It's easy to spend a fortune on fitness equipment,Apps, gym membership, clothes, DVDs, books and gadgets, but are they really necessary or just a way of emptying your pockets. Most of the time within a few weeks of your purchase the item will be sitting gathering dust and taking up space until you get another fitness kick on or sell it. The best most expensive, top of the range piece of training kit is useless if it sits there unused. You are more likely to get use out of something that has multiple uses than say buying something to help do an ab crunch.
So what fitness things do I recommend? Or are they all a waste of money?
These are things I use and have found either useful or invaluable in my training, some maybe obvious and some may surprise you. I use all of these either daily or at the very least several times a week.
1 Heart rate monitor: If you have read any of my previous blogs you will no my feelings on steady state cardio, but sometimes it is a necessary evil and a heart rate monitor is a great way of helping to make sure you're working correctly. Also they are monitoring your calories burned when you are trying to cut weight.
2 Note book: Or modern digital equivalent, any way to keep a record of your training, when you train, what you do, how much. Tracking your progress really helps with motivation, goals and progress, so make sure you keep some form of notes on your training and watch your training improve quickly.
3 Calorie tracking App: Whether you are trying to lose weight, gain weight or just maintain a healthy balance, one of these can be an invaluable tool. Just get a free one and remember to put all your food in so you get a more accurate indication of your eating habits.
4 Vibram Five Fingers: These are shoes, sort of, they are so you can go barefoot in comfort, but they will get you some funny looks. I love these when I am doing a leg workout, for squats & deadlifts they are great and better than just doing them in your socks. You will find you can lift heavier when you go barefoot than in your normal trainers.
5 A great playlist: We all need some great tunes to keep us pushing on when we're training, get this right and you can really make progress every time you train.
6 An Audible subscription: Music is for lifting but a great book will really help you when you are walking. You can quickly lose yourself in a good book and the joy of putting one foot in front of the other. Also the advantage of an audiobook is you can can keep a steady tempo in pace, unlike music.
7 Kettlebell: With one piece of equipment you can do so many exercises, you can work on strength and conditioning, you can work on your cardio and they take up no space. Always buy heavier than you think you can handle because you will quickly adapt to the weight and will have to buy another sooner than you thought or stop making progress.
8 Foam roller: One of these is great for helping to release tension and massaging those tired and sore muscles. It would be great to have a massage everyday and with a foam roller you can, it may not be a full sports or Swedish massage but you will definitely feel better for using one of these regularly.
9 Resistance Band: These are elastic bands that you can use for different things, I use mine mainly for stretching and posture work. But they can be used for strength and take up no space, so are great for people who travel a lot or if you have no room for other workout equipment.
10 Last but not least is a Personal Trainer: Well you are probably thinking "you would say that wouldn't you", but someone who can help keep you motivated, help you through the tough session, won't let you skip leg day and make sure you are working properly is invaluable. If you can find a workout partner who can do all those things then that's a great alternative. I'm lucky that my training partner is also a personal trainer but when I need to work on something more specific I will work with someone who specialises in that area. If you are going top invest then invest wisely.
There are lots of other things I could add but I feel these are the most important and give you the most value for your money. Don't waste your money on gimmicky equipment or expensive DVD workout videos. You don't need an expensive, or even a cheap, gym membership to get fitter and healthy, by using some, or all of the things I have mentioned above, you will be well on your way.