Exercises For A Healthy and Fit Lifestyle
A good exercise routine is crucial to a healthy and fit lifestyle. Sometimes, the best and simplest option is to go to a gym or fitness club. Being in a separate space dedicated to working out and staying fit can help keep us on track and help us reach our goals.
DIY Equipment and Exercises
However, there are plenty of times that DIY equipment can come in handy. Even the most basic of tools, something as simple as PVC end caps, can play a significant role as a fitness tool. How can PVC end caps be used?
What is PVC?
PVC is an affordable and readily available material that has a wide variety of commercial uses. PVC is commonly used in construction, such as for plumbing and electrical projects. PVC is a beneficial tool because it is lightweight, easily adjustable, and watertight. It can easily be filled, shortened, lengthened, and modified to meet your needs.
Stretching is a critical warm-up process that can easily be forgotten in the pursuit of strengthening goals. As any fitness enthusiast knows, keeping our muscles loose and flexible with significantly increase our progress toward our fitness objectives.
To use PVC and PVC end caps as a stretching tool, all you need is a PVC pipe that is about 4 or 5 feet long. It is recommended that you use a PVC end cap at the end of a pipe, even if it is empty. When PVC is cut, it can retain sharp edges that can cause injury to you or items in your home gym.
With your empty PVC pipe, you can now complete any number of stretches to loosen up the body. For example, while holding the pipe in front of you like how you would perform a snatch grip or overhead squat. With straight arms, bring the pipe up and over your head, then down behind you.
The key to this stretch is listening to your body. Adjust your hand placement and how low behind your back you go according to what you feel. You should feel a stretch, but no pain. If you feel any pain, stop and adjust your form. In a similar fashion, you can use this same PVC pipe-style stretch for any motion in the upper body, specifically the shoulder.
When we first think of strengthening training, we might imagine that the key to making progress is increasing weight. Knowing how much we can lift is a great objective measurement to track our progress. Still, there are many great workouts that we can do with a lighter weight using PVC pipes.
Because of the nature of PVC pipes, they cannot be filled up to the weight that we might be used to lifting. Instead, by filling a PVC pipe with PVC end caps with sand or water, we can have a weighted bar for any number of workouts.
These bars can be filled to different weights, so you can quickly have a set of weighted bars for far less money than they typically sell for.
Another great exercise using PVC pipes involves something called a slosh pipe. As the name implies, a slosh pipe is a PVC pipe that is only partially filled with sand or water. Because the pipe is not completely filled, the contents can slosh around and change the balance point of the pipe.
This makes for a powerful workout to improve functional strength. In the real world, we constantly interact with objects that have a shifting center of balance. By training with a slosh pipe, we can better prepare ourselves to use our strength in a realistic environment.
While strength and stretching can help improve our fitness, having an effective cardiovascular system is critical to being able to stay active. So far, we have discussed ways to use PVC pipes in a very traditional fashion to help achieve our goals.
One of the best features of PVC pipes is their adaptability. With some simple tools and a little creativity, PVC end caps can be used to help to save money and create some valuable fitness tools.
By taking two 8” Schedule 40 PVC pipes and two end caps and a little bit of rope, we can create a DIY jump rope. All you need to do is drill a hole in both end caps, insert the rope, and tie a knot on both ends to keep it from going through.
By adding the PVC pipe to the end caps, you can have a stable and comfortable grip on your rope. The best part? You can cut the rope to perfectly fit your needs. As a guide, try to keep the rope to a little more than your height, no more than 3 feet extra.
PVC is also very lightweight and sturdy, making it ideal for DIY projects. Using a walking stick can make a hiking trip much more comfortable and enjoyable. While sometimes you can find a walking stick while out on a hike, it is better to make one that is the perfect fit for you. First, cut a piece of wood or PVC 6-8 inches above your elbow.
If you are using wood, strip back the bark and sand down the wood to add a rubber cap. Then, take a PVC end cap, drill a hole and add 2 washers, a bolt, and a nut. Just like that, you have an ergonomic and functional walking stick that is the perfect fit.
Even if you have all the workout equipment you could ever want, PVC can still help. Using PVC, you can make a simple DIY storage unit for all of your gear. Because of the nature of PVC, you can constantly add on and change your PVC storage structure to meet your needs.
PVC can easily store exercise balls, towels, mats, and more. Be cautious storing any weighted items, as PVC cannot support extremely heavy items unless constructed by an expert.
Regardless of your fitness goals, PVC and PVC end caps can be used to help achieve them. By helping with stretching, strengthening, cardio, and even just storage, PVC really is the multifunctional tool that can meet your needs and should be in the toolbox of any DIY fitness enthusiast.
Photo by Vanessa Pozos
Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva
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