As a medical student, it can be difficult to schedule time aside to take care of myself, especially when it comes to exercise. Instead of feeling guilty or stressed about taking the time to drive to a gym every day, I work out in my apartment! At first, working out at home did not appeal to me, but now I love it 🙂 I get to use my own equipment (mainly my own body weight), take up as much space as I want to, there is no wait for a machine, and I can do any moves I want without an ounce of self-consciousness. If you are strapped for time or money (or both), I highly recommend working out at home!
In order to make my at-home workouts the best they can be, I have some essential items and apps I use.
Workout plan. This will determine what types of equipment you want to use at home. Currently, I am using Kayla Itsines’s Bikini Body Guide (BBG) for strength training, and either running or using Zumba videos I find on Youtube for cardio. There are many workouts available either discounted or for free online (Pinterest is your best friend!).
Stool (actual workout bench if you are fancy). Use a stool, chair, or other stable, raised surface to perform knee-ups, tricep dips, decline pushups, and other moves. I use a small storage ottoman I got from Walmart a few years ago.
Yoga mat. This will help you feel much more comfortable during arm and ab workouts so you aren’t doing those moves on a hard floor or on a carpet where you can get carpet burn. I use a 0.5″ thick mat I got from Amazon.
Dumbbells. Get a set of 5-10lb dumbbells to intensify moves such as walking lunges and sumo squats, and, of course, to perform various arm exercises. I purchased mine individually (not in a set like #1 in the collage, though a set is a much better deal!) from Target.
Water bottle. If you’re working hard enough, you’re going to want some water near you! Pick a fun design so you feel better about kicking your own butt during a hard workout 😛
Foam Roller. This is more of a post-workout essential. On rest days or on days I am not doing resistance training, I like to use a foam roller to help my muscles recover. Basically, it’s a self-myofascial release that will help you increase blood flow to your aching muscles and reduce the risk of injuring yourself from exercise.
Seconds app. Out of all the essentials in this post, this should definitely at the top of your list, especially if you do any sort of circuit training like BBG or HIIT workouts. You can customize your own timers with multiple circuits, halfway point notifications, different sounds, or text-to-speech options. It’s $4.99 in the App store, but absolutely worth it!
Spotify app. I don’t know what I would do without some workout jams to help me get through tough workouts. I love Spotify because you can customize your own workout playlist, or search for playlists that have already been made. Spotify is free, or if you are a student, you can get premium for $4.99 a month (which will let you store music through the app so you can listen offline!).
What are your workout essentials? Comment below!