Regular exercise and being physically active – how glorious for anyone, but especially for us Golden Yearlings! Let’s look at 5 simple and inexpensive pieces of exercise equipment for home use that can be a great help towards a more fit, active and healthy lifestyle.
The equipment suggested in this article is also convenient. It is easily stored in the home, out of sight, and is quick and convenient to get out and do some exercise.
It’s likely that anyone who reads this article is already aware of the major benefits of exercise for people in their Golden Years. But for those who may not be aware and it’s something you would like to know more about, then Google can help. Search for something like “best exercises for people over 60” and check out a few reputable and credible sources.
I am not a fitness instructor, although I have always maintained a good level of fitness for my years. For example my partner Tania and I recently completed a wonderful 12-day 224km hiking trail in France. We also cycle regularly. Hence, a disclaimer – you are solely and exclusively responsible for all risks, injuries, etc, associated with any exercise you undertake and please first consult your doctor before picking up on any ideas or suggestions from this post. Thanks.
The content of the article is also aimed at those who are not suffering from physical impediments or conditions that prevent them undertaking a reasonable physical exercise program. Once again, if you have any doubts please discuss with your doctor.
Here are the suggestions for 5 simple and inexpensive pieces of exercise equipment.
1. Training Shoes
This is so simple and obvious that it’s easily overlooked. Regular walking has long been known as an excellent if not one of the best forms of exercise. And not for any particular age group, simply for all. A reasonable pair of trainers is all one needs. If one checks the high street stores one can see a huge price variation across brands and types of training shoes.
All I will say is the training shoes that you select do not have to be a fashion or brand statement. It’s not as if we’re heading out to jog 100km per week starting tomorrow. Nor do they have to be sourced only in a sports shoe store. Lots of department stores and some supermarkets sell own-brand training shoes if that’s what appeals. My recommendation is simply choose a pair that are comfortable to walk in. Certainly at this time it isn’t necessary to spend more than Euro100 on a pair, and sufficiently good pairs are available for far less. Most people may already have a suitable pair of training shoes. We just need to get walking. If you are not in reasonable shape, start out slowly and over modest distances, say 1km in 30 minutes twice per week. Build it up over say a 3 month period to 3km in 60 minutes 3 times per week, and work upwards from there
2. Reebok Resistance Tube
This is a rubber high-stretch resistance tube with a handle at each end. I specifically mention this brand as I’ve had a Reebok Resistance Tube Number 3 for years. It can almost be carried in one’s coat pocket and is so adaptable to a range of useful upper body and leg exercises.
A quick Google search for YouTube Reebok Resistance Tube exercises will turn up many good exercises, and with some imagination there are many more good exercises possible with this piece of equipment.
3. Skipping Rope
A simple, inexpensive and effective piece of exercise equipment. Skipping is probably something most of us have done at some point in our lives, most likely in earlier years. It is a low impact though high intensity cardio exercise. Hence we may need to be careful of if it’s not something that we’ve done for some time or we are not in reasonable physical shape as considerable balance, coordination and muscle elasticity is required.
If we are out of shape or are overweight, it might be more appropriate to build a level of fitness before introducing skipping into our fitness routine.
4. Small Dumbells
By small I’m referring to dumbells in the 2kg to 5kg range including the bar, depending on what you’re comfortable with. I have my own metric for ‘comfortable’. It is being able to do 20 reps on any particular exercise without undue strain, but feeling as if the muscles have done some work. Small dumbells are great for conditioning the upper body.
Many reps with a lighter weight are far more beneficial than straining for a few reps under some overweight load. Some overlap with the Reebok Resistance Tube, but dumbells provides variety in the routine. Lots of different suggestions for effective dumbell exercises online.
5. Step Bench
Just being observant when I am out and about, one of the issues I see regularly in older people is the lack of upper leg strength, and balance and stability problems. I will talk about cycling as probably the best leg exercise in another post, but gentle and regular step exercises sustained over the longer term help in leg conditioning and balance improvement.
The heart and lungs also benefit from the aerobic exercises of step. A good step bench is not particularly cheap, but when compared with other quality fitness equipment, it represents good value.
The major challenge in getting going on an exercise routine is to overcome inertia if one has been sedentary for some time. If this has been a problem, simple inexpensive equipment like what I’ve mentioned above can be a great way to start developing a healthier pattern.
And finally, a great idea might be to invite a few friends to come join you for regular work out sessions. Or look for a local venue where you and friends can meet regularly and pool your equipment to enjoy the challenge of getting fit.