We all have that jock, athlete or yogi in our friend group who can’t get enough of exercise. We also all have that one friend who’s often wading into the workout waters, unsure of where to start. And we might even want to gift ourselves some fitness-friendly accessories to facilitate self-care during a time when we need it most. Whether your buddy is a longtime fitness enthusiast or, like many of us, is looking for creative ways to get in some movement at home during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve rounded up all of the must-have gadgets and items for outfitting any workout space.
A Versatile Exercise Mat
Whether you’re reconnecting with yourself through some meditative, stress-reducing yoga or getting some push-ups in, an exercise or yoga mat is a must-have for any at-home workout. Sure, you can run through some reps without one, but the right mat can make things much more comfortable, especially if your home has hardwood floors.
Resistance Bands, Kettle Bells and Other Hand Weight Alternatives
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s been increasingly difficult to find hand weights and dumbbells this year. With so many people working from home — and with gyms and rec centers shutting down to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 — our houses have not only become offices, but workout facilities, too. If you’re looking for some hand weight alternatives, we have a few great options.
Doorway-Friendly Pull-Up Bar and a Suspension Alternative
If you’re looking for a great upper-body and abs at-home workout, there’s nothing like doing some good old fashioned push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups and leg raises. One great gadget can help you or your fitness-minded friend perform all of those workouts with ease — the ProsourceFit Multi-Grip Pull-Up Bar (right). Made of steel and capable of supporting 300 pounds, this portable device is easy to install into any available door frame and comes with a variety of grips and handles so that you can mix up your routine.
Fitness Trackers to Help You Stay...on Track
If you know someone who’s a Fitbit loyalist, you’ve probably heard the common refrain of, "Hold on — I need to get my steps in" or watched someone do laps around the office in order to hit a movement goal. More than just a trend, these high-tech pedometers are a great way to hold yourself accountable to movement goals, monitor your sleeping habits and do so much more.
Hop On the Next Trend With a Weighted Jump Rope
We all remember the jump rope unit from gym class, right? Well, what was once a fun, blacktop recess activity is now the latest workout trend. If you’ve ever taken a boxing class — or watched a Rocky film — you might know that jumping rope can provide a grueling (but effective) cardio workout. If you’re new to this routine, the Survival and Cross Jump Rope, with its lightweight handles and twist-free cable, is great for first-timers.
For Athletes Who Are on the (Medicine) Ball
Want to be on the ball when it comes to exercise? You can literally do that with these next products. First up, we have the XGEAR Medicine Ball. It’s likely you’re familiar with the ol’ toss-the-weight-ball-back-and-forth exercise routine — if you have a workout buddy, that’s a great one. But even if you’re working out solo, this easy-to-grip, weighted ball can be implemented into any regimen for improving core strength and stability.
Get Out Frustrations With Boxing Gloves and a Full-Length Mirror
One way to commit to a workout routine is to make it about something else — focus on learning a skill, not on the tiring movements. You know, mind over matter. Boxing, or kickboxing, can be a great way to relieve stress, get a full-body workout and discover a fun, new discipline. While signing up for classes can be beneficial, there’s also a lot you can do on your own.
Best Running Shoes for Everyone
Whether you're a beginner, a professional or anything in between, the importance of finding the best pair of running shoes remains the same. There are a lot of options out there, but we’ve narrowed the playing field down to our favorites.