I’ve never been one to shy away from the gym… I’ve had a membership since I was a junior in high school and have always loved it…. whether it was group classes or solo time lifting weights, it’s always been an investment in myself. Ever since becoming a mom though, it’s not always easy to sneak out to the gym… or, I don’t always want to get myself ready to head out…. yet, I still very much want to complete a workout. So, the simple solution for me was to invest in some gym equipment that I could easily use at home….. either in a self created HIIT workout, or watching a video. I can honestly say that my 20-30 minute at home workouts are often more effective than 45 minutes in the gym (and much easier to not bail out on….). Whether it’s a new job with taxing hours, or you can’t financially afford a gym membership (they can be so expensive….), or a mom like me, I decided to share with you the gym equipment I purchased to make working out at home as effective as it would be in the gym.
1. Dumbbells: I own 3 sets of dumbbells. A 3lbs, 5lbs, and 10 lbs set. I find that incorporating various weights is the most helpful to an effective workout. I use the heaviest set for moves with less reps…. and the lightest when I am maxing out (i.e. going until I can’t go anymore).
2. Resistance Bands: These have been such game changers, and I have loved incorporating them into my HIIT routines. They’re excellent options when you’re working out the glutes + legs… and even great for arms too.
3. Yoga Mat: I feel like this is kinda a given, but we have wood flooring and it makes working out so much easier… especially when there are floor exercises….
4. Medicine Ball: I use a medicine ball for so many different exercises… especially when I’m working my lower body and want to mix in arm movements. They are also great to use when you are doing lunges and crab walks.
5. Exercise Ball: Core work is taken to an entirely different level on an exercise ball… and they’re also great when you want to work the core and your arms or glutes. I use mine in so many different ways… behind my back in wall squats, or I lay on it on my stomach and do flies.
6. Leg Weights: Again, another way to take a regular exercise to the next level… I’ve even been known to wear these on my morning walk with Harper since their purpose is to tone the legs. I do leg raises and dead lifts wearing them… and when I’m feeling ambitious jump switch lunges and burpees.
7. Jump Rope: An excellent way to get the heart rate up, quickly. Besides, it makes me feel young again… and sometimes that’s just as good as a workout #AmIRight?
8. Step: I bought a step a while back and love using it with my lunges and incorporating it into a cardio segment (if you’re curious, you can always youtube cardio step workouts).
Annnnd, because bodies are created through workouts but shown through the food we eat, I decided to share this super simple, nutritious salad I made for lunch yesterday. You can literally prep everything the evening before (or on a Sunday if need be) and toss it in a tuberware (or one of those salad mason jars) for an easy, and healthy, grab-and-go lunch option…. and, if you prefer to have some meat with your salad, just toss in some tuna or chicken!
Sweet Potato + Lentil Super Salad
1/2 cup Trader Joe’s Lentils (in the refrigerated section…simply microwave)
1/2 cup baked sweet potatoes
1/4 cup quinoa
1/4-1/2 diced avocado
handful of tomatoes
2 cups spinach
Combine all ingredients, shake up to get the salsa on the spinach, and enjoy! Super simple.