26th birthday, it’s too late for you to experience that. It’s too late for you to watch “LOST” in its premiere broadcast. (Though, honestly, you didn’t miss much.) It’s too late for you to fight in the Vietnam War.

It’s too late for you to go through puberty or attend nursery school. It’s too late for you to learn a second language as proficiently as a native speaker*. It’s probably too late for you to be breastfed.

It’s not too late for you to fall in love.

It’s not too late for you to have kids.

It’s not too late for you to embark on an exciting career or series of careers.

It’s not too late for you to read the complete works of Shakespeare; learn how to program computers; learn to dance; travel around the world; go to therapy; become an accomplished cook; sky dive; develop an appreciation for jazz; write a novel; get an advanced degree; save for your old age; read “In Search of Lost Time”; become a Christian, then an atheist, then a Scientologist; break a few bones; learn how to fix a toilet; develop a six-pack …

Honestly, I’m 47, and I’ll say this to you, whippersnapper: you’re a fucking kid, so get over yourself. I’m a fucking kid, too. I’m almost twice your age, and I’m just getting started! My dad is in his 80s, and he wrote two books last year.

You don’t get to use age as an excuse. Get off your ass!

Also, learn about what economists call “sunk costs.” If I give someone $100 on Monday, and he spends $50 on candy, he’ll probably regret that purchase on Tuesday. In a way, he’ll still think of himself as a guy with $100—half of which is wasted.

What he really is is a guy with $50, just as he would be if I’d handed him a fifty-dollar bill. A sunk cost from yesterday should not be part of today’s equation. What he should be thinking is this: “What should I do with my $50?”

What you are isn’t a person who has wasted 27 years. You are a person who has X number of years ahead of you. What are you going to do with them?

* What I’d intended as a throwaway comment, about the difficulty of second-language acquisition after childhood, has generated interest and disagreement. I will admit upfront I am not an expert on the matter, and was mostly informed by research I’d read about.

It claimed there’s a window of childhood, after which the brain stops being able to hear certain sounds—one’s not used by a child’s native language—which is why it’s so hard to learn to speak a second language without an accent.

Some people may master it, but not many. (How many people do you know, after 25, learned a foreign language and can speak it so well, natives have no idea they’re listening to a foreigner?) It’s also challenging to learn all the idiomatic expressions that native speakers have known since they were small children.

However, since having written this answer, I’ve learned that the Science behind this is very controversial. As I’m not an expert, let me refer you to the wikipedia article (and it’s linked resources).

“In second-language acquisition, the strongest evidence for the critical period hypothesis is in the study of accent, where most older learners do not reach a native-like level.

However, under certain conditions, native-like accent has been observed, suggesting that accent is affected by multiple factors, such as identity and motivation, rather than a critical period biological constraint (Moyer, 1999; Bongaerts et al., 1995; Young-Scholten, 2002).”

2. Jim Lawrenson, Still driving…

Unfortunately for ‘real’ people, the media is obsessed with the tiny minority who succeed early and display this very publicly.

This is then amplified by the high profile ‘subject’,  for PR purposes, to perpetuate their success.

Justin Bieber, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, River Phoenix, Justin Timberlake, Bill Gates, Jimi Hendrix, Steve Jobs, James Dean, Richard Branson, Whitney Houston, One Direction, Amy Winehouse, Mark Zuckerburg. Need I go on.

Notice a trend in there somewhere?

You are probably being influenced, (like all of us), in how you assess your own progress, compared to these people. It can be a dangerous game to play.

It takes a tremendous amount of luck, as well as talent, to get into the right position at the right time. Not many people who make it will tell you that, often preferring to put it down to their hard work.

That is because they believe that this is the case, not because they are intentionally misleading you. I know that because, to an extent, I’ve done it.

You also may not have considered that even if you were on the list of young successes. It is very hard to follow that early success later in life. Your expectations of yourself are higher and based on that youthful virtual reality you experienced once, you can never improve on your past.

That can be a tough pill to swallow and despite all the money in the world, many struggle with that.

Look at any list of young successes from just 10 years ago and count the number who have disappeared, died or been in rehab. Lots.

Half the list of super successful people above are dead for a start off.

This is not an excuse for you to give up trying however. 

Try to think of life as a long road journey.

The journey can be as exciting or as boring as you choose to make it.

Wherever you are on the journey, there are new experiences, as long as you welcome them and seek them out. Some you can plan in advance.

Often, you need to get out of the car to experience them. Otherwise, you will see them flash past the window and feel like it is too late to stop.

  • Do something every day which contributes to your progress on the journey and always be learning and experiencing new things.
  • Don’t put off experiences which can be done today by getting out of the car, for a tomorrow which may never arrive.
  • Build a vision of where you want to get to in 1, 5 and 10 years and then think about the steps you need to complete in the next 30 days to move towards it, but don’t set deadlines that are too harsh. Do the first step on the list today.
  • Like any long journey, you will hit diversions, obstacles, traffic lights, speed bumps, closed roads and all manner of other problems. There will be crashes – you might be involved in them. Like any long road journey, if you want to get the destination enough, you won’t turn back, you will reroute. The car might break down or need repairing. Just accept it will happen now, and carry on.

Most importantly, don’t wait for all the traffic lights between your house and your destination, to turn green at the same time, before you set off.

They won’t!

Get in the car and start driving.

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