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10 Basic Equipment Considerations for Long Term Fitness

The honest truth is that you really don’t need any equipment at all in order to properly stay in shape; simply walking or running and even some basic calisthenic routines would be more than enough for the average American. In fact, I’m sure we’ll all keep rather busy with more manual labor than we’re accustomed to, so perhaps this topic isn’t that necessary.

But, considering that we want to be thorough as preppers, it’s wise to have the equipment to stay in shape should we find the need for additional gear. That said, I present my list of gear–all of which I own and use myself–and suggest you consider as well. Most of these items can be had for $30 or less and are in no particular order (click on the image to be taken directly to the Amazon page for more information)…

Pull up bar – It’s difficult to find a good way to do pull ups without one of these. I actually purchased mine when I decided I wanted to try P90X years ago and occasionally find the desire to use it again these days. Regardless, the convenience of being able to do pull ups in any door jamb is nice. This particular model allows for more creativity than a standard pull up bar.
Perfect push ups – Now, these aren’t necessary AT ALL in order to do push ups but I do find that they help my wrists from hurting and tend to allow for a deeper stretch (because you’re further off the floor). If you have a few extra dollars to throw at your exercise equipment then consider them.
Dumbbells – These are so versatile for strength training. With a little imagination (or a program to follow) you can work nearly any muscle group. The only problem is that they can get rather expensive if you want to cover a wide range of weights. Fortunately, this set is relatively inexpensive compared to many of the alternatives.
Resistance bands – Perhaps a better option to dumbbells are exercise bands. I also purchased these back when I wanted to do P90X and I find them virtually indispensable for strength training. While you’re not going to be pushing yourself to the limits as you might with very heavy dumbbells, don’t let these simple bands fool you… they will work you! If you buy anything for your strength training, I would suggest these above all else.
Yoga/Pilates mats – Don’t think that yoga is just for women, not at all. If you’ve never tried it before, I guarantee that it is tough, but only if you try to do it right! And that’s the key: doing the poses correctly. Normally, we follow a DVD (we have a few) and I can’t keep up with everything but I try my best and usually end up sweaty when I’m done.
Aerobic step – There are a variety of aerobic exercise routines that incorporate the use of an aerobic step. Granted, you can makeshift one of these if you wanted to but these steps are usually very sturdy and lightweight, which makes them easier to move around and out of the way when needed.
Leg/wrist weights – The adjustable leg weights (usually from one to five pounds) can be tailored to your specific needs. I’m sure you’ve seen a guy running down the street with them on before, however, they can be used for a variety of other resistance exercises where it’s difficult to add weight to your legs.
Fitness ball – These come in various sizes, so you’ll want to measure which diameter ball is best for you (based on height); this particular ball is a medium sized ball (65 cm). There are whole routines, including stretching, that have evolved around the fitness ball. We have a few and use them on occasion but mostly for stretching, though, you could work your ads quite well with one too.
Jump rope – I can’t forget the trusty jump rope. For cost to benefit ratio this has to be the best bet. Just do 5-10 minutes of straight jumping rope and you’ll be beat, I promise. And, it’s compact and light enough to pack in a bug out bag if you wanted. Regardless, they’re very useful, I suggest you get a few.
Mini trampoline – This is one of my most favorite exercise routines when I remember to do it; not so much for the cardiovascular workout but because it’s great for the lymphatic system. I only wish would choose to use it more often.

Other equipment (that I don’t have or use) but might prove useful include boxing equipment, ab wheel, and balance disc. I’m sure there are other options but you get the idea.

Without a doubt the above list is not comprehensive. And, while there is an initial expense to purchasing any of these items, they sure beat the significant monthly fees you would otherwise incur with a membership to the local gym. I spent years and easily thousands of dollars on gym memberships over the years and found that they just weren’t for me. Having and using this equipment works out much better. In fact, just a few months of membership fees could pay for all of the above. Think about it!

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