The best workout gear if you’re too busy to work out

Finding time to exercise during a busy day is no small feat—and it’s made even more difficult by the exhaustion that accompanies the birth of young children, a busy work or travel schedule, and countless other life activities that can deplete our energy resources. . But it’s possible for even the most stressed among us to squeeze in small bursts of meaningful physical activity throughout the day, and having the right fitness equipment on hand can make all the difference in the world.

Even if you hate working out, there’s something for you. The trick is to find ways to fit it into your schedule so it doesn’t feel overwhelming. I find that having simple, versatile workout gear at my fingertips makes it so much easier to break away from my desk for a bit and get my body moving. I spoke with three professional personal trainers via email to get a better idea of ​​what kind of equipment and workouts are best for people with busy schedules who may also lack motivation, and their advice was extremely helpful.

Thea Hughes, owner of Max Effort Training, explained that a combination of bodyweight exercises and simple elements like bands and light weights are really all you need to get started. “I like a combination of mini bands, super bands and therabands to effectively create a decent amount of resistance,” she said. “They’re useful for a wide range of exercises, they’re super compact, travel-friendly, and they’re not too expensive.”

Like Hughes, fitness trainer Gillian Goodtree is also a big fan of exercise bands, a small weight set and bodyweight exercises, but added that “you can also improve your routine by using sliders or hand and ankle weights.” All of these elements can be incredibly effective for short, maximally effective workouts—think full-body compound movements with dumbbells like squats, curls, and presses.

Along with these ideas, Ariel Belgrave, fitness trainer and founder of Gym Hooky, also suggested jumping rope as “a fun and effective way to get your heart rate up… It’s also a great way to work on your coordination and footwork. “

Hughes noted that introducing any movement routine will have benefits. You can improve your baseline fitness level with daily walks or easy bodyweight circuits to increase your strength and mobility and reduce pain or stiffness, switching to bands when you’re ready to add some tension. “In the meantime, controlling your own body weight (think slowing down and increasing the amount of time your muscles are under tension) can produce positive results!”

She also pointed out that the best way for a busy person to use their time is to try to always do a full body workout. “Engaging more muscle groups, especially the larger muscle groups (legs, glutes) will require more energy and thus help increase your heart rate.”

Both Hughes and Goodtree said it’s fine to squeeze in mini-workouts throughout the day if you can’t commit to a full workout. “A little movement is always better than none,” Goodtree advised, and encouraged reluctant, busy people and parents to check out the many great digital platforms and independent trainers teaching online. “I recommend starting with something manageable (like a 20-minute workout) that you can do while watching a child.”

Belgrave added that “studies show that short bursts of exercise can be just as effective as longer workouts when it comes to improving fitness and overall health. Walking to run errands, doing squats between meetings, and doing burpees are great ways to fit in a mini workout. The key is to make these mini-workouts a habit and find ways to incorporate them into your daily routine. Some additional ideas include taking the stairs instead of the elevator, doing a few squats while you wait for your coffee to brew, or even doing a set of push-ups before you get in the shower.”

Below I have collected some useful fitness equipment based on recommendations from Goodtree, Belgrave and Hughes. They come in a variety of price points (most of which are quite affordable) and are all conveniently located on Amazon. Keep them handy throughout the day and see if you can get a little movement. Once you get into a routine, it will become easier and less stressful, and the results will be worth it.

HuffPost may receive a share of purchases made through links on this page. Each item is independently selected by the HuffPost Shopping team. Prices and availability are subject to change. The experts consulted for this story do not necessarily endorse the following products unless otherwise noted.


Skipping rope

“Jump ropes are not only a great way to work on your coordination and footwork, but they can also be used for a variety of cardio and HIIT workouts to get your heart rate up,” explained Belgrave.. Our pick: This model has ball bearings for tangle-free use.


Folding treadmill Walkingpad S1

If working from home is an option, then adding a standing desk and walking pad can be an absolute game changer – and my colleague Lindsay Holmes swears by it.

“If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, consider ways to add standing or movement throughout the day to build a base of strength and cardio. If you work at a desk, you can get a walking pad to step on while you’re in meetings instead of sitting,” Goodtree told HuffPost.


Elite Sportz Sliding Fitness Discs Two Pack

Goodtree recommended sliding discs for a leveling workout without expensive, bulky equipment. They’re compact, easy to store, can be used on carpets or wooden floors, and make it easy to push through intense, low-impact workouts. They are great for core training as well as lunges and more.

This twin pack of Elite Core Sliders comes in four different colors.


Theraband resistance set

All of our experts recommended resistance bands, and Hughes pointed to Therabands as a great option for stretching, physical therapy exercises, and toning. They are easy to use, retractable and have color coded resistance levels. Their wider band size makes them easier to use for exercises like squats and ab work.


Fit Simplify resistance bands

Hughes thinks a basic set of resistance bands like this is a great minimal baseline for the gym hater. This set of five ranges from extra-light to extra-heavy resistance, so you can work your way up as your strength builds. You can even keep them in your bag so you can throw one on and start doing some squats while you’re out and about. Stranger things have happened!


GoFit Wide Super Resistance Bands

Hughes pointed to superbands as another handy option for resistance bands. They have more resistance than the other bands mentioned, but they also come in a variety of different resistances so you can move at your own pace.

“You can easily increase the difficulty with a higher tension band (with minimal use of space and finances),” noted Hughes.


Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

Goodtree has this variable set from Bowflex that replaces 15 sets of weights! They adjust from five to 52 pounds each, so you can use this space-saving, versatile dumbbell for a range of exercises and strength levels. It even has motion tracking technology that can count your reps and track your form when used in conjunction with a smart device camera.


Fitbit Inspire 2 fitness tracker

According to Belgrave, “a fitness tracker can help non-exercising people keep track of their daily activity and motivate them to move more. Many fitness trackers come with features such as step tracking, heart rate monitoring and reminders to get up and move around all day.”

You can set goals and reminders and track your progress with this super popular Fitbit fitness tracker. It’s surprisingly subtle and elegant and will help motivate you to move whenever you have a spare moment.


BalanceFrom Universal Exercise Mat

Hughes and Goodtree recommend having a designated exercise mat no matter what type of workout you choose. Hughes noted that “this can help create a space, time and place for your workout, providing motivation both physically and mentally.

Our pick: This extra-thick, high-density exercise mat can be used for everything from a yoga and pilates mat to bodyweight exercises, weightlifting, and more. It is durable and strong, made of anti-tear foam with excellent slip resistance.


Gayam yoga block

If mobility issues, fear of injury or stiffness prevent you from fully embracing your workout, then a yoga block can help add stability and calm your mind. Hughes pointed out that yoga blocks can also be helpful because they can be used to create an incline and for slow eccentric movements. Use them under your chest to advance push-ups, or tuck them between your knees to create tension.

Our pick: This version from Gaiam has a small footprint and can be used in a wide variety of workouts. It provides stability, support and balance and is made of latex-free EVA foam with a soft non-slip surface.


Amazon Basics Neoprene Dumbbell and Rack Set

A small set of dumbbells makes it easy to get motivated and get a quick workout in.

“As you get more into the flow of your workout, a set of dumbbells is always helpful. External loading can help maximize the difficulty of the time spent under tension, improving lean muscle development,” explained Hughes.

This simple set of three different weights includes its own stand, so you don’t have to worry about storage.


Amazon Basics High Density Foam Roller

A foam roller can help you indulge in some post-workout massage and relaxation. Feeling good will help you want to stay consistent.

“Foam rollers are the best piece of self-message equipment. They can be used to release tight muscles, improve mobility and reduce post-workout soreness,” Belgrave pointed out.

You can try this lightweight roll from Amazon Basics, made from molded polypropylene to maintain its rigidity.


Bala bracelets

Throw them on your ankles or wrists while you’re doing chores, chasing your kids around, or running errands for a little more durability without having to spend extra time working out. You’d be surprised how much of a difference just one pound each can make. I love them and Goodtree also finds them to be an easy way to add a little extra charm.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *