Photo:Carol Yepes/Getty Images
With a lot of gyms and fitness studios reopening, it's an exciting time for a lot of people who missed their in-person workouts. But I have to confess, I've decided that I'm probably never going back to the gym again. It's not because I'm worried about the cleanliness or my safety—I know a lot of gyms and studios are doing so much to keep their spaces sanitized and comfortable. And I know I'll probably head to studio class every now and then if I want to work out with a friend. But the one reason why I won't be renewing my gym membership is I actually love working out from home now.
In fact, I think my at-home workouts enable me to exercise even more. Before the pandemic, I would go to the gym or a fitness studio maybe only once a week. I would blame it on my busy schedule, or not wanting to wake up early or work out late, or even not wanting to deal with parking. But when I'm working out at home I don't have really any excuses. I don't have to wake up super early to dress up, pack my bag, and drive to the studio just so I make it to the class on time. All I need to do is roll out of my bed, get dressed, walk over to my Peloton bike or roll out my mat, and choose an on-demand workout. And since I can do it all on my time and schedule, it's really motivated me to exercise every day. That's a big first for me—I've never worked out consistently until now.
The other great thing I love about working out at home is that I don't have that pressure of worrying about what I look like, or if I'm doing as well as the other people in class. At the gym or a studio, I would feel self-conscious about if I looked weird, if my activewear wasn't flattering enough, and if I gave the air of someone who was a pro at what they were doing. Sure, Peloton has a leaderboard, but I choose not to display it during class because it really helps me focus on my workout. Plus, I can sing along to the music as loud as I possibly can (if my breath allows) and I can groan and curse the instructor audibly if I want to—all with the comforting knowledge that I'm not distracting anyone else.
So, there you have it—that's why I'm not heading back to the gym or a fitness studio anytime soon. I've just gotten so into my at-home workout groove with my Peloton, Apple Fitness+, and other workout routines that I don't really see the need to return. If you're feeling in the same boat as me, or you're not quite ready for your own return, take a look at some of the fitness gear that really makes things a lot easier for me.
Gear and Equipment
I have to thank my Peloton bike for really getting me on a regular fitness routine. Like I said before, I've never worked out more in my life these past few months. The bike itself is so high-tech and well-made. And with my membership, I not only take indoor cycling classes, but I also can change it up with yoga, strength training, HIIT, barre, Pilates, and even meditation. Hands down, it's the best purchase I made in quarantine.
I have a few sets of dumbbells for my strength training workouts. I always say if you're going to keep your home gym gear minimal, at least make sure you have a pair of dumbbells.
I have this exact set of resistance bands at home—they're a great affordable option and are so sturdy. They come in five different resistance levels. I use them for workouts, but also for stretching.
I don't practice yoga very often, but I still use this mat on the regular for all different types of workouts, like barre or Pilates. I love that it seems a lot roomier than other mats.
I take stretching very seriously, so I like using this strap to really help me with my flexibility. It's also great to use after a long day of hunching over my computer.
Here's another piece of gear I like to use for recovery. It feels so good on my sore and stiff muscles. The grid design makes it feel like I'm getting a strong massage.
I know that working out with sliders is really good for your whole body, especially your core, but whenever I do an exercise with them I curse very loudly. Nevertheless, I still do them, so I need a pair of trusty sliders, like these from P.Volve.
First, can we just talk about how these ankle and wrist weights look so chic? Second, I'm here to tell you that they'll give you quite the workout. You can wear them to make any class or workout more challenging. I also like wearing them on outdoor walks.
Of course when you break a sweat you're going to need a towel to mop it all up. I like Lululemon's towels because they're super-absorbent and extra soft.
Even though I don't do yoga regularly, I still have a set of blocks because they help me feel more secure and stable with my poses.
The new Apple TV 4K is a really cool device to stream movies, listen to music, and play games—the picture and color quality is unreal. But I'm obsessed with using it for my workouts, especially when I do my Apple Fitness+ sessions. It syncs up seamlessly to my account and Apple Watch. And while I can stream workouts on my phone, it's just so much better on a big screen. It makes me feel like I'm actually in a class or gym, and I can see the instructor's movements and form better.
I've gotten spoiled with my massage gun. It's not only great for post-workout recovery, but it comes in handy when you're dealing with muscle aches and stiffness because of everyday things like sitting at a desk the whole day.
Even though I live alone and can blast my workouts as loud as I want, I find that using earbuds really helps me focus because it cancels out any extra noise. The noise cancellation on Apple's AirPods Pro is just so good.
These leggings are perfect for high-impact workouts. They're also super flattering and sculpting.
I love longline sports bras, like this one that's designed for light- to medium-impact workouts. It's moisture-wicking and has four-way stretch.
Girlfriend Collective's leggings are both soft and compressive—a totally winning combo. Plus, it's just so awesome that they're made from recycled water bottles.
This sports bra from Sweaty Betty has a seamless design for extra comfort. It offers medium support and is sweat-wicking and breathable.
And even though I work out mostly indoors, I still make sure to wear a pair of sneakers during most of my workouts for arch support. I love the cushioning on these.