Woman sitting on exercise mat next to dumbbells

Create Your Own Home Gym

Can’t get to the gym? You can still get in a great workout that will improve your heart health, lower your cancer risk and help you maintain a healthy weight. And creating your own home gym doesn’t require buying a lot of bulky exercise equipment. Investing in a just a few inexpensive fitness products can ensure that working out at home is just as effective as going for a run outside or taking a class at the gym.

Here are several must-have pieces of workout equipment, all of which you can find from online retailers for under $20 a piece:

  1. Stability Ball

Using a stability ball in your exercise routine can help improve your core strength, back and spine health and overall flexibility. As a bonus, just sitting on your stability ball can help improve your posture.

  1. Jump Rope

Few exercises get your hearth rate up and your blood flowing faster than jumping rope. Not only is jumping rope a great cardio workout, it also tones your entire body, since it engages all the major muscle groups in the body.

  1. Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are a great alternative to resistance machines you may use in the gym. Whether you use resistance cords with handles, non-latex elastic bands or loop bands, these small items pack a powerful punch.

  1. Dumbbells

Using hand weights will strengthen your upper body, lower body and core muscles. If you’re new to liftings weights, start with 3-pound dumbbells and as you improve your strength and gain more experience, you can add weight.

  1. Yoga Mat

A yoga mat has multiple uses. Even if you don’t consider yourself a yogi, stretching before and after your workouts is essential to preventing injury and allowing your body to recover. You can also do floor exercises like leg lifts, crunches and planks on your mat.

With just these five items, you’ll be able to easily break a sweat in the comfort of your own home. Remember to always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine to make sure it is safe.