Always consult with your doctor before starting a new workout regimen or modifying your diet.
The new year is here which traditionally means everyone is scrambling to buy all the latest gym equipment in effort to turn their homes into a haven of health. But is it worth it?
Probably not. For the vast majority of us, we will fall back to our pre new-years-resolution-health-kick habits by February. In our experience, that means the bedroom stationary bike is more likely to become a new place to hold the dry cleaning more than it’s ever going to be used for exercising.
It’s not entirely sheer will power that keeps us exercising at home. After purchasing (and getting rid of) several gym pieces over the years (multiple bikes, stair climbers, ab machinery, ellipticals, countless weights, DVD’s, and accessories…) The truth is, you will rarely find any big box type of home-gym equipment worth owning that is under $1000.00 retail (new). If you’re anything like us, you may not mind (maybe even like?) using an exercise bike at the gym – and that’s because at the gym it is a several-thousand-dollar piece of equipment, which is reflected in your user experience. This lead me to think “Hey! I love exercise bikes!” SO I purchased a $300 bike for the house only to discover I hate using the bike at home! The user experience and quality between the two is so different, it’s hard to keep up the enthusiasm to workout consistently at home.
When it comes to creating a “home gym” there are two rules that ring true to us: 1. Create a dedicated space. 2. Invest in gym-quality gear.
If you can’t invest in high quality machines, a traditional gym may be your best bet for long-term commitment. If you don’t have a dedicated space, know that bedroom bikes and laundry room treadmills seldom make for inspiring environments to keep the motivation.
Fear not! There are other ways you can create healthy habits without investing in big machines.
Go Old School
Create a low profile in-home gym environment with a few great DVD’s, a yoga mat, and a simple pair of light dumbbells. We have these DVD’s from back in the day that we still love:
PRO TIP: Just like Netflix, there are a ton of streaming-based exercise options out there if DVD’s aren’t your thing.
Walk a little every day. Take a small walk on your lunch break or a stroll after dinner. Try to make it a little further than you did the day before.
Drink More Water
If you don’t drink water, this is an easy way to get healthier. Try to opt for water first when you want a beverage, then go to those sugary or even “diet” drinks second. Before you know it, you’ll be hydrating like a pro!
PRO TIP: If you hate drinking water, it’s probably the quality of water you are drinking. Instead of the tap or fridge spout, buy a gallon of “Spring Water” from the store. We find it’s so much easier to drink!
Eat More Veggies
It is easy to venture into the world of plant based food now. Fine dining and fast food restaurants are offering more and more vegetarian options. For example, Taco Bell can make almost everything on their menu with with black beans instead of beef or chicken.
- At home, try roasting vegetables like brussels sprouts, bell peppers, zucchini, or carrots in the oven with a small drizzle of olive oil and a little fresh cracked black pepper. They taste so much better than in the microwave!
- Try substituting zucchini noodles for regular pasta.
PRO TIP: The frozen store-bought quick meal options below are an easy way to venture into vegetarianism through tasty comfort food.
- MorningStar Meatless Corn Dogs
- MorningStar Original Chik Patties (they have a spicy Buffalo version too!)
- MorningStar Chik’N Nuggets
- Amy’s Mexican Casserole Bowl
- Reduce how much salt you usually use, or skip the extra salt where you can. Mrs. Dash carries an array of flavorful salt alternatives.
- Try to use half the butter you normally use as topping, spreads, or to cook with.
- Get the lower fat version of things you love, like ice cream, diary, etc.
- Try to reduce your bad carb intake by eating half of something you’d normally eat all of. For example, eat half the bagel or baked potato, or stick to one serving of potato chips according to the nutrition label, rather than a whole bag or random handful.
PRO TIP: Measuring and recording your food in a journal is a great method for staying on track.
Find Healthier Fats
Olive oils provide healthier fats than lard or cheap oils. Reduce fried foods by baking things like frozen french fries at home in the oven. We also know several people who swear by their air fryers.