Here's some cool gear for a frozen budget...

If the bad economy has got you down, we have compiled a few of our favorite, "not so expensive" items to keep you moving.

Home Is Where The Gear Is….

Whether you have a gym membership or do any sport activity regularly, it is always good to have some basic exercise gear at home. Especially when living in Holland, there are far too many rainy days that may stop you from leaving your house! It’s no wonder that you may use the weather as an excuse to skip your exercise routine.

Avoiding the harsh outdoors can have the wrong effect. To stay healthy, it is important that you get your 30 minutes of daily exercise, so make sure that you do something to stay active, even if just keeping your body busy as you watch TV.There are many cool products on the market that are worth having at home, and not all have to break the bank! They can be very effective, IF you use them! InLivin’ has created a list of exercise gear to use at home:

Gear starting under €15

Hula Hoop – Going back to the good ol’ days when a toy was actually something that required moving our body!

Stretchy bands – These make for great weekend getaway companions; just toss em in your luggage and use them in the morning before going down to that all-you-can eat breakfast buffet.

Ankle and wrist weights – These are handy to wear when doing chores around the house or going to the store… IF you can stand to look like a bit of a tool! ;)

Jump rope – Small, cheap, portable and GOOD FOR YOU. This could be one of the best tools for
weight control and aerobic development.

Exercise mat – Press/push-ups, sit-ups can be made more pleasant with a good surface.

Weights – Dumbbells are pretty smart to leave around your house and office because they will constantly remind you to pick them up!

Exercise DVDs (check in second hand shops for older editions) – Always a fun way to spend some alone time… just make sure no one walks in on you doing thrust squats with Jane Fonda. :)

Gear starting between €15 - €50

Pull-up bars – Make sure they are in a doorway that you pass under frequently so it will remind you to use it. Hopefully you won’t be inclined to leave shirts hanging there if it is in a high traffic spot.

Balance boards or balls, trampoline or steps – These are particularly great in large houses, places with yards or at the very least, high ceilings. We realise that is hard to come by in most Amsterdam houses!

Sweat pants / suits – Great to wear when doing house chores, vacuuming or washing, they can make you look like you joined a cult, so make sure to warn people you love before you get suited up.

Mini steppers - They come in many shapes and sizes, but they all serve to get your body moving and they take up a rather small space in your home. Look for ones that have a smooth travel, removable parts and are silent as possible. This last point will save your relationships with your family and neighbours!

Ab exercisers / boards – The majority of these don’t do much more that REMIND you to do crunches. The protection they give to your back is debatable but they sometimes make doing crunches a bit more comfy.

Gear starting above €50

Elliptic trainers – Larger and clearly more expensive options to mini-steppers, if you invest in one of these, it seems you mean business,

Rowing machines – Place it in front of a nice large window or TV and start stroking.

Weight sets / Circuit trainers – These systems can allow you to work many muscle groups, like in a proper gym. The only drawback is that in most cases, you need an extra room to devote to these monster machines.

Indoor bicycles – In Holland it is easy enough to ride anywhere, but when it’s pouring rain there are some great options to maintain training even using your existing gear. <<>>

Sports games on game platforms (Wii, EyeMotion, Xbox, etc) – Kids and adults alike can get some decent aerobic workouts if they are playing kinetic video games at an intense level.

Poledancing…poles or other specialist gear can be used for more than entertainment these days. Don’t be fooled, it is hard work!

You can find all the products listed above in the above €50 range, depending on their brand name and quality. Before investing your hard earned money into any sports gear, make sure that you will actually use it!

How many people use their indoor bicycle or elliptic trainer to hang their laundry on? How many weight sets get used as monkey bars for the little ones? Even if your husband’s shirts dry the best this way, and your kids coincidentally DO get some good exercise, it may not be the most safe or affordable way to achieve these goals.

Ask yourself if you actually have extra space under your bed to store another (dust collecting) device that you may never use? Fitness equipment, professional or semi-professional, usually takes up a lot of space, and may cost up to thousands of euros for quality products and brand names. If you are not convinced if a really expensive product is worth the price, check the market for second hand ones, ask your friends or search online for peoples experiences using certain gear. Chances are that several people in you know already have a barely used stepper they would love to get rid of for a low price.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Never make an excuse out of having no gear! Even doing household chores can be a great way of staying in shape, and you can kill two birds with one stone! If you don’t yet know what gear could be good for you, start with some good old “free gear”, by using stuff you already have around; the range depends on your creativity!

Top FREE GEAR

Filled water bottles or other heavy items – You can run with them strapped to your hands. Or using a bit of rope or cord, you can create your own set of cheap dumbbells. Better still, after your workout you can drink the contents!

Free Apps on your phone (meditation, yoga) – These can help you get a handle on your daily needs and the inputs you may want to control.

Your staircase – Make sure no one’s at home and then go crazy! Up….. down…… up….

Furniture / chairs – If you have sturdy items at home, a few push/press ups or semi-dips may be in order. Just remember that these items are NOT meant for exercise, so they may have a tendency to fall over, slide or break! This sort of exercise should only be done by those of slim body and muscle tone.

*InLivin' strongly advises everyone to consult their doctors and caregivers before taking on any new diet or exercise program.