With today’s busy 24/7 schedules, getting to the gym consistently can be challenging among many competing responsibilities. Having fitness equipment at home is a convenient way to keep up with your workout and benefit from better adherence.
Setting up a home gym can be as simple or detailed as you prefer. In its most basic form, obviously you need some type of equipment, whether that encompasses workout DVDs, some dumbbells and resistance tubing or an elliptical machine, treadmill or stationary bike. Today you can also take advantage of online workout programs for variety. A mat and a bench are helpful for strength training exercises, and a stability ball is an inexpensive way to add many exercise options.
What’s also really important is how you set up your workout room at home, and unfortunately, this area doesn’t always get the attention it should. Sometimes, people get very involved in choosing their fitness equipment but then simply put it in the basement or family room and leave it there.
While you don’t have to have a specific workout room, if you have a designated, well-equipped area for exercise, you are more likely to use your equipment and benefit from regular workouts. Some newer homes have workout rooms built in. But even if you house doesn’t have a workout room, you can create an attractive, functional space that keeps you exercising.
To set up your workout room at home, consider the following:
- Adequate floor space and ceiling height – Clearly, you don’t want to squeeze your bike in among a bunch of other furniture. And note the active area necessary for elliptical machines when you move the handlebars and pedals, which exceeds the stationary footprint. If you have a treadmill or stairclimber, ensure that you have enough clearance in the ceiling so that you can move freely without hitting your head.
- Flooring – A carpeted space helps absorb noise and vibrations, and provides a cushion for floor exercises. Tile and wood floors are easy to clean if you tend to sweat a lot, and they are easier to move on when performing aerobic moves in videos or online workouts. The worst option is a basic concrete floor found in unfinished basements, which tends to be cold, damp and uninviting. Even putting down a secure throw rug or some interlocking rubber tiles makes a noticeable difference.
- Ventilation – Again, basements typically don’t have the best air flow, which can make vigorous workouts stifling. Simple floor or ceiling fans can move the air and provide more circulation. If you can set up your workout area near a window, even better. You’ll not only benefit from fresh air and natural light, but can enjoy a view outdoors.
- Entertainment – You don’t have to have the top-of-the-line AV system here, but workouts go by faster when you have a TV or stereo handy where you can catch up on your latest DVR-ed shows or jam to your favorite tunes. If you like to safely multi-task while cycling, walking or using the elliptical machine, you can surf the Internet, email or watch YouTube videos using your tablet. Or position your laptop or desktop nearby if you use online workouts. If possible, keep an extra set of ear buds in your workout area so you don’t have to hunt them down and delay getting started.
- Extras – Storing an extra water bottle and some workout towels in your area makes it simple to get started. Adding a plant and some motivational or inspirational wall hangings brightens the space, and a full-length mirror lets you check your form during exercises.