It is the end of January – how are you doing on those New Year’s Resolutions? If finding time to get to the gym isn’t quite fitting into your schedule, consider bringing the gym into your house! For about as much as you’d spend on initiation and monthly fees at a gym, you can invest in some small equipment for your home and work out whenever you’d like.
The first step to making a home gym is to choose a location in your house – if you have a spare bedroom or other medium-sized room that you can dedicate to exercise, then great! If not, think about emptying a closet so you can store all of your equipment there and just bring it out when you need it.
The next thing to consider is flooring in your workout area. Whether you’re going to be lifting weights, riding an exercise bike, or doing jumping jacks, having a firm-yet-forgiving surface underneath you is key. You should not put electrical exercise equipment directly on carpeting or a rug, as this could pose a fire hazard and could also create dust that interferes with your machine causing it to break. Using a rubber mat under your electrical equipment is a great solution. So are interlocking foam tiles – great deals can be found on Amazon or other online retailers.
If you’re not willing to invest in a machine like a treadmill, Bowflex, Peloton bike or other large piece of equipment, here are some smaller devices that work wonders for a much lower price tag:
• Adjustable weight dumbbells. You can use dumbbells to work every muscle in your body, and getting the adjustable kind saves you money and space.
• A workout bench. You’ll need a safe place to sit and lie down to perform weightlifting and other types of exercises, so an adjustable workout bench is a great investment.
o Alternatively, a step (think step aerobics) will work. With adjustable height you can incorporate cardio workouts using this piece or place a thick towel or yoga mat on top when you’re lying on it.
• A hanging pull up bar that you can easily place (and remove) from a doorframe is another great investment. Some types can double as a pushup bar when placed on the ground.
• A foam roller is great to have around to smooth out sore muscles. Compact types work just as well as the large ones, and those with texture can get deeper into your muscles.
You don’t need to invest in a DVD set unless there is a specific program you want to follow. YouTube and other websites have tons of exercise routines available for free. Companies like Les Mills and Beach Body offer on-demand workouts that you can download for a monthly fee. So pick a routine and try it out and if you decide it’s not for you, it will be easy to switch to another.