It doesn’t matter if you love working out or hate it: Winter weather can put a real crimp in an exercise routine. If you’ve got to trek out into the dark, wintry night to go for a run or get to the gym, the prospect of hot cocoa and a movie might suddenly seem more appealing. “There’s always tomorrow” becomes your daily mantra, and that’s OK—we’ve all been there.
But it’s also why you need a home gym setup. Perks? You can wear pretty much anything you want, sweat as much as you’d like without worrying about what your elliptical neighbor thinks of you, and press pause without looking like a quitter. (Sometimes it’s just nerve-wracking to exercise in the company of others!)
So, stay inside and get fit! Here are all the things you’ll need to make that happen, without freezing your poor muscles off or dealing with other sweaty human beings.
1. A yoga mat
The yoga mat is your friend. It partitions your workout area, provides a much-needed respite for your bones when doing crunches or floor routines, and the simple act of unrolling it symbolizes go-time.
These Gaiam yoga mats are inexpensive and aesthetically pleasing—everything you need to get your stretch on. We like this "neo-baroque" pattern—but plenty of others are also available.
2. Set of dumbbells
It’s not all about cardio. If you don’t have an elliptical or treadmill in your house, you can still get a good workout by lifting weights. So grab a couple of dumbbells and get to work.
This set comes with 2, 3, and 5-pound weights, perfect for working up a sweat and getting toned. Best of all, you don’t even need a spotter!
If you’re aiming for more burn, check out these dumbbells, which are adjustable and range from 40-200 pounds.
3. Zumba DVDs
Zumba has soared in popularity since it first hit gyms back in 2001. But the fact is, some people have two left feet, and even the most enthusiastic dancers sometimes feel self-conscious.
If you prefer to dance by yourself in the privacy of your own home—without worrying about missing a step—this Zumba Fitness Total Transformation System is for you. You’ll get four super fun dance DVDs and two toning sticks.
4. Resistance Tube Bands
Working from home is still working. The same is true for working out at home.
Home workouts shouldn’t inherently be “easier,” which is why you’ll want to fire up your workout with this 11-piece fitness band set. You’ll get a true full-body workout with resistance bands, which are for women or men. Varied weight levels let you adjust your workout, and the carrying case means you can tidy it all away in three seconds flat. What’s not to love about this deal?
Kettlebells and dumbbells may sort of look the same, but they’re not! According to Greatist, kettlebells are more dynamic and a just a bit harder to use than dumbbells, so they’re perfect for the person who wants to add a little more gusto to an existing routine.
This set ought to do the trick for anyone new to working out or to kettlebells in general—and you'll never have to wait for someone else to finish with the equipment before you can use it!
6. Push-up gear
The humble push-up might conjure up bad memories of high school gym classes, but it's still one of the most effective ways to build upper body strength. This affordable Power Press Push Up Training System is perfect for targeting specific muscles, innovating the (admit it) semi-boring push up routine and building strength. You'll be dropping and giving 100 in no time!
It’s small enough to store away in a closet and powerful enough to really give your body a great home workout. Plus, you can shower at home when you're done!
7. Ab rollers
Ab rollers are the best way to condition your abs without having to do crunch after crunch after crunch.
This collapsible ab roller helps you maximize your core, but it’s still easy to store. It’s also heavy duty, comes with a lifetime warranty, and is made for people who want to control the intensity level of their workouts.
Even better: When you're using it at home, you can store your clothes in your own closet instead of a locker!
8. In-home elliptical trainer
Want all the perks of an elliptical without the splurge? The Stamina elliptical trainer is your answer.
With more than 2000 4-star reviews on Amazon, there’s no doubt that this in-home workout tool is able to get you fit. You can stand or sit when using it, and its heavy-duty build means it won’t crumble under your feet.
For under $90 on sale, it’s also way cheaper than winter-long gym membership.
9. Vertical climber
Vertical climbing is a hit with anyone who loves to rock climb or use all of their body muscles to get a full workout. Plus, this climber is compact and slim, meaning it can be put away very easily.
It’s pre-assembled upon delivery, too, which is always a win (because who wants to deal with that). This calorie-eating machine is an easy answer to home workout needs—even if there isn't a rock climbing gym nearby.
10. Pilates Ring
Are you a fan of pilates? Do you like to focus your workouts on different body parts on different days? Unless you pay for a class, it can be hard to find a place to do pilates at the gym—so why not exercise from home?
This simple, easy-to-use toning circle will let you target your abdominals, thighs, legs and arms. Not to mention, it’s inexpensive, fun to use, and easy to tuck away after you’re done with it.