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All I want for Christmas…

So we have all heard about the Peloton ad going viral. Was her husband giving his wife the gift of fitness or just being a controlling mean jerk? Who knows. I guess it depends on your perspective.

What I do know is that people do get exercise equipment as gifts (or indulge themselves at this time of year) and I wanted to share with you some options to trick out your home gym.

For cardio workouts you may want to consider installing any/all of the following in your workout space:

· Treadmill – if you like to walk or run indoors this may be the one for you. Get the best motorized one you can, that is adjustable and sturdy.

· Stationary bike – great cardio workout, easy to do, and no training required. However, invest in a comfortable seat (or buy one separately) for your long rides😊

· Elliptical trainer – this has been purported to be one of the best pieces of equipment going, since it is easier on the joints, and back. It also works your arms and helps strengthen upper back and shoulder muscles, which are necessary for good posture. I personally like using ellipticals as they work large muscle groups, with less strain. That is a good thing at my age!

· Cross country ski machine – my husband, Sean, had a Nordic track for the longest time, and he loved it for the full body workout that was easy on the knees.

· Rowing machine – this also gives a full body workout, including the back, arms and legs, simultaneously. Some people do find it hard on the back though.

· Stair stepper – another low-impact, high cardio workout machine. It is like climbing a set of stairs, which gives a good workout, but could be hard on the knees.

Add this strength equipment to your home gym to build or maintain muscle:

· Exercise mat – get a good one that doesn’t slip and is well-padded. Your body will thank you.

· Ankle weights – these are great for building resistance, especially when you are doing side leg raises or hip extensions. They come in 5 and 10 lbs sizes, with pockets to add or remove weight in half pound or pound increments.

· Tubing or resistance bands – get these low-cost, easy to use, portable and lightweight options which you can take with you when you travel. Admit it, you probably already have these, courtesy of your physical therapist. You know, for when you religiously do your PT exercises at home😉

· Free weights – handheld weights in sizes from 1lbs all the way up to 20lbs to help you develop good form, work up from lower weights to higher as you progress and are very easy to create a quick and effective training session with.

Both cardio and strength- building workouts are beneficial to building muscle mass, while losing body fat, and maintaining bone density. Not to mention, maintaining heart health and lung capacity. All these elements as well as exercises that promote balance and flexibility (yoga, Pilates) will help you stay or become more fit.

If you have taken a workshop with me, you know how strongly I feel that strength, flexibility, balance routines are all necessary to continue fitness well into old age. And, if you have taken a walk with me this year, you know what a huge fan I am of this exercise that almost anyone can do, no equipment involved.

You can see how easy it would be to outfit your home with some of these tools. Or you could always opt for a gym membership. Either way, the important thing is that as we move into the next decade, we keep moving. Share with me your tips and tricks for staying fit!

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