If you’re new to fitness, just a few pieces of fitness equipment will get you started with a home gym that has more than enough options to keep you moving and making progress towards your fitness goals. A solid home gym will include your basic needs to hit your minimum requirements for cardiovascular exercise, strength training, as well as flexibility and recovery. Check out my equipment recommendations below for a successful start to any beginner’s fitness journey.
The American Heart Association recommends a minimum of 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity or an equivalent combination of the two spread out throughout the week(1). These recommendations are based on current scientific research that supports the effect of physical activity on overall health, disease prevention, quality of life, and well-being.
Don’t worry if you’re not able to hit 150 minutes a week yet. We all have to start somewhere. The important thing is to add cardiovascular exercise into your regular routine as you feel ready. Even if you’ve been sedentary for years, it’s never too late to start being active. Just focus on doing what you can today; you can increase your time or intensity as you get stronger and fitter over time.
It doesn’t matter so much what kind of cardiovascular exercise you do, what matters is that you’re putting in the time and work. So, pick the type of cardio you enjoy the most, as you’re more likely to stick with your fitness routine if you enjoy your workouts.
We have a wide variety of fitness equipment to choose from that will fit a variety of needs and preferences. I’ve selected my favorite items for beginners below. Each piece of equipment is both affordable, while also being a product that can challenge your fitness throughout your journey as you get more fit.
1. Synergy Magnetic Indoor Cycling Bike
This bike offers a sturdy, durable ride that is built to last. Magnetic resistance paired with the belt drive system will offer a virtually silent and smooth workout experience great for shared spaces. Paired with all the bells and whistles and more a beginner could want or need, the Synergy is designed to support you throughout your fitness journey.
2. Magnetic Recumbent Bike
Recumbent bikes are great for those looking for the low-impact cardio a cycle bike offers along with a wider, supportive seat and backrest. This recumbent bike is designed with lumbar support helping you remain comfortable throughout your workout!
3. Multifunction SPM Magnetic Rowing Machine
If you’re interested in starting a rowing routine from home, the SF-RW5941 is a great addition to any home gym. While offering 8 levels of magnetic resistance to continue to provide a challenge as you get fitter and healthier in your fitness journey, it also includes foot plates so you can increase the resistance and perform strength training exercises with the handlebar.
4. Treadmill, High Weight Capacity
For walkers, joggers, or runners, this treadmill will do it all. The SF-T7873 goes up to speeds up 11 MPH, and with automatic incline up to 15%, you’ll be able to complete everything from speed walks and recovery jogs, to incline climbs and high-speed sprints!
5. Pro Cardio Climber
While I love all of our ellipticals, I have a soft spot for our cardio climbers! The SF-E3914 is incredibly smooth as you glide through each step, and the incline will ensure higher activation of your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves than your average elliptical. Enjoy 8 levels of magnetic resistance to continue challenging you throughout your fitness journey!
6. Total Body Advanced Stepper Machine
Mini steppers may be compact, but they pack a serious full body workout into a small package. Get all the advantages of a stepper machine and achieve a full body workout as you step by using the onboard resistance bands. If you don’t have a lot of space to work with, this compact machine is a great place to start.
Not seeing what you’re looking for? We have something for everyone, feel free to browse through our categories of cardio fitness machines: Bikes, Ellipticals, Treadmills, Rowers, and Steppers.
Looking for guidance when it comes to workouts? We’ve got you covered, check out the Cardio Workout Collection on the Sunny Health & Fitness YouTube channel.
It’s also recommended to include at least two days a week of strength training. Regardless of your goals, building functional strength will help you move better throughout the day, and complete daily tasks easily. Building lean muscle tone will increase your metabolism, burning calories faster even when your body is at rest. Strength training will also tone and tighten your entire body for a lean, desirable physique.
Below, I’ve linked some of my favorite strength equipment for getting started. You don’t need fancy strength equipment set up to get an amazing workout at home. With just the few products below, you’ll be able to complete an endless library of exercises to increase your strength and fitness.
7. Neoprene Dumbbell – Pair
Dumbbells are essential to any start home gym. There are unlimited exercises you can do with a pair of dumbbells like this. I recommend investing in a few different pairs, lighter ones for more endurance-based workouts like circuit training or HIIT, and heavier ones when you’re working on challenging your strength.
8. Vinyl Coated Kettle Bells 5 - 25 lbs
Kettlebells are a great addition that will open up the number of exercises you can do at home. While most exercises that can be done with a dumbbell or kettlebell can be modified to work with one or the other, there are some exercises that are just easier to complete with a kettlebell like kettlebell swings.
Ready to take your strength training to the next level? We have much more to offer, check out our strength category for power racks, squats, racks, barbells, and more!
Be sure to try our Strength Training Collection on the Sunny Health & Fitness YouTube channel for workouts using dumbbells, kettlebells, body weight, and more that you can do at home to add strength training to your regular routine.
Stretching & Recovery
Finally, stretching and proper recovery are incredibly important for longevity and sustainability of your fitness routine. They’re the things we often are quick to cut out of our routine when we’re busy or lazy, but they’re so good for your body. While they aren’t essential, a solid yoga mat, or padded mat will do wonders for your comfort, and provide a clean spacious area to workout that’s easy to wipe clean in between use. They go beyond recovery, as you’ll find yourself using a mat like this for core workouts, bodyweight workouts, or dumbbell workouts at home. Below I’ve linked my favorite of the mats we offer, which would be a great asset to any home gym.
9. Yoga Mat Extra Wide and Length
This yoga mat is designed with a slip-resistant, easy-to-clean material. Its extra-wide surface will be comfortable and spacious whether you’re performing an intense bodyweight workout, yoga, or stretching routine.
10. Tri-Folding Exercise Gymnastics Mat
For those who prefer more cushioning, our padded tri-fold exercise mat is a great option to provide more comfort as you perform exercises or stretches. Enjoy a soft surface that’s easy on vulnerable joints like your knees and wrists.
Looking for some recovery routines to add to your weekly schedule? Be sure to check out our 10-Minute Stretching Routine, Essential Full Body Stretch, or our Mobility Workout Collection.
As you get further along in your journey, you may find that you want to add more to your home gym or try something new in your fitness routine. I can promise you that regardless of the changes in preferences and fitness goals throughout your journey, a solid piece of cardio equipment, dumbbells and kettlebells, and a yoga mat will always be items you put to use in your home gym! So, what are you waiting for? Start building your home gym and get started on your fitness journey today!
(1) “American Heart Association Recommendations for Physical Activity in Adults and Kids”. American Heart Association, 2018, https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/aha-recs-for-physical-activity-in-adults. Accessed 25 November, 2020.