As the weather turns colder and the holidays approach, having your own home gym can mean the difference between staying consistent with workouts and adding a few unwanted pounds. Indeed, health clubs are beneficial, and you should keep an active membership, provided that you are using the club and taking advantage of it. But for days where time is short, the weather is lousy or you just want to be alone, a home gym is unbeatable.
In addition to being ultra-convenient, having a workout area at home means you can wear whatever you want, catch up on your DVR stash, blast music and lose all self-consciousness. The key is to ensure you equip your home gym appropriately and keep it a welcoming place so that you use it. Even if you don’t have an extensive collection of equipment (and most of us don’t), don’t let your investment go to waste and gather dust.
As Black Friday will be here before you know it, now is an ideal time to take advantage of sales on equipment and accessories to outfit or supplement your home gym – both for yourself and as gifts for family members. Take stock of what you currently have, make a wish list, then do some research online and via local ads to see where you can find the best deals. When the sale hits, don your workout apparel and shoes so you can test-ride equipment and get going!
Here are some considerations for home gym necessities:
- Price – We’ve said it before but it bears repeating: you get what you pay for when you buy exercise machines, so it’s always better if you can afford a higher quality machine that will perform and last longer without malfunctions. It may sound insignificant, but the difference between a very noisy and quiet treadmill, or an elliptical with a jerky motion versus one that feels natural, will impact your desire to use it or not.
That said, not everyone must have the top-of-the-line machines. Consider what makes the most sense for you and those using your home gym in terms of features, and base your selection accordingly.
- Cardio – Unless you run outside or swim consistently year-round, get a piece of cardio equipment, such as a treadmill, elliptical, bike or rower. Ellipticals and rowers work the entire body, as do air bikes like the Schwinn® Airdyne® Pro, which can be a more effective workout because you involve more muscles. Think about standing versus seated pieces, and check out Octane’s xRide® seated elliptical if you want something more effective and engaging than a recumbent bike. Or, for a terrific new way to run without the pounding, try the Zero Runner®, which eliminates impact for natural, comfortable running. And if you just can’t get a cardio piece now, create an extensive workout DVD library or join an online workout service so you have lots of options.
- Strength – If you don’t have the budget or space for a big home gym, no problem. Get a few sets of dumbbells like the BowFlex® SelectTech adjustable dumbbells and a weighted barbell, along with a bench or stability ball, and you’re ready. You can also use resistance bands, which are inexpensive and come in different levels, kettlebells and medicine balls for variety. Replicate your health club regimen here, check online or get some DVDs for various strength training routines.
- Stretching/Yoga/Pilates – Buy a good-sized, cushioned exercise mat so you have space to stretch, work the core or do yoga or Pilates. Don’t skip flexibility and core work, as it can make you feel better, improve your overall fitness and help prevent injuries.
Workout in the comfort of your home by using the above home gym necessities! Stay Fueled.