Let's face it. Opportunities to exercise and stay fit have been admittedly harder than ever during the coronavirus pandemic, especially as we wait for gyms to reopen on 12 April if the Prime Minister's lockdown roadmap all goes to plan.
The weather may be warming up which makes working out outdoors more pleasant, and a number of personal trainers and fitness experts are offering both socially-distanced outdoor and virtual tutorials to help us keep our bodies active and our minds healthy.
Still, having some of your own gym equipment – from weighted hula hoops to yoga mats and resistance bands – can really help take your workout up a notch.
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Here, we've rounded up the very best gym equipment to invest in now and use forever, because sometimes heading out to the gym isn't always so appealing...
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Ankle and wrist weights
These stylish one-pound bangles can be used as wrist or ankle weights and will provide a comfortable resistance for your workouts. Due to the weight of the bangles, you can achieve a full range of motion while burning fat and building muscles, which makes them perfect for amping up yoga, pilates, and other at-home workouts.
Bala Bangles, £50, Urban Outfitters
If you’re working on toning your legs and glutes, having a set of resistance bands on hand is key. This Peach Bands set comes with four types - light, medium, heavy, and extra heavy so that you can gradually build your resistance, or go light or heavy depending on the workout.
Peach Bands Resistance Bands Set, £11.65, Amazon
This handy tool is a great at-home exercise buy - but be sure to use the included mat so you don’t roll too fast and cause injury.
To use, get onto all fours, grab the ab roller with both hands, lift your feet and slowly roll forward and back, keeping your core tight at all times. It’ll take some practice, but you’ll get there.
Abdominal exercise roller, £14.99, Amazon
If you’re got a spacious garden, this power rope could be a saviour. Attach it to a tree, or something stationary, and try to lift the whole rope using your body weight.
Power rope, £29.66, Amazon
This clever device is designed to increase strength in your arms. It works by using isometric resistance - all you need to do is move your arm, and the faster you go, the harder it works. It can also help with injuries, although it’s best to consult your doctor if possible before using it for physiotherapy.
Powerball powerspin, £21.99, Amazon
Stationary exercise bike
Due to the cold winter months, everyone is rushing to buy a Peloton +Bike to train indoors. The new bike offers a rounded workout by allowing members to combine strength and cardio in one session. The new bike bootcamp classes will incorporate a bike workout as well as a floor weighted session. Classes are streamed live every day but you can also take pre-recorded classes. In addition to the bike classes. What's more, you can get the feeling of being out on the open road. Shoppers love the sturdiness and ease of assembly.
Peloton +Bike, prices start from £2,295, Peloton
For some simple at-home exercises, you won’t go wrong with kettlebells. We recommend opting for a selection of weights, so you can move up as you improve, or share them with others in your house.
Kettlebell weight set, £34.99, Amazon
Starting the day with a yoga class is guaranteed to set you up well, and all you need is a mat and an internet connection to access the many great tutorial videos online. We love this oh-so-pretty HB London mat, which features a 4mm thick padded base. The best bit, though, has to be the pretty pink and gold marble design and the fact that you can personalise your mat with your name or initials. It also comes with a handy carrying strap so, when the time comes, you'll have no trouble transporting it to and from the studio.
Personalised pink and gold marble yoga mat, £79, HB London
For use with gentle stretching to weight training and cross training, these bands are a handy little tool, and lightweight enough to take to the gym when you can visit again.
Elastic training bands, £6.99, Amazon
Weighted hula hoop
If you loved hula hooping as a child, this weighted version is a great way to tone your waist and hips at home - just make sure you give yourself plenty of space!
Weighted hula hoop, £39.65, Amazon
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Anyone who has used a foam roller before will know that they can help alleviate muscle aches - but you’ll need to go through a little pain to get there! Use this after an intense workout by rolling along your back, sides, thighs, calves - or anywhere else that feels tight. It’s designed to increase circulation and help you recover better.
Sports foam roller, £19.97, Amazon
RELATED: The best fitness apps to download to stay in shape during lockdown
Some times it's not what you have but how you use them. Kick start the new year with Apple Fitness+, a multidimensional workout experience built around Apple Watch, uniquely incorporating Apple Watch metrics into studio-style workouts to offer a first-of-its-kind personalised experience. Each week, the team of Fitness+ trainers will deliver fresh workouts from the studio across a range of lengths, disciplines, and music genres so there are always new workouts to explore. Choose from Cycling, Treadmill, Rowing, HIIT, Strength, Yoga, Dance, Core, and Mindful Cooldown. The service is available in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK, and the US. It is £9.99 a month or £79.99 annually.
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