inexpensive exercise equipment

Odds and Ends

Fitness, Dollar Store Style

Inexpensive Exercise

If you want to begin the New Year by getting more exercise in, start small. It won’t cost a lot if you start at the dollar store. You wouldn’t ordinarily think of the dollar store as a place to go to buy fitness equipment. Indeed, there isn’t a whole lot to choose from but you might be surprised by what you can find.

To my way of thinking, there’s no point in having a lot of expensive equipment around if you have no motivation to actually workout. Thinking about exercise or simply buying and having the equipment at the ready won’t get the job done. I know because I’ve tried.

Exercise mats – They’re thinner than those fancy ones you can get with patterns on them, but not by much and they only cost two bucks each. They come in a choice of three colors – pink, grey and aqua and are generously sized at 19 ½ inches by 70 1/3 inches. Even if you buy two of these to place one on top of the other, you’re still only spending $4 instead of $20 or more at a fitness store.

Resistance bands – I bought one of these a few months ago. It’s a simple contraption of stretchy plastic tubing with padded handles that you can use for building upper body and arm strength. It cost $2.

Adult jump ropes – Hopping about burns calories. The skipping rope is simply a good way to do it without looking (or feeling) ridiculous. Jump ropes should be turning up in dollar stores soon, as they begin stocking for spring and summer.

Water bottles – When you’re away from home for walking, biking or whatever, a water bottle lets you stay hydrated on the go. My dollar store has a few different types of water bottles to choose from; including a good-sized stainless steel one for two bucks that has a carabiner on the cap. There’s also a plastic water bottle with a stainless steel cap and a stainless steel base. It costs $2 as well.

When choosing dollar store water bottles there are a couple of things to consider.
First, make sure that there is a good seal on the lid. You don’t want gym clothes getting wet on the way to your workout.

Second, choose metal or soft plastic over hard plastic. I once had a hard plastic water bottle that I liked for the flip lid in the cap that allowed for easy drinking but I dropped my gym bag in the driveway one day and the plastic cracked, dampening the rest of my belongings.

Sometimes you can find gym clothes like shorts and exercise bras in a dollar store. It’s certainly worth a look while you’re there. The gym socks I bought for a buck a pair and used regularly for two years, held up really well. In fact, I still have them.