Exercise Made New With Old Stuff

Vintage ExerciseWe’ve probably all heard – or said –  “my treadmill is the most expensive clothes hanger ever.” Or: “the stationary bike is so covered up it looks yarn bombed!” (You just didn’t have a name for it before!)

So when you hear ‘dust off your old exercise equipment,’ your mind probably goes right to the big pieces – the ones that gather a lot of dust.

But let’s talk about the forgotten equipment. The stuff tucked away in the back of closets, shoved in boxes (since 1999), or stuffed on basement shelves. You know – the free weights, stability balls, kettelbells, stretch bands, pedometers, and those other exercise enhancers you once had to have. Pull them out and shake off the dust. It doesn’t matter that instructions and suggested exercise plans are long gone. Jump on the internet and find updated exercises using current technique and proper form. There are oodles to choose from. Bonus: many have free demonstration videos. And speaking of videos, who among us doesn’t have one stowed away in some forgotten place?

We don’t have to have equipment to exercise – there are plenty of great ways to exercise without pulling anything out of the closet. But using equipment is fun. It changes things up. Having it out and ready to go can be motivating – just the visual reminder we need to keep moving while watching TV. Or instead of watching TV.

And clothes count, too. Leotards, bike shorts, sports bras, T’s boasting motivational sayings, all get us in the mindset to move. Pull them out, shake them off, and put them on. Then get going.

One caveat: make sure the equipment is safe to use currently. Stability balls should be properly inflated, weights the appropriate heft, etc. For instance, if using that old jump rope will result in various body parts causing injury to other body parts, you have my permission to add it to your give-away pile and move on to something less dangerous – like a pedometer.

Well, I’m off to find that unopened Pilates tape I purchased about a decade ago. I’m really looking forward to checking it out. I just hope it doesn’t require a VCR.  – El



  1. Haha, my daughter asked to borrow a yoga video yesterday. But I had to tell her I only had VHS and no VCR player any longer.

    1. You missed an opportunity to indulge in worry-free lending (who cares if you get it back??) and de-cluttering one-item-at-a-time! Maybe your local library knows people who still have VCRs. (Actually, I do – it’s nostalgic to use it occasionally – if only to be reminded what ‘rewind’ means!) -El

      1. Don’t get me wrong, I want a VCR. But my husband set up some elaborate AV system and it doesn’t have room for a VCR!

  2. I know where my stuff is; I guess it’s time to pull it from the basket I stowed it in.

    I have at least 13 Winsor Pilates DVDs that came by mail every few weeks (can’t remember how long ago.) I finally called the company and inquired how many before the set would be “complete.” The man on the other end said, “Wow. You have a LOT.” I replied, “Yes, and apparently I have to removed the cellophane to get some results.” I still don’t know how many more would have “completed” the set, but I do have the inflatable ball and bands that were “free gifts” with some of them. 🙂

  3. I haven’t used my jump rope in a while, thanks for the reminder. 🙂 I do use my treadmill every day…no, I’m not crazy, just trying to avoid a third back surgery. I recently started using a weight ball, it’s kind of fun.

    1. If you can still use the jumprope without over-jiggle injuries, I envy the shape you’re in, Jill! Ahhhh, pain avoidance – just the little motivation sometimes needed to take good care of ourselves. Now that both of my knees have been totally replaced and I’m finally done with PT, I’m shooting to treadmill or walk outside at least 3 days a week. I hope to expand that very soon. It’s actually a gift to be able to!

      1. Ha ha! Take it slow on the treadmill with your knees. Going to fast or at an incline, can be hard on the knees. Oh, I agree, I thank God every morning I’m able to get out of bed and walk across the room…there was a time where I couldn’t.

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