Affordable Home Gym

This post is sponsored by Kohl’s. I was paid for this post and received the included fitness equipment as compensation.

It’s January, the month of the year when people decide to get fit (which I love!) The thing I do not love however, its how packed a gym can get at the beginning of the year. I like my space, and sometimes that can be hard to find!

As a work from home mom who has a child only in daycare part time, I also struggle to find time to get to the gym, and always wanted to have my very own “home gym.” I knew it could come in handy for those times when my toddler is napping, or I need to stretch my legs from sitting at my laptop all day. After doing some searching, I realized that having a home gym was more affordable than I thought, and is incredibly convenient for someone with my schedule.

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When I began research, I knew I wanted a mix of cardio and strength equipment, and needed room to move around. Thankfully, our new house has a huge bonus room upstairs that fits the bill. I have plenty of room to move, and work up a sweat! Here is a list of what I have, followed by some explanations:

-Pro Form Easy Strider

-Resistance bands

-Free weights

-Workout DVD’s

-Pro Form Bike Desk

-Yoga Mat

-Foam Roller

The Pro Form Easy Strider was something I wanted because I had a similar one a few years ago but we got rid of it when we moved awhile back. It’s great for cross training days, and is situated in front of my TV so I can catch up on my favorite shows while I burn some calories. This model has EKG grip pulse that monitors your heart rate, an easy to read LED display, a built in fan (yes!) and it even has wheels to be easily moved around. It supports up to 250 pounds, and has big, oversized pedals that fit even my husbands big feet. Never did I think I would be able to have my own cardio equipment again, but I do!

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As someone who has IT band problems, resistance bands and a foam roller were a must. I have a lot of body weighted exercises I do with the bands to strengthen my glutes and hips which keeps that nagging pain away. I try to foam roll several times a week as well to help with tight muscles. I was able to get a set of bands and a foam roller all for under $20, and they are invaluable to me!

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I admit, I need to do more yoga. I have a mat, as well as some yoga and Cardio DVD’s, I just need to put them to good use. Maybe now that I have my own gym space at home I will follow through.

The Pro Form bike desk is something I have ALWAYS wanted. I sit at my laptop working all. day. long. I frequently have to get up to stretch my legs because I get so stiff. How awesome to multi task like this?!? I can get all of my work done while burning calories and keeping my blood circulating. I can pedal for hours! No more excuses for not having time to workout.

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As someone who loves boot camp classes, free weights were also a must. I don’t have many, but plan to build up a supply as my budget allows. My boot camp classes taught me so much, and I can do dozens of workouts and moves with just a few weights and get in an awesome burn.

With just a few pieces of equipment, I have been able to cover cardio, strength training, injury prevention, and stretching/maintenance in my home gym. It was definitely more affordable than I thought it would be, and is something I can enjoy for many years to come. After all, you can’t put a price tag on your health.

Be sure to check out all of the other fitness equipment Kohl’s has to offer at great prices. They also have a great Fitness page with workout gear, health products, as well as tips from top health and fitness experts.

QOTD: What is your favorite “must have” home gym equipment?

My blog may contain links to other websites. I am not responsible for the privacy policies of those other websites. When you click on a link, your information may be collected by those websites, so I encourage you to read their privacy policies. These affiliate links are not associated with Kohl’s.

5 Things I Have Learned About Lifting Weights

I have been talking up boot camp for awhile now, and it’s because I have seen changes in my body like I never saw when I was just running. I always assumed I was “in shape” because I could run a marathon, but y’all, I really wasn’t in overall good health/shape. lifting weights has helped me in so many ways though!

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I have urged, begged, and pleaded with you in the past to start strength training if you are mainly just doing cardio, and yup, I’m going to do it again. I would love to make a believer out of you! Here are five things I have learned since I started lifting.

1.) You burn calories for longer: When you lift weights, you have the potential to burn calories for HOURS after, even while you sit on your couch. Your muscles have to repair themselves, so yup, better calorie burn for you, without the extra work! I don’t know about you, but I much prefer burning calories in my PJ’s on the couch than actually having to stay at the gym for an extra hour.

2.) You will look better: Let’s face it. Someone who looks strong looks healthy. My posture is better, my arms look better in a tank top, and I have gotten rid of a lot of excess jiggly flab all over my body. I feel way more toned and tight than I ever did just running. I love it!

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3.) You will run faster: Lifting has made my legs way stronger, so I am able to run faster than before with less running workouts. I have the strength to hold my body in proper running form longer, too. I was so surprised to PR in my 5K last month because I only run once a week right now!

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4.) You probably won’t bulk up: I say probably because you can bulk up, but it is highly unlikely it will happen unless you are trying to. I go to boot camp and lift four days a week and while I am more toned, I do not feel bulky. Don’t let this common misconception stop you!

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5.) You will feel more confident: Looking better, feeling better, and being able to do more with my body has given me such a sense of accomplishment. I am not as afraid to try new things, and I am so thankful that for all that my body does for me every day. It’s just this overall sense of wellness that is kind of addicting. Join me?

As always, please check with your doctor before starting an exercise routine. You will probably be really sore at first but don’t give up! Sore is good. Live for the sore! Let’s all be healthy and fit this summer.

QOTD: Do you lift weights? How does it make you feel? Has it helped you in other areas like running or another sport?

Weekly Workout Recap: August Week 1 2013

Good morning! Wow I am tired today. Yesterday Bobby and I ran a 13.1 mile training run for the Dumbo Double Dare we have coming up, and we both feel like we are falling apart! (WHY did I sign up for DOPEY again?!?)

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I see it in her eyes. She knows Dopey personally, and thinks I’m crazy for attempting his race.

We spent the afternoon resting and recovering, and I am so glad our longest run (for now) is behind us. Bobby was upset that we ran a half marathon but didn’t get a medal. He threatened to walk around all day wearing one of his old half marathon medals. Oh boy.

Here is what I did the rest of the week:

Sunday: 6 mile run

Monday: 45 minutes elliptical, abs

Tuesday: 4 miles in 40 minutes on the TM

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: 2 mile run outside

Friday: upper body weights, 20 minutes stationary bike

Saturday: 13.1 mile run in 2:20 (half outside, half on TM)

Very productive week, and now I am going to start slowly tapering for Dumbo. I will probably do a long run of 7 or 8 next weekend, then maybe 5 or 6 the following, we will see how I am feeling. I would much rather feel fresh and not so injured then get in more miles.

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Hope everyone has a great Sunday!

QOTD: What is the longest distance you run when training for a half marathon?

Weekly Workout Recap: July 2013 Week 1

Good morning from the beach! We drove in the rain for over three hours yesterday, and it has been raining on and off since we have been here. Hoping today is the last of it!

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Regardless, we are staying at an amazing place and I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

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But for today, here is a look at my workouts for the week. Yes, my IT band is still bothering be after runs. My hip hurts after about 4 miles of running, and my knee aches after. I am still foam rolling and stretching.

Sunday: rest

Monday: 35 minutes bike, weights

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: 3 mile run, weights

Thursday: one hour bike, weights

Friday: 15 minutes elliptical

Saturday: 7 mile run

Just an average week, but as you can see I am adding mileage. Dumbo double dare has snuck up on me, so I will have to up my mileage rather quickly to get ready for the challenge.

QOTD: How was your week of workouts?

Weekly Workout Recap: May 2013 Week 3

Another workout week is behind us! I am happy to say I did a good job of getting back on track after vacation.

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I worked out six days this week, and did a good job of varying things up. I even got in a long run, which I haven’t done since March! Sadly, it’s already starting to get really warm here (it was 85 during my Saturday MORNING run!) So I need to get acclimated, and fast. I spent all day yesterday guzzling water and Gatorade because I sweat so much on my run. I felt really accomplished afterwards though. Ok, so here is what I did this week!

Sunday: rest

Monday: 3 mile run, chest and tri’s

Tuesday: 2 mile power walk on 7.0 incline, back bi’s and abs

Wednesday: 3 mile run

Thursday: 45 minutes stationary bike, chest and tri’s

Friday: workout DVD

Saturday: 6 mile run

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I am hoping to do a long run of 7 miles this next weekend, and we will be sure to start a little earlier in the morning before it gets too hot! Have a fabulous Sunday everyone. Rest day for this gal.

*Don’t forget about my Disney swag bag giveaway or my $100 visa giftcard giveaway!

QOTD: What was your best workout this week?

Sources-
bootypopreview101.com

Weekly Recap: September Week 2

 

Football day! Well, yesterday was football day too, so I guess I can’t really say that. Did your team win? (Mine did! LSU won 63-14!) Do you think your team will win today?

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Geaux Tigers!

This past week my workouts were better than the week before (I am getting there!) but still not back to “normal.” After being out of town all the week before, I had a LOT of work to catch up on, which left me feeling very drained and mentally tired. Fingers crossed for a better week!

Sunday: rest

Monday: 2 mile speed work run on the Treadmill

Tuesday: weights

Wednesday: 2.5 mile run outside

Thursday: weights, 10 minutes stationary bike

Friday: 5 miles outside

Saturday: weights, 30 minutes stationary bike

Total miles run: 9.5

cross training: X’s 2

weights: X’s 3

We are going to get in a long run on Monday and again on Friday or Saturday, and I am hoping to do weights four times this week instead of 3. My new shoes I ordered have been shipped and will hopefully be here soon (and will hopefully help my foot!)

QOTD: Did your college football team win yesterday? I’m an LSU Tiger fan!

Weekly Recap: March Week 3

 

Hi friends. This weekend has been fun and so beautiful so far. Yesterday morning we ran the St. Patrick’s Day 5k and well….It will get it’s own recap probably tomorrow, let’s just say that. Anyway, after the race we came home and Bobby worked in the yard while I did some cleaning and laundry. We also spend a good deal of time sitting on the front porch chatting. It was blissful.

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Today is church and Bobby has to do some work, and I get to start packing! That’s right folks, I am going out of town again soon. Didn’t I just get home?!? has it already been almost a month since Princess?!?

Here is a run down of this past week’s workouts for you:

Sunday: rest

Monday: 10 minutes elliptical and upper body weights. Was supposed to go to yoga but my back was still hurting pretty good from falling down the stairs.

Tuesday: ran 3 miles, did upper body weights, and 20 minutes elliptical

Wednesday: one hour yoga class, upper body and leg weights

Thursday: Ran 3 miles, upper body and ab’s workout

Friday: rest (for the 5k)

Saturday: St. Patrick’s day 5k

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Running: 3 x’s for 9 miles. We were supposed to long run after the 5k but it was so hot we decided not to.

cross training: 2 x’s

weights: 4 x’s

yoga: 1 one hour class

My back is still bothering me a little, but I will hopefully be ok for more yoga this week. I know I ran short distances this week, but I ran them at a fast pace, trying to work on my speed. I finally feel like I am leaning out a little and have dropped a pound or two (not that I was trying but I can definitely tell a difference in my arms and hips).

Sneak peek picture from the 5k:

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QOTD: How has the weather been this weekend where you live?

Weight Room Woes

 

Well, hello, Monday….so we meet again! Today is a “catch up” day for me after having been gone all last week, so why don’t you play catch up as well, hhmm?

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Finally Home

Yesterday, we went to church and I wore this new comfy dress I got at the beach:

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Then we went to lunch and it started pouring rain right when it was time to get out of the car (of course) and it hasn’t stopped! That was 5 hours ago! Bobby and I decided to take a Sunday rainy afternoon nap, which are the best kind. We slept for two hours, whoops!

Ok, so moving on to today’s topic. I have been wanting to write about this for awhile, but was just waiting for the right time. Since I haven’t been able to run for two weeks and weights have become even more a part of my routine, I thought today would be a good time.

Ok, so…..confession time…..

I used to be petrified of the weight room at the gym.

Is this not one of the most silly or irrational fears ever? I used to think NOT but now after actually USING the weight room, I have basically gotten over my fear for the most part. Some of you may be thinking “but Heather, you are a confident athlete who has been around the gym her whole life, how did this happen?!?” I know, I KNOW! I assure you, it baffled me, too. I have always done my “strength work” at home with DVD’s, a resistance band, you name it. But a couple of months ago we joined a gym, and I decided to become Bobby’s workout partner. (Do you remember this guest post he did on lifting weights?)

I knew I would never “learn” on my own, so I basically followed him around the gym doing as he told me to do, and it seemed a LOT less intimidating than going alone. Not only that, but he was able to tell me how much weight he thought I should put on each machine, and he made sure I was keeping the proper form. After a couple of weeks of doing this, I decided to venture out on my own one day while at the gym without him, and it was fine! Granted, doing this still makes me a LITTLE nervous because I forget what weights to use on certain things etc. But at least I am willing to go over there alone now.

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Let me tell you, in just a couple of short months, I can TOTALLY tell a difference in my body! I am already getting more toned all over, and I feel stronger when running. I don’t jiggle as much, and I just feel all over more fit, which was my goal. I cannot BELIEVE all these years I have been “missing out” over a silly fear of being in a room full of bulky guys and not knowing what to do.

So, I BEG you. If a fear of not knowing what to do, or of being intimidated is keeping you from lifting weights, overcome it!!!! You will be SO glad you did! A lot of gyms have people that will take you around to the different machines etc. showing you how to properly use them, or take a friend one day who knows what they are doing and have them help you. I hate that all this time I could have been stronger faster, and less injury prone, but I let my fears get in the way of being the best me I can be.

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I love the quote by Eleanor Roosevelt that says “do one thing every day that scares you.”  It really makes life in general seem not so scary when you are tackling fear after fear.

Since I have been on a running hiatus due to a stubborn knee problem, I have ben doing a LOT more lifting and cross training, and I am so glad I have something more “to do” than just sit on a bike or get on an elliptical. I feel like even though I can’t run I am still keeping up my fitness in the weight room. So, what is your excuse?

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QOTD: Do you lift weights? were you ever afraid to lift? How did you overcome it?