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BE WISE Second-hand equipment suffices in most cases, but be cautious PHOTO: K.R. DEEPAK
BE WISE Second-hand equipment suffices in most cases, but be cautious PHOTO: K.R. DEEPAK

Getting back into shape need not be expensive

Exercise equipment is expensive and that puts off many people from thinking about building a home gym. True, some stuff is expensive. A motorised treadmill will cost over 10k, but it is by no means a must-have. But basic gym equipment is not expensive, and with a little hard work and some innovation it is possible to have a great workout at home.Dumbbells, you gotta have 'em. And they need not be expensive. There is always someone selling away his stock of dumbbells, and second-hand ones are as good as new ones even if they've been through an earthquake. Hand barbells that allow you to tack on more metal plates are ideal. Second-hand equipment suffices in most cases, but be cautious. A used stationary bike is a great bargain if you are buying it from a single user. But it is not worth looking at a discard from a gym. Ditto for treadmills and all equipment with moving parts or springs. Check the power consumption of the motorised treadmill. Worn ones consume more power and can cost more than a new one in the long term. Equipment bought from single users is likely to be in good condition: a single user who is fit enough to have worn out a piece of exercise equipment is extremely rare. Most people buy exercise equipment in a rush of enthusiasm, and they sell it when they are bored with it. These workout tools are great bargains even if some of the bells and whistles are missing. Buy equipment that lets gravity generate the resistance to effort. For example, a single sturdy metal rod set at a height in a doorway is a great low-cost workout tool for the back and upper body.A simple skipping rope is one of the best tools for lower body exercise. An exercise video will take the place of several expensive aerobics classes. A few sturdy barbells and a sturdy bench-press gym, which is cheap even new, are all you need to get a serious home gym going. Try not to compromise on these two things. A broken barbell in the middle of a bench press can be lethal.RAJIV M.

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