Fitness requires regular exercise in a safe environment. Indoor home exercise offers the best convenience and cost-effectiveness, but demands discipline. A gym offers the best workout flexibility and involves a dedicated environment that makes it easier to stay focused on the exercise. Sports offer the best exercise engagement.
Indoor Training: Quickstart Items
The 2 most valuable items for indoor exercise are a soft mat and adjustable weights.
The soft mat insulates you from the coldness and dirtiness of the ground or floor. It uses a good material that is not only safe for regular body contact but also easily washed and cleaned of sweat and grime on a regular basis. It is light-weight and rollable/foldable so it can be quickly stored and withdrawn if space is an issue. It cushions the back of your body so you can perform lie-down exercises without pain near your bones or the risk of injury from continuous/accidental impact against the floor. For apartments or multi-floor dwellings, the mat dampens the sound of impact exercises, such as running in place, so people below or around you hear less noise. Look for a simple mat made of a single material that has moderate firmness and doesn't absorb water, such as well-made closed-cell polyurethane. The width must be moderately larger than the width of your body. The length must be at least long enough to rest your head down to your waist, but ideal if it stretches down to your ankles or feet for complete body coverage. The appropriate thickness depends on the firmness and other properties of the material, but generally should be at least 2 to 3cm (1 inch) thick. If you get a thinner mat you will get improved portability but you will only be able to use the mat effectively on soft floors such as carpet or rubber tiles. Clean the mat by wiping with a wet cloth and mild soap. A reasonable price benchmark for a good, simple mat is $40 from Costco.
Adjustable weights are the most popular and effective as one-handed dumbbells. They provide the exercise flexibility required for complete-body training and the variable resistance required for strength training. They should provide a large enough handle for your hands for safe form and ergonomic comfort. They should have compact-size weights to avoid unwieldiness; big weights make it hard to perform close-to-body movements due to physical blockage and fast in-air movements due to wide rotational inertia. They should have a secure mechanism for holding the weights and the frame all in place; if something breaks or loosens, you run the risk of serious injury. I recommend that you start with the simple, low-cost adjustable dumbbells that use a standard bar and weights screwed in by star-nuts. It is the affordable, compact, and rigorously safe way to start. Changing weights will be a bit more of a hassle than some of the advanced designs out there, but it is more important to first secure the exercise habit and learn what parts of the design matter most for your body. If the handle texture hurts to grip, wrap tape around it. If the dumbbells smell bad, wash them. Place the dumbbells on their case on a waist-height table to make them more convenient to lift at the beginning of every workout.
Form, Muscles, Cardio
Body form and muscular fitness are commonly divided into 3 sections of the body: upper body, core body, and lower body. Upper body muscles are on the face, jaw, ears, neck, shoulders, chest, arms, and hands. Core body muscles are on the abdomen, back, and sides. Lower body muscles are on the groin, butt, legs, and feet.
Cardiovascular fitness involves the strength and endurance of the heart, lungs, and blood flow. Cold, dry air can irritate the lining of the lungs, causing swelling and inflammation. Hot weather makes the heart work harder to regulate heat out from the body, by cycling hot blood to the surface of the skin; during intense heat waves, a weak heart may get tired and be unable to dissipate heat fast enough, letting internal organs overheat and get severely damaged- this is a heat stroke that can cause fainting and death. Cold weather makes the heart work harder to not only send heat to the extremities but also push cold, thick blood along cold, constricted blood vessels; during intense cold waves, a weak heart may get tired and be unable to push the blood fast enough, causing internal organs to starve and get severely damaged- this is a cold stroke that can cause fainting and death.