Thursday, November 8, 2012

Your Workout Back-Up Plan

There is no place like home

I'm often asked for suggestions on what type of equipment is needed for a solid 'at home' workout.  I love working out in a gym because I feel like I am more focused and I have great tools readily available, but sometimes life gets in the way and you need a back-up plan.  If you workout with me at the gym, you know that the big equipment is great, but it's not even what we utilize most often.  So, before you go out and spend thousands on a home gym, let me tell you what my top five, favorite pieces of exercise equipment are (in reverse order, to build anticipation):

5. Dumbbells:

Yes, dumbbells are on the list, but not at the top.  When it comes to adding weight to a movement, they are king.  The only reason they don't make the top of the list, is because it is ideal to have a variety of dumbbells so that you can increase or decrease the weight depending on the body part being worked.  This can make dumbbells a more expensive option.  With that being said, if you do invest in dumbbells, I find the 10-20 lb range to be most versatile for the general population.  Of course,  I'm happy to consult with you personally to see what is most suitable for you.

4. Resistance Bands:

These bands are great for all fitness levels and you can use to work every muscle group.  They are easy to travel with.  They come in a variety of resistance levels and they are inexpensive.  They typically range in price from $6-$20.

3. Physio ball:

Physio balls are great because they can be used to make an exercise safer, or to make it more challenging.  For instance, you can put it against a wall at the small of your back for added support while you squat or you can put your feet on the ball and your hands on the floor to make a push up more challenging.  You can find these for as little as $20 and up to $100 or more, based on the brand and quality of the ball.

2. Suspension Band:

A common brand you've probably heard of is TRX Band.  I like this one which is sold on Amazon.  It has grips for hanging it over the door.  This makes it great for at home use because you don't need a bar to suspend it from.  Suspension bands allow you to use your own body weight to build muscle, strength, balance and flexibility.  The have handles that you can grip with your hands or rest your feet in for versatility.

1. Medicine Ball:

Are you surprised that this is my favorite?  It's in first place primarily because of it's cost effectiveness as well as it's durability.  You can use it for strength, endurance, agility and balance.  You can create and endless number of exercises with it.  If you have a partner at home that wants to workout with you, there are tons of great ways to use the ball with a partner.

Over the next few weeks I will provide a total body workout using each of these items.  Get ready!

Dinner in 10 minutes

I was so ready for dinner when I walked in the door this evening.  I was able to throw something together at lightening speed & it was delicious!  I had some arctic char from Trader Joe's in the fridge. I seasoned it with a few of my favorites:

That's turmeric, garlic powder, salt & pepper.  Artic char tastes very similar to salmon in my opinion.  I think it had a great flavor on it's own, so I don't go too heavy with the seasoning.

Even though this dinner took no time at all to put together, I'm not going to lie, I had a few of these while I was waiting for it to cook:

I also tossed together a brussel sprout side salad.  This was a 'hut find' at Trader Joe's.  Every once in a while the recipes that you can sample at the hut at Trader Joe's really suck me in.  This one was so simple.  It's made with finely chopped raw brussel sprouts, dried cranberries and pecans.  Just toss them together with about 1/4 cup of the light champagne vinaigrette from Trader Joe's (or a little olive oil and cider vinegar if you don't like bottled dressing) and it's done!  

It was quick and easy AND I have leftovers!  I love when I have enough leftover for lunch the next day.  

Do you have 'go to' dinners that you make when you want something healthy and fast?  Do tell!


  1. Guess who wants a medicine ball for Christmas!?!??! :)

  2. :) Now to decide, do you prefer the ones that bounce or the ones that don't. Both are good choices, but I think I prefer the ones that don't bounce.

  3. I just made myself a Brussel Sprout salad. I made a dressing with some Greek yogurt, red wine vinegar, sugar (Kroger brand Apriva)salt and pepper. Sliced up the sprouts,sprinkled with salt and pepper, added some dried blueberries, and some mozzarella cheese. Very tasty!

    1. That sounds A-MAZ-ING! I'm going to try your version tomorrow!