We’re now several months in to the COVID-19 pandemic and while there have been limited re-openings across the country – outdoor dining, a few schools, some shops and doctors’ offices –overall, the world is still gripped by anxiety. Every decision is a calculated risk, and one risk very few people are willing to take is going to the gym. Instead, designers have seen an increase in demand for home fitness facilities. But what makes a great home gym?
The fact is, the ideal home gym is a custom space that’s designed to help you meet your specific goals. That’s why, before you buy any equipment, it’s important to spend some time evaluating your space and creating a fitness plan. With a little planning, you can create a space that meets your needs without breaking the bank.
Know Your Goals
One of the first factors you should consider when planning a home fitness space is what your individual goals are. After all, there are many benefits to exercise, including weight loss, stress reduction, and better sleep. It can even improve anxiety and depression. While any kind of movement is likely to help you manage stress, aerobic activities are more likely to promote weight loss, while weight or resistance training equipment is better for toning.
Assess Your Space
Every home is different, so while some people may have a spare room readily available to be transformed into a workout space, others may opt to turn their garage into a gym, or repurpose a bar cart to store equipment in a small apartment. Obviously, it’s easier to create a dedicated workout space when you have more room, but what really matters is that you can create a safe area to perform your exercises – even if it only appears when you pull out some mats.
There are so many different fitness routines, from gentle yoga to high intensity interval training, with a whole world of activities in between. While you can stick with what you know, consider exploring fitness blogs to learn about other workouts. Not only could you discover an activity you enjoy, but adding some variety to your routine by cross-training can also help you gain greater benefits from your primary fitness practice.
Start With The Basics
While some people rely heavily on larger pieces of workout equipment like treadmills and ellipticals, you can accomplish a lot with just a few basic pieces of fitness equipment. To get started, most trainers recommend investing in a sturdy yoga mat, resistance bands, and dumbbells. If you want to boost the toning, add in some kettlebells and a medicine ball; for another cardio option, grab an inexpensive speed rope. You don’t always need to have big, expensive pieces of equipment like you’d find at a Planet Fitness or YMCA.
A Final Rule
When setting up a home gym, you have a lot of flexibility, but there’s one hard and fast rule: if you’ve never used it before, you don’t need it – and this is especially true when it comes to machines that take up a lot of space. After all, there’s a reason you see so many people posting treadmills on Craigslist; they’re just gathering dust in a corner. You’re much better off investing in multifunctional basics, or even just focusing on bodyweight exercises. If you keep it simple and stay consistent, you’ll reach your goals no matter what equipment you have.