For many people, getting out to the gym a few times a week just isn’t a viable option. Children, work, and other commitments can all get in the way. This means that the time it takes to travel to and from the gym and workout makes it more of a chore than it should be. In response to this, many people are turning to exercising at home. Running is growing in popularity, but also so are home gyms. You might think a home gym is more suited to Cribs than the home of you or I, but actually, it doesn’t have to break the bank. To get started, a dedicated area, matting, a few weights and a cardio machine of some sort is all it takes, and it can be expanded and adapted at a later date.
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This means no long trips to and from the gym, no jogging in the cold and rain, and no awkward workout videos on the living room floor in front of the television. And you don’t even need to give a whole room over to it. There is so much choice on the market now that it’s possible to make a flexible room, so you can work out when you want to, but it can also double as a guest room or office. The possibilities really are endless, so if you’re sick of making excuses not to work out, it could be time to create your own home gym.
Choose your space
The first thing that is needed on the road to creating a home gym is a suitable space. While it’s brilliant if you have a whole room you can give over to this venture, it’s probably more likely that you have a room that could become dual purpose. This could be a bedroom, office, or even a storage room. It just needs to be an area where you can spare a bit of room for storing equipment, there’s plenty of floor space, and preferably a bit of privacy. A bit of spare wall space for a large mirror is always a bonus. A large window for natural light is a plus, as sunlight when you’re working out can be a real mood lifter, but good electric lighting can work just as well. Most importantly, it has to be a space which won’t interfere with the rest of your life, so you can create an opportunity to get away to work out, and also not begrudge its existence for getting in your way.
You need to make the area look like a space in which you want to spend time, otherwise you’ll have a really hard job motivating yourself to work out. Decorate in bright, light shades, and ensure you have good lighting installed as well. Greens, yellows, and blues can be really motivational, but steer clear of reds, purples, and darker shades which can drag you down and feel oppressive. Choosing your color scheme is all about creating a space which makes you want to push yourself.
If your home gym is sharing a space, it can be slightly more difficult to decorate sympathetic to both needs. Stick to light and neutral colors, and you shouldn’t have any problems. The brighter colors which are conducive to motivation and energy can be implemented more in the accessories, which can also be tidied away at the end of a workout session.
Especially important for dual purpose rooms, but mostly for your sanity, never overlook the importance of good storage in a home gym. Even if you have an entire room to dedicate to your gym, you’re going to want cupboards for storing smaller items such as resistance bands and jump ropes, shelving for any entertainment system you choose to use, and racking for all weights.
If you’re using a room which has a second purpose, good storage is crucial so that your home gym doesn’t encroach on the rest of the space. A large cupboard for storing matting is useful, and even more so if it can fit weights and other equipment in. A walk in cupboard for cardio equipment is a great solution, but if that’s not available, it’s possible to buy equipment which fits underneath a bed or tucks neatly into a corner.
Kit it out
Firstly decide on your budget. Many people work it out by calculating their gym savings over the course of a year. The best thing about creating a home gym is that you can be completely flexible, so even gyms on a smaller budget can be great little workout spots – it’s all about how you go about kitting them out. The general rule is to ensure you have good matting for floor work, weights, and some sort of cardio machine, and everything else is left up to you.
When it comes to choosing a cardio workout machine, much of it comes down to personal preference. The usual choices for a home gym are a treadmill, bike, or rowing machine. Treadmills and bikes are great for home gyms in a self-contained room but can be slightly more difficult to hide away for dual purpose spaces. Rowing machines are a great option because many can be broken down and fit neatly into a large cupboard, but they also offer more than just a good cardio workout. If you’re interested in a bit of resistance training and building your core muscles, on top of the cardio, then check out these rowing machines to include in your home gym.
It’s also important to include weights, as a purely cardio workout is not particularly useful, even for weight loss. A set of adjustable dumbbells offer a great addition to any floor workout and should be considered, along with kettlebells for the same reason, as a staple of any home gym. Matting is important, especially when weights are in use, to protect the floor of your home and also offer comfort in your workout. Choose matting which jigsaws together, as it can be easily taken apart and stored away when it’s no longer needed.
A stability ball, resistance bands, a great sound system, and maybe a television can all be added, depending on your budget and desire, But once you’ve got weights, mats, and a cardio machine of some description, you’re good to go.
*This is a contributed post. Family friendly posts are welcome.