Monday, 24 January 2011


If you've been reading this blog, you may have noticed that this year, I'm getting buff! I love the gym, but I think it's a bit pricey and struggle to find the time. Anyhow, this month I've been testing some great equipment that will help you get fit in the comfort of your own home. There's a range of price points, depending on how much you want to commit, and how much you have left over after January sales shopping!

iJoy Human Touch Board, £344.99

I've had this gadget for a few years. To use it you stand on a motorised skateboard-sized platform and try to stay upright while it wobbles about. I call it my 'surfboard machine' - which is basically what it is. It's not a cardio workout, but it will strengthen your core. To see effects, you should use it twice a day for 15 mins. The handy part about this machine is that it shuts off after 15 mins, so you know that you've done one session. I recommend playing some of your favourite tunes while using it, and having a little dance. I also use it with some small dumbbells to workout my arms while I'm on it. It's really heavy, so you'll need a space for it at home - but it doesn't need much space while you're using it - so could be a viable option for someone in a small flat.
Silva ex series Pedometer, from £13.99
Research has found that walking 10,000 steps per day can do great things for your health - it also burns 300-400 calories. I'm a Londoner, and I think we probably walk more than most people - to the tube, around underground tunnels, on the busy streets (and round the shops!) so I was clocking 10K without even trying, which is way above the UK average of 3K-4K steps. The Silva pedometer can count your steps or can convert them into calories burned - its up to you. It's actually quite scary how far you need to walk to burn foods (you need to take 1,750 steps to burn off a digestive biscuit)... I better go for a long walk!

Easyshaper, £29.95

The Easyshaper is an innovative product that can give a great home workout for men or women. It's perfect if you want to tone up - I particularly like the pilates element of the DVD (that comes free with the Easyshaper). There are hundreds of moves you can create with this bar - from the one pictured - which will work your abs, to tricep dips (where you stand up with your feet in the stirups, raise the bar above your head, and then let your forearms drop behind your head). You change the resistance of the Easyshaper by twisting the bar forward - which tightens the strings, so you can use this piece of equipment forever - changing the resistance to make moves harder as you progress. Three metal bars slip together to build the Easyshaper in seconds (they can easily be disassembled for storage - although I just keep the whole pole in my wardrobe!). I've heard that Danielle Linekar is a fan of this, using it to tone up at home. Bargain price too - less than £30. 

CafePress personalised yoga mat, £22
I have wooden floors, so floor exercises need a mat. There's a fab website called CafePress were you can design your own yoga mat - simply select a mat colour, then chose either a pre-loaded design template or upload your own image or graphics. They're really fun and easy to create - and would make a fab gift for a yoga bunny. You can add text too - perfect for a birthday message. Et voila - a comfy home yoga mat.

Ok, so there's nothing new and innovative about dumbells, but they are super versatile. As mentioned, I use them when I use my Human Touchboard, they're also handy to have to hand when doing home workout DVDs. If you do 50 reps a night for a week, you'll have solid arms in no time. I am guilty of using them more as a doorstop than an exercise tool, but I'm going to pick them up right now and get me some Madonna arms! They vary in price, but you can pick them up from a few pounds. If you don't want to commit to a set - just get a pair.

1 comment:

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