Learn about the best accessories for exercising at home
Fitness equipment is one thing, but sometimes it's the smaller items that can make the biggest difference in your workout routines. Whether you're working out at the gym or in your home, adding a few fun exercise accessories to your daily routine can help you snap out of your fitness slump or reward yourself for a workout well done.
Exercise Accessories for the Gym
If you've got a gym membership, you already have access to all the fitness equipment you'll need – the trick is getting yourself to the gym to use it. Pampering yourself with a few indulgences like these accessories can be great for motivation:
- Exercise shoes. A good pair of shoes makes all the difference in your exercise routine, so make sure you don't skimp on this accessory. Have a professional examine your stride before you buy your shoes and choose a pair that gives you the best support and the most comfort.
- Workout towels. The towels provided by most gyms are scratchy and threadbare from over-washing and bleaching. For the after-workout shower, pick up some thicker, softer and bigger workout towels of your own that you can carry with you, and also grab a few smaller towels with fun patterns that you can use to wipe down the equipment as you workout. A bright splash of color can add a boost to your routine.
- Electronic accessories. Devices like heart rate monitors, stop watches and pedometers can all help you develop your own standards and goals at the gym, as well as helping you track your progress. Though many gyms offer these features on cardio equipment, they're often not as accurate as the devices you can buy and program.
Home Gym Exercise Accessories
For those lucky enough to have home gyms, adding a few new pieces of home exercise equipment in the mix could be just the thing to spruce up your workout. You don't have to go out and spend a bundle – these exercise accessories are all you'll need:
- Exercise balls. Performing conventional exercises with exercise balls can help you overcome a workout plateau. Choose one larger ball for crunches, push-ups and hamstring curls, and a smaller ball for other abdominal exercises.
- Exercise bands. Resistance bands are a fun and affordable alternative to free weights. They're great for a variety of exercises from curls to leg lifts, and more.
- Exercise mats. Take your workout to the floor with the cushioning of soft workout mats. These are great for protecting your joints from stress. Keep a thinner mat on hand for balancing activities, such as yoga and Pilates workout routines.