Keep your fitness equipment from collecting dust

Alyssa Monson, Registered Dietitian
CentraCare Weight Management

Exercise-BandsSo you asked and received (or in my case, treated yourself to) some new fitness gear. YAY! In November, we added some items to your wish list. Now what? Review the tips below to incorporate these items into your current activity routine.

Resistance bands

  • Resistance bands are a versatile piece of equipment. You can use them for any exercise you would do with dumbbells. Or add resistance to body weight exercises. For example, stand on the center of a resistance band of your choice hold one end in each hand (it should be stretched somewhat) and bend at your knees and hips keeping your knees behind or in line with your toes (squat position) and return to standing. The resistance band will add more resistance on the upward motion of your movement.
  • You also can keep this same band position and do bicep curls, arm raises, calf raises and shoulder press.

Stability ball

  • Add a new level to your core work out and do parts of your core routine on the ball. For example: crunches and back extensions (super mans).
  • To work hamstrings (back of your upper legs), lay on the floor and place heels on the stability ball. Flex knees and pull your heels towards your body (the ball should roll with you and your toes will end up touching the stability ball).

Fitness tracker

  • Depending on the option you chose, set step or calorie burning goals and work to reach them each day. If your tracker allows, set up a challenge to get your friends/family involved to help keep active during the winter season.
  • Many trackers allow you to set reminders to get activity in or stand up if you have been sedentary for a certain period of time.

Exercise/yoga mat

  • Use your mat to add cushion during yoga, Pilates, stretching and core routines. You may also use it to add grip to a slippery floor.

Medicine ball

  • Use your medicine ball to add resistance to crunches, core exercises and body weight exercise. For an added challenge, hold the medicine ball with arms extended while doing squats/lunges to work your arms and legs at the same time.