My workout equipment recommendations (trainers, weights, workout clothes, Polar watch, phone app).

23.2.14

You can totally exercise at home with nothing but yourself, a little bit of effort and a workout DVD or You Tube video but there are a few gadgets and other bits that really help to keep me motivated and make working out/eating well much easier. So I thought I would share those bits and bobs with you lovely lot.

I don't have a gym membership or go to local classes. All of my exercising is done at home for free. When I first got started I invested in a couple of things:

* an exercise mat - you can get them from Argos, sports shops, online, Ebay, maybe even your local supermarkets. They're inexpensive and will save you getting carpet burn or, in my case, wooden flooring burn!

* a set of hand weights. I initially got a set from Argos (similar to this one) which I used for quite some time but I have "outgrown" them now and have since bought heavier weights. I use a 2kg set and a 3kg set (my 3kg weights are by Davina McCall - this pair). Obviously if you can handle more, go for it! I plan to buy a heavier pair and some kettlebells soon.


You will also need a really good pair of trainers. When I first started out my trainers were old and not very supportive and I didn't get that nice "bouncy" feeling you get from a good quality pair of trainers. It's important to keep your feet happy! I recently ordered these Nike beauties from Sarenza*.

They are so comfortable and a perfect fit. They're the Air Pegasus style which come in a range of other colours and would be ideal if you do a lot of outdoor running.


This is more than enough to get you going but over time you may wish to think about:

* A Polar watch. A little while ago, after umming and ahing about buying one for a while, I took the plunge and bought this one from Amazon, the Polar FT4. The watch is worn as a regular watch, and the strap goes around your chest which needs to be slightly dampened with water beforehand. It takes very little time to get the strap and watch on and I find it really useful for tracking my heart rate and seeing how many calories I have burned. It has been surprising to me how much hard work it takes to burn calories and has really made me rethink how I reward myself with food after a workout. I use Fitness Blender workouts which come with a calorie-burn guide so having my Polar watch is a really useful tool and keeps me on track.


* A resistance band. I don't use my resistance band loads (note to self: I must use it more!) but it is a really effective way to work out your arms and legs and you can find a few tutorials on You Tube. The band I've got is a Fitness Mad (light) which is plenty of resistance for me. You can really feel it the next day when you incorporate one of these into your routine!

* A skipping rope. This is a no-go in the winter as it's too cold to exercise outside (and my workout space indoors isn't quite big enough) but in the summer it's great. Mine was only a couple of pounds from Sports Direct and is great cardio and also good for getting those calves tired!

Okay, so they're all tools and equipment but the fun bit is the clothes right? Even though nobody really sees me exercising (apart from Jonathan) I still like to look and feel nice. I like everything to be nipped in, no lumps and bumps, and that's where nice workout clothes come into it.

* I'm a huge Victoria's Secret PINK fan and have been since I first went to America but since they opened up a store at Meadowhall it is much easier to get my fix. I recently got a really pretty pair of yoga pants in the sale for £15 which are so comfortable and flattering. Have a nosy at their sports bottoms here!


* Aside from my yoga pants I have some Nike leggings and an old pair of grey Zara leggings (worn as "best" leggings before I lost weight) which do the job just fine.

* On the top I wear old tshirts, usually PINK ones, or sometimes Jonathan's old tshirts. Anything comfortable will do but if it has a nice design on it well that's just a bonus.

* If you don't have any gym gear at all but you want to get a few bits together, try H&M. They do a range of tshirts, vests and jogging bottoms/leggings which are really reasonable. Alternatively Primark or good old M&S are your friend!

* Most importantly, you need a good sports bra! I recently ditched my very old, shabby grey one to make way for a shiny new one from Panache Lingerie*. I was familiar with Panache as an underwear brand but I didn't realise they did a sports bra too. It offers fantastic support without feeling too tight or restrictive.


The next thing isn't a piece of clothing or a piece of equipment but a phone app. The MyFitnessPal app to be precise. I don't count calories every day but I think this app is a great tool for making sure I'm getting enough protein, not having too much sugar, and generally just learning more about what's in food and how to get a balanced diet.

I hope this has been helpful and you've made it through my waffle to the end of this post! If you have any questions feel free to leave them below.

* The Panache sports bra was sent to me to review. I purchased the trainers using one of my Ambassador vouchers from Sarenza.
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11 comments:

  1. This is a great post! I always mean to exercise at home but never really get round to it, I think I need to have a little splurge on a decent sports bra, a skipping rope and some weights!

    Catherine, xo // Lady Liquor Vintage

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  2. I love your fitness and weight loss posts, those trainers are such a lovely colour too!

    www.beckysbeautique.co.uk

    Becky x

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  3. great post! I use fitness blender and LOVE them!! Yesterday u did one that was pilates with cardio intervals and it's one of my new favourites!!

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  4. Great picks, The heart monitor watches are so helpful!

    www.skinandroses.blogspot.co.uk

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  5. I wish I could exercise at home - it's difficult when you still live with your parents as they're usually watching tv in the living room (the best possible space for exercise). Hopefully when my boyfriend and I move in together it will be easier :)
    Such a helpful post - I really want to get some weights or a medicine ball just to use to do simple exercies in my bedroom! The hand weights look really good. You trainers are gorgeous too - I'm after a new pair and am lusting over some Nikes too so may be buying them soon! What is the sizing like? I'm thinking I may go up half a size as I've heard they're quite narrow?
    I love my polar! Couldn't gym without it now - I forgot it the other week and felt lost!
    Sorry for rambling on :) xx

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  6. Those nike trainers are lush, such trainer envy! I'd love a heartrate moniter/garmin deelie, not sure about the chest strap, could see myself not bothering, haha laziness!

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  7. I'm currently saving for a Polar watch! Mainly because I also use My Fitness Pal (which I love!) so want to be able to input my calories accurately.

    I've never bought home gym equipment before, the only exercise I did at home were the Insanity DVD's which I highly recommend!

    www.ceejayell.blogspot.co.uk

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  8. This was a great post, really useful to see what bits you find handy for exercising and very inspiring to see that you do all your exercise at home for free and obviously get good results still :) I'll be taking a leaf out of your book! My Nike sports leggings are starting to look a bit tired so I ordered a couple of bits from the Forever21 activewear range earlier (which is really reasonable and felt surprisingly good quality in the shop!) to give myself a boost, as I agree that nice workout stuff makes you feel completely different. I'm waiting for it to just get a teeny bit lighter in the evenings so I can embark on the Couchto5K running programme. I want to get into doing more at-home workouts but I agree with Sophie above that that's much harder when you still live with your parents and have to fall into their routine. I'll keep going with the running and hand weights for now then. Thanks for inspiring me today :) xxx

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  9. This was a great post, really useful to see what bits you find handy for exercising and very inspiring to see that you do all your exercise at home for free and obviously get good results still :) I'll be taking a leaf out of your book! My Nike sports leggings are starting to look a bit tired so I ordered a couple of bits from the Forever21 activewear range earlier (which is really reasonable and felt surprisingly good quality in the shop!) to give myself a boost, as I agree that nice workout stuff makes you feel completely different. I'm waiting for it to just get a teeny bit lighter in the evenings so I can embark on the Couchto5K running programme. I want to get into doing more at-home workouts but I agree with Sophie above that that's much harder when you still live with your parents and have to fall into their routine. I'll keep going with the running and hand weights for now then. Thanks for inspiring me today :) xxx

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  10. Lovely post, yay for upping weights. If you move on to kettlebells I'd use different trainers or go bare foot on a yoga mat to 'feel' the floor better. love the fitness blendr videos too, I think it was you who told me about them ages ago- so thankyou love! xxx

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  11. I bought the Davina 3kgs today. After using 2kg hand weights for a while now I finally felt strong enough to go up a kilo.

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