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Workout Wednesdays: At-Home Workout Essentials for Beginners

It’s that time of year where we all start eating up all of the baked goods that our coworkers bring into the office, and it’s just TOO COLD to want to go outside for a run, or walk the two blocks to the gym. (Okay, that last one felt personal.) Regardless, Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, and this is the time of year where most of us start looking like stuffed turkeys.

So, what can we do about it? Well, we can suck it up and run outside and go to the gym. That’s probably the best option. But another option is to have a Plan B that prevents you from making excuses. That Plan B, of course, is to work out at home.

When I first started blogging about my fitness journey, I read loads of posts about at-home workouts. I shrugged my shoulders and rolled my eyes at them at first. Psh, if I have time to do that, I have time to go to the gym. As the months passed, the idea of working out at home became more appealing to me. It’s harder to make excuses to not work out when you have equipment right next to your bed, right?

I’d started a little collection of home workout tools over the last year, but I really expanded on that collection after a quick trip to Marshall’s. It made me think that perhaps some of you would appreciate some pointers on what to buy when you’re starting your at-home workout collection! The great news is that you don’t have to spend much money to get some good basics, and there are tons of free online workouts you can do at home!

  1. A yoga mat – This is a great tool to have at home, especially if you have carpeted floors. Heck, if you have wood floors too! I don’t know about you, but I don’t wear shoes when I work out at home, so my yoga mat is an absolute necessity. You can get cheap yoga mats at so many different stores. They’re super easy to find! They’re also really easy to find online.
  2. Dumbbells – Dumbbells are great for so many things! You can use them for upper body exercises, lower body workouts, and even core exercises! I love holding on to a dumbbell on either end while doing sit ups. The extra weight gives me an extra burn! 
  3. Resistance band – Resistance bands are so good for so many exercises and stretches! I actually never worked with one until college. We used them to stretch out our shoulders before games. It felt so good! Later, I learned that they can be used for a variety of exercises. 
  4. Kettlebell – I was terrified of using a kettlebell the first time I tried it out. I was actually at my gym for my free assessment with a trainer, and he had me do a number of exercises with a kettlebell. That sucker kicked my butt! Now that I bought myself one for home, I can practice the proper form at home without worrying about embarrassing myself at the gym. 
  5. Jump rope – Okay, this might not be ideal for everyone, but it’s a pretty helpful tool for me. If you live in an apartment building, and have thin floors/ceilings, I would not advise jumping rope indoors. Use your best judgment on this one, folks. Anyway, for those who are able, a jump rope is a great way to get some cardio in if you can’t run outdoors because of the temperature or precipitation. Sometimes I time myself, while other times I set a goal number of jumps.
  6. A mesh bag – Your jump rope and resistance band can easily slip through cracks, so having a mesh bag to store it all in is pretty helpful. I bought a cheap set at Marshall’s that had a few different resistance bands, a jump rope, and a little booklet of exercises. I also keep my yoga strap in there, just in case I need it. 
And that’s all, folks! Once you have some/all of these items, you are on your way to at-home workout land! 
To not leave you beginners out there high and dry, here is one of my Pinterest boards that features a number of workouts that can be done at home using some of the items on the list. Additionally, I highly recommend Your Trainer Paige and Pumps & Iron for great at-home workouts. Enjoy!
What are some of your must-haves for at-home workouts? How do you motivate yourself to stay active as Thanksgiving draws closer? Have you ever worked out using kettlebells?

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