10 affordable home gym ideas that actually work for people who hate going to the gym
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They say love is the greatest gift of all. And that gift usually comes in the form of calories and carbs during the holidays. So what better way to show you care than providing your loved ones with everything they need to turn that "amore" into "a-less." Here are 10 great ideas for anyone looking to get into shape and have fun doing it.



1. TRX Suspension Trainers are blessedly simple and easy to set up. These straps fit right in your doorframe, and use your bodyweight to build muscle, strengthen your core and improve cardio. There are countless video tutorials and actual workouts online that will help guide you. There is no stopping to move equipment around during your workout, and you won't need to buy anything else as you get stronger because it is all based on angles and bodyweight. This is truly one of my favorites.


topless man in black pants holding black and yellow exercise equipment Photo by Anastase Maragos on Unsplash


2. A classic punching bag. For those of you who just feel like punching something sometimes, I say (in the words the Italian Stallion in Rocky 3) "Go for it." Nothing combines stress relief with exercise better than boxing. There are a number of heavy bags to choose from and bundles that include everything from wraps and gloves to speed bags and double end bags. This is the most fun you can have while getting in shape. Until the double end bag comes back and nails you in the face. Then it gets personal.


woman in black sports bra and black shorts leaning on orange and black boxing ring Photo by Anastase Maragos on Unsplash


3. Resistance bands are far more versatile and portable than dumbbells. Much like TRX straps, they offer a number of different exercises and have multiple tension levels depending on your level and type of work out you are looking for. They store easily for those living in small spaces and are a great way to tone muscles.


Free stock photo of body, coach, exercise bands www.pexels.com


4. If you are into planks, then The Stealth Core Trainer is for you. It is a board you rest your elbows on and has a screen with games you can play so you can have fun while strengthening your core.



5. And if games are your thing, the Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality system is for you. Even though it is a gaming system, it offers a number of fitness programs to help you meet your goals. Even games like Creed and Beat Saber will get your heart rate going. If you are looking to get in shape quickly, then some of the options on this list will be a better fit. It is pricier than other items, however, this is the perfect gateway for the couch potato to get moving and move into a more serious regiment.




6. Push-Up Stands.If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Push-ups have always been a great way to get in shape, and push-up stands make them even more effective. In addition to providing more range and motion to the exercise, this simple contraption also takes the strain off your wrists for those of you worried about carpal tunnel.



7. Ab Roller. If you are looking for an ab workout, an ab roller is your new best friend. This little guy will make your mid section the most popular hang out for abs. You will be turning abs away at the door due to capacity limitations. Or you could very well find abs that science doesn't even know about.



8. Jump Rope. If your ceiling is tall enough, jumping rope 10 minutes a day will get you into shape real quick. Not only is it great for cardio, but it also works your upper and lower body. It is no wonder that it is a staple in workouts for boxers of all levels.


Jump Rope Sports Game - Free photo on Pixabay pixabay.com


9. Foam Roller. Undoubtedly, if you are pushing yourself your muscles will be sore. For those of us without a personal masseuse at our beck and call, a foam roller is key. Use this handy gizmo to work out the knots, aches and pains that go hand and hand with working out. There are also a bunch of exercises you can do with this useful tool like working the abs, obliques and legs.


Physical therapist strengthens EOD mission readiness www.airforcemedicine.af.mil


10. Magic Bullet and NutriBullet blenders. One of the most important aspects of building muscle is what you put in your body afterwards. Blenders like NutriBullet are a great way to give your muscles the protein and nutrients they need after a workout. Just pop the ingredients in and you have a delicious smoothy in seconds.


File:Magic Bullet and Nutribullet Blenders.jpg - Wikimedia Commons commons.wikimedia.org


Now that you have everything you need to shed those holiday pounds, I say go forth and carb like you have never carbed before. Because when January 1st comes (okay, let's face it...January 2nd), it is time to get down to business and start your journey down Beach Body by April Boulevard.

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

Photo by R.D. Smith on Unsplash

Gem is living her best life.

If you've ever dreamed of spontaneously walking out the door and treating yourself a day of pampering at a spa without even telling anyone, you'll love this doggo who is living your best life.

According to CTV News, a 5-year-old shepherd-cross named Gem escaped from her fenced backyard in Winnipeg early Saturday morning and ended up at the door of Happy Tails Pet Resort & Spa, five blocks away. An employee at the spa saw Gem at the gate around 6:30 a.m. and was surprised when they noticed her owners were nowhere to be seen.

"They were looking in the parking lot and saying, 'Where's your parents?'" said Shawn Bennett, one of the co-owners of the business.

The employee opened the door and Gem hopped right on in, ready and raring to go for her day of fun and relaxation.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."