No need to waste money on expensive weights and dumbbells. Photo: Jaclyn McRae-Sadik.
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Turn your household possessions into no-stress exercise equipment

Not everyone can afford fancy exercise equipment on a student budget. Here are a few home-made solutions to help keep you fit and healthy throughout exam season.

Yoga mat

If you don’t want to buy an expensive yoga mat, then a kitchen shelf liner will work perfectly, especially since it sticks to the floor a whole lot better.

After you get your hands on a roll of non-slip kitchen shelf liner, select a roll that’s five feet long and one inch thick.

Put your new “yoga mat” to the test by trying out a warrior one pose. Stand in a lunge position with your body facing forward, lean over your front leg, and move your arms up to reach the sky.

If you can perform this basic move without slipping all over the place, then you should be good to go.

Yoga block

Once you’ve created your own yoga mat, you can save even more money by using a book as a yoga block. By this point in your university career you’ve probably got a couple extra textbooks laying around, so you might have a few different sizes and shapes to choose from.

Try the warrior one pose as previously described, but this time put the block between your hands and push in while reaching for the sky. Use books of varying weights to change the difficulty level.

This technique will create resistance and will improve your posture by lengthening the spine.

Medicine ball

Making your own medicine ball is as simple as finding an old basketball. Drill a hole in the black line of the basketball and use a funnel to filter some sand inside. Once the ball is firm and full, be sure to cover the hole up with duct tape. 

You can do lots of different exercises with this improvised medicine ball. An easy technique to start off with is to do sit-ups with the ball held out in front of you. Not only does the added weight help to tone your arms, but it helps you work your abdominal muscles as well.

Hand weights

If you’re feeling the need to “pump some iron,” water bottles are a great way to save money on weights. Simply fill two bottles with water and they effectively double as hand weights. Obviously, the bigger the bottles the more intense the workout.

For added weight, first fill the bottles with sand then add water until the sand won’t absorb any more.

Once you’ve got two bottles set up, simply rotate your arms so your inner elbow is facing forward and lift them to your shoulders. Follow this routine and you’ll be lean in no time.

Hand weights for lunges

Rather than buying dumbbells, you can finally put all those heavy engineering textbooks to good use.

All you need to do is fill two reusable grocery bags with textbooks, and then carry them in each hand while doing walking lunges. This will add some weight to your leg exercises and increase the intensity of your work out.

Also, it’s probably best to use the texts you haven’t yet opened this semester, so you are at least getting some use out of them.