We all know that we need to exercise regularly. Exercise relieves stress, helps with sleep, and improves cardiovascular health and overall quality of life. We've all heard how exercise increases endorphins, brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters that act as natural mood enhancers. As we age, exercise becomes even more crucial to enhance circulation. prevent weight gain. strengthen our skeletal system and decrease risk of disease.

The challenge is finding the time and self-motivation to take that first step. This often means figuring out what works best for you. While some people like exercising alongside others in gyms, some people prefer to workout in the relative comfort and convenience of their own home.

Exercising at home is a great option for those who don't have the time to get to the gym, hate waiting for equipment to be available, or prefer not to bend, twist and squat in public. A home gym will likely be more sanitary and eliminate the monthly cost of a gym membership. But there are startup costs when designing or creating your home gym. For example -- it's important to buy quality equipment. You can spend anywhere from $500 to thousands of dollars in buying gym equipment, but there are certain pieces of equipment that you should get:

1) Get a yoga/exercise mat for floor exercises such as sit-ups and planks.

2) For cardio, which is critical for heart health, I recommend a jump rope, a stationary bike (or stand to transform your daily riding bike into one), a treadmill or elliptical.

3) A TRX suspension trainer is ideal for strength training and can condition your full body using your own bodyweight. It can be attached to any door frame making it very space efficient and can be used indoors and outside.

4) A set of dumbbells is used to build strength. The power block is ideal because it allows you to use multiple weight amounts while using the space of one set of dumbbells.

5) For a more elaborate piece of equipment that will allow you to train all muscles of the body, an all-in-one machine like the Inspire Fitness M4 Home Gym works well.

6) If you are using free weights, you'll need a bench....

7) Other optional equipment includes medicine balls, sand bells, and a bosu ball, which is a great balance trainer and will challenge your muscles in a different way compared to flat ground.

With these pieces of equipment, or even just some of them, you can get started at home and exercise your way to better health.