Building a Home Gym into Your Home

If you’ve got a spare room or garage space at home, why not invest in yourself by creating a home gym? Exercise equipment, a few weights, a floor mat and dedicated workout space are all you need. Having a gym at home not only motivates you to spend more time getting fit, but makes your fitness investment seem well spent.

Reasons to add an exercise room at home include increased privacy, lowered costs of working out and lowered barriers to working out. Even if you love your gym and regularly hit Zumba class, it can be a struggle to get there three to four times a week due to traffic, your busy schedule or lack of energy. Making a home gym doesn’t need to be more costly than your annual membership.

All of these obstacles are removed when the gym’s at home. You may not have had the time to get changed, drive to your old gym, circle the lot for a parking spot, work out and shower after a full day’s work. With a home gym, you can do stretches and core exercises while dinner cooks, get your cardio in before you leave for work, and find other ways to implement the fitness that makes you feel good.

While you work out, you’re free from a tedious wait for machines and from the competitive vibe that fills most gyms. No one’s going to give you a weight lifting tip or cramp your space. Overall, working out from home is more peaceful and can leave you feeling more relaxed.

These two factors combined may even give you more motivated to fit a workout in at the end of a long day. The exercise will let off steam and stress and give you a nice shot of renewed energy to carry you through the rest of the day. Just seeing all of your fitness equipment in your home gym can even inspire you to bust out a quick workout in the way that driving past the gym could never do.

At the gym, you only really use a handful of machines. List your favorite exercise equipment, then think about ways to incorporate that element into your home gym. It’s easy enough to get a treadmill or weight bench into your gym, and that’s just the beginning. Consider adding a workout bar in your home gym’s doorway for pull-ups, chin-ups and sit-ups. Or purchase a rack, then fill it with weights or kettle balls purchased new or scoured from Craigslist and yard sales.

Once you’ve got the basic equipment, add an exercise ball for easy ab workouts, a yoga mat or floor mat for stretching, a radio or iPod dock for inspiring workout music, and resistance bands for increased strength toning. For variety, incorporate outside workouts before or after your home gym session. Use a bicycle, take a long walk, go running, or even get a sweat up doing long-neglected yard work. Apps can help you keep track of how far you run on the trail or treadmill and how many calories you burn. If you do best working out in a class, purchase fitness tapes for your favorite routines, find free workout classes online, or hire a personal trainer to visit your home.

Compared with a gym membership, where you pay money monthly but aren’t necessarily visiting the gym enough to make this a worthwhile investment, a home gym makes sense. Getting to customize the space so it holds exactly what you want and need is a major part of the fun.

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