In the pursuit of fitness, most folks usually start by signing up for a gym. However, it seems like a gym membership might not be the best investment when it comes to taking care of one’s health, especially in the midst of a global pandemic where several gyms have had to close down. And for those that have resumed operations, there are still relatively high risks of contracting the virus. People moving around indoors, shared equipment and space, and breathing heavily could all contribute to a rapid viral spread. It may be better to start your fitness journey at home instead.
If you really want to get serious with your physical health, you can bring the gym closer to you and turn a spare room into a scaled-down fitness center. With just the basic fitness essentials, exercising at home can produce satisfying results, too. In this post, we’ll list down the top things to keep in mind when building your home gym.
Buy equipment you actually need
As with any home project, creating your personal gym should have a set budget in place. It’s easy to go overboard when buying gym equipment — especially if your workouts need weights or fitness machines. Having a clear guide on where to spend your home gym budget will keep your spending in line and ensure that you’ll have a complete home gym experience.
That being said, it’s also important to note that fancy equipment is not a strict requirement for a home gym. Gala Bingo’s Happy Hub published a guide to toning up, which points out how you can get your blood pumping with exercises like seated leg raises and chair dips — both of which you can do with just a sturdy chair! Look at the space that you have. With a little creativity and resourcefulness, there are plenty of ways to set up a good home gym even in a small space. A yoga mat, for example, can be used for yoga, Pilates, and core workouts. Moreover, you can also ditch the weights and try bodyweight exercises to get you pumped. Even without the most advanced gym equipment, it’s still possible to achieve peak physical fitness inside your home.
Maximize your space
Another thing to keep in mind when crafting your home gym is to map out your space to see what you’re working with. There’s no point in buying a treadmill or elliptical if it won’t fit in your space. Create smart storage options to safely store your gym equipment without it taking too much room.
For starters, you can install shelves to create vertical storage space for your towels, mats, and other gym equipment that is not too heavy. Other than that, you can also purchase benches that have hidden storage space to safely put your dumbbells and kettlebells in. If you feel like your gym’s a little cramped, installing wall mirrors can make your home gym look spacious and not stuffy. Other than creating the illusion of a bigger space, having wall mirrors inside your home gym also allows you to check yourself for proper form.
Incorporate your daily routines
A fitness plan should include more than just exercise, it should allow you to incorporate your daily habits and routines, too. Before the pandemic, you could have gotten most of your physical activity from walking to work, and that may have gotten you into a headspace where it’s easier for you to focus. In that case, it may benefit you to invest in an indoor treadmill.
Similarly, if you used to ride a bicycle to school or to the office, you can get an exercise bike to help maintain this routine. This is especially useful if you’ve shifted to a remote work or learning environment, as this helps you mentally prepare for such activities. Additionally, riding an exercise bike daily helps reduce stress and improve cognitive function— on top of getting ample cardio activity and low-intensity joint exercises. Your fitness plan should fit seamlessly into your daily life, and contribute to better overall performance both in exercise and in everyday tasks as well.
Consider your flooring options
When building your home gym, it’s crucial to direct a part of your budget into renovation costs. While it can be tempting to buy a complete set of gym equipment and use a spare room as it is, there are a few construction modifications that will make your home gym closer to the real thing.
For one, you should make sure that your floors can handle your equipment. Gym equipment can be heavy, and it’ll most probably damage your wooden or tile floors. Additionally, if you have carpet installed, it’s best to take it out since they can harbor bacteria and pollutants. The cheapest, but best, option you have is buying interlocking foam mats so you can safely put down your equipment and avoid slippage and injuries. If your budget permits, you can have rubber floors installed, as they are durable, reduce injuries, and muffle the sound of heavy gym equipment.
Creating a home gym isn’t hard and can be adapted for every need. By following our tips above you will have a space to get fit as easily as if you were in a gym.