How to Get a More Satisfying Work-Out at Home

Some gyms have recently opened up again for business, but not everybody is hitting the gym just yet. If you’re eager to get back to your regular workout routine, know that the staff is likely taking precautions in ensuring you have a safe, healthy, and positive experience.

On the other hand, if you’re waiting until you’re 100% ready for a gym excursion, then check out some excellent ways you can get in your workout at home.

Resistance Bands

These economical pieces of equipment are great for a total body workout. These versatile rubber bands will work your legs, glutes, chest, shoulders, and arms. They take up very little space and you can even bring them with you for an outdoor workout or pack them up before your next travels.

Ready to get started? Here’s a guided 30-minute full-body routine from HASfit.

Exercise Balls

These are great for plenty of reasons. Need an extra seat while watching TV in the living room? Inflate one of these and you’re good to go. Tired of sitting on the same old desk chair for hours on end? Mix it up with an exercise ball. You can get a great stretch in, prop up your legs for some push-ups, or get a satisfying core workout.

Check out this full-body strengthening video from once you have your very own exercise ball.

Yoga Mat

One of these isn’t a must for yoga, but it makes the activity much more comfortable. Mats vary in thickness, but some of the more common ones are just thick enough for some padding, but thin enough so you can roll it up and store it away easily. Aside from the padding a mat provides, it offers insulation from the ground as well as a non-slip surface so you don’t slide around during your routine.

Time for a stretch! This yoga exercise from Makeba offers a great way to get started.

Stationary Bike

You don’t need a Peloton for an indoor cycling exercise. Any stationary bike you find will do the trick as long as it’s in working condition. A stationary bike with variable resistance will allow for a satisfying cardio workout. There are plenty of videos online you can follow along with. FitnessBlender has a ton of free workout videos including this cycling routine.

Already have a regular bike? Take a spin outside through many of Pittsburgh’s bike paths and trails. If you have a bicycle, not only do many Franklin West apartments have in-building storage lockers or bike areas to keep your bike safe, but one of our Shadyside area apartment buildings has a large bike room for our residents to use.

On the other hand, if you’d still rather stay indoors, you can convert your usual bike into a stationary one with a stationary stand, too.


Get your hands on some dumbbells for a traditional strength training routine. You can get these on a rack with a variety of sizes, a bar with a selection of plates, or choose a set with a dial for inputting your preferred weight if you don’t have space for a rack. Check out the secondary marketplace if you have trouble finding dumbbells from your usual retailers. 

Dive right in with 21 upper body dumbbell exercises from Redefining Strength.

Medicine Ball

Medicine balls provide many of the benefits as dumbbells in a different form factor. Whereas with dumbbells, you may not be inclined to toss them around in the air, medicine balls are designed for this sort of maneuverability. There are fantastic core exercises, and it makes for a more interactive experience if you’re working out with a partner.

Hit the ground running with your medicine ball with this 30-minute workout from Qinetic Live.

Pull-Up Bar

The pull-up bar is another classic gym staple. But you don’t need to visit the gym to take advantage of it. These can be found in many shapes and sizes so you may get your pull-ups in at home. 

There are standalone devices that include a sturdy base with lateral supports and a bar up top. If you don’t have space, then a standalone bar for your doorway will work like a charm. You can even install one without drilling, nails, or screws, which is very convenient when renting. 

Aside from standard pull-ups, there are plenty of attachments available so you can add more variety within your pull-up bar routine. Need some pull-up inspiration? Watch this quick demo from Adidas Runtastic of 11 exercises you can accomplish on a bar.


Maybe this one isn’t the best for an in-home workout unless you have a treadmill, but the outdoors await. Sure, there are plenty of parks and trails throughout Pittsburgh, but Shadyside is also known for its runnable community. 

Take advantage of a light run while practicing social distancing and getting some fresh air. The same goes for hiking, walking, or even biking! 


These pieces of equipment are perfect for apartment use. Don’t forget to clean your equipment after use! Wiping your equipment down after use, as you would at a gym, will help your things last longer, eliminate any odors, and kills any germs left behind after working up a sweat. 

With plenty of options available, hopefully, you’ve seen something that resonates with your workout interests. As always, please be courteous to your neighbors as you go through your exercise routine!

Add These 5 Fun Decor Pieces to Your Space Now

Whether you are settling into a new place, or you’ve lived there for years, some things just need to be changed up every once in a while.

If things start to feel like an old hat, then there are plenty of ways to spruce up your place and make it a breath of fresh air. Keep reading for some of the current trends and home decor people are using to liven up their spaces.

Neon Lights

It’s no secret that lighting can transform the mood of a room, and neon isn’t shy about changing the mood. Add some ambiance to your TV area or make a statement on your wall with some text or imagery. You could visit Etsy to shop for eye-catching LED decor. 

If neon is too extreme for your taste, then LED light strips might make for more subtle accents to ceilings and countertops.

Striking Rugs

Perhaps you like moving around your apartment by sliding across the floor a la Risky Business. But to make sure you don’t fall, put a few rugs down. 

Rugs are timeless pieces to include in your space. Find a vintage rug for a classic look, or choose something bright and bold with geometric patterns. Layer them if you have too many to choose from. 

Already have a carpeted floor? Hang a rug on your wall tapestry style. Don’t forget rugs can be used as a sound barrier from neighbors too. 


Indoor plants are the key to freshening up a living space, and boy, plants are definitely in right now! When deciding on a plant type, consider these three things first: the lighting of your space, the watering needs of the plant, and the upkeep it will require. 

If you don’t have a green thumb, some of the more forgiving plant types include aloe vera, spider plants, pothos, and snake plants. Plants that will need a little extra care, but can be worth the work, are monsteras, palms, and fiddle leaf figs. Check out the Shadyside Nursery for a range of indoor plant selections.

Gallery Walls

Bring the museum into your own home with the addition of a gallery wall. A collection of artwork and photos is an easy way to boost the personality of your space. 

Gallery walls can include anything from travel photos to colorful plates to mirrors. Visit one of the many local artists in Shadyside, or put your creativity to the test with self-made art using supplies from Brick Art Materials in Shadyside. 

Pillows & Poufs

These small touches are a sleek and easy way to add seating for guests. Poufs are sturdy pillows or ottomans that are available in styles and fabrics that range from eclectic to modern. 

On the other hand, throw pillows that complement the surrounding furniture can really make the room pop. Head over to Arhaus in Shadyside for a wide selection of different pillows and poufs. 

Now is the perfect time to make a few changes to your living space, but don’t forget to shop local too. Make your apartment your own with these 5 decor tips. Which will you try?

What to Expect as Shadyside Goes Green

Have you noticed it? Our community is starting to flourish again as local businesses and eateries reopen to the public, and more people are out enjoying the days. All because earlier this month, Allegheny County entered the Green Phase of its COVID-19 response. 

Although this may not mean a complete return to the normalcy, it is an improvement that residents of the county have worked hard toward! These are some of the notable changes brought about by the Green Phase:

Sourced image from Pa Gov – Responding to COVID-19

Shop till You Drop

Many of your favorite businesses will be open with restrictions on occupancy. Be mindful of keeping an appropriate distance from staff and patrons, and wear a mask when required.

In-person by appointment

Footloose Shadyside

Rex Glass & Mirror (also curbside)

Penhollows (also online)

Walk-ins (with precautions)

e.b. Pepper 


Kards Unlimited


Pursuits Pittsburgh

Roberta Weissburg Leathers

Eons Fashion

Ten Toes

Dina Ellen

Shadyside Variety Store

Walk-ins + by appointment 

Picket Fence Shadyside

Shop Kawaii 

Caesar’s Designs (also online, curbside pick-up, or delivery)


Henne Jewelers (also online)

Where to Grab a Bite

Looking to get back to your favorite restaurants? They’ve been waiting for you. Check out what’s open and get your grub on. Many restaurants ask that you respect distancing guidelines and wear a mask, so keep this in mind before you go.




SenYai Thai Kitchen


The Fireside Public House


Urban Tap

East End Brewing

Cafe Zinho

Stack’d Burgers

Adda Coffee & Tea House

Cappy’s Cafe



Fujiya Ramen

Muddy Waters Oyster Bar

Bird On The Run

Kahuna Poke and Juice Bar

Pizza Taglio

Prantl’s Bakery

Point Brugge Cafe



Paris 66 Bistro

Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream

Keep in mind this list and details may change and does not reflect all information. Be patient with local businesses as they are working to keep you safe and offer the very best service!

Ensuring the health and safety of residents is the primary goal of Franklin West and its staff. We’re glad to see Allegheny County in this new phase. It’s worth keeping in mind, this was only possible due to the compliance of individuals throughout the state. 

There is still much to be done to combat COVID-19. Continue to be diligent in your efforts to closely follow guidelines and curb its spread. All of these changes reflect measures outlined on