Many who want to get in shape simply head to the nearby gym and sign up for a membership. But working out at the gym isn’t for everyone. Some don’t like the hassle of driving to and from the gym; others don’t even like the idea of wasting precious time having to commute to a gym. Some individuals just don’t feel comfortable working out at a gym. Feeling like you are on display at a meat market certainly takes away from focusing on the workout. Finally, many don’t want to join a gym because of the cost factor. Many gyms have signing fees on top of the monthly fee; all of this money is a waste if you don’t exercise at the gym frequently. Could a home gym be a possibility?
Creating An Inexpensive Home Gym
If you hold any of the above opinions you may want to consider building a home gym. A home gym is also useful on those days of inclement weather when you don’t feel like driving anywhere or even stepping foot outside. Creating a home gym doesn’t have to be costly either. Despite the infomercials that try and sell expensive, gigantic machines for thousands of dollars, it is possible to get in a comprehensive workout for much less. Nonetheless, there are some pieces of equipment that are useful when working out at home; read on to see what items should be included when creating a home gym.
Obviously having an adequate amount of space is important when creating a home gym. You don’t want to run into furniture when trying to work through an exercise routine. Try and move out of the room as much as you can. This way you are able to maximize your space. Otherwise, you may want to take some time to rearrange the furniture and whatnot in such a way so you have a sufficient amount of room.
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In addition to the layout of the room it is also a good idea to think about the temperature of the room. Since the body’s temperature usually increases during exercise it’s convenient to have a workout space that is cooler. Hence, many like to create their home gym in a cooler area of the home like the basement. If your home is heated closing the vents in the room can create a cooler atmosphere. Adding a small fan or two helps to circulate the air and cool things down as well.
The Exercise Yoga Mat
Purpose: While the name would imply yoga, having one of these is beneficial for many different forms of exercise. These mats are useful for doing floor exercise work as well as stretching. Buying a mat that rolls up is a nice option. Being able to easily store the mat is a convenient way to maximize the space of the home gym.
Price: The price for an exercise mat generally ranges from $15 to $40. Some vendors are more expensive than others; also the thicker the mat, the more it generally costs.
Workout Options: Using an exercise mat is ideal for workout pre and post stretching. It is also beneficial to have in a home gym when performing abdominal exercises as well as pushups. And of course, it’s also ideal when performing yoga exercises.
The Aerobic Step
Purpose: Using a step is useful for working the legs, glutes, and doing cardio exercises.
Price: An aerobic step costs anywhere from $15 to $85. While the prices of a step vary significantly so does the durability. If you are one who likes to use a step for an intense cardio workout, you may want to get one that is higher end. These generally are pricier. The less expensive tend to be less stable and have a smaller stepping platform. To get the most out of your workout you want one for your home gym that’s going to be able to accommodate your movements and also stay put.
Workout Options: An Aerobic step goes beyond just cardio, although many step routines can be easily found online. An aerobic step is also great for stretching out the legs and performing strength training. Using an aerobic step when performing squat exercises can add another dimension to your workout.
Purpose: Lifting weights is a convenient way to make various muscles in the arm stronger. Additionally, they are useful to incorporate when doing cardio activities. Weights of dumbbells generally range from 2 lbs to 100lbs per dumbbell.
Price: The cost of hand weights range generally from $10 to $100. The higher the weight of the dumbbell, the higher the cost usually is. When buying weights online make sure to read the fine print to discover if the price is for one dumbbell or a pair. Also, buying a bundle set of lighter weight dumbbells is an easy way to get a variety of weights at a more reasonable price per pair.
Workout Options: Dumbbells are a great way to tone arms in a home gym. Light weights also can be added to cardio workouts to intensify the workout and help you burn more calories. If you have an aerobic step adding in hand-weights to even the simplest step routine will work your entire body with that one workout. If you want a better cardio workout use lighter weights and more repetitions.
Purpose: Utilizing resistance bands as part of your home gym are very useful for strength training and weight lifting. They also are helpful for increasing flexibility and for toning muscles. Having a variety of bands with different levels of resistance allows you to have more workout options. While providing versatile workouts, bands don’t take up a lot of space and are easy to store.
Price: Resistance bands cost $10 – $30. When buying bands, they usually come in a set of four or five bands with varying resistance levels. A purchase of a band set should include a chart of each band’s weight limit so you can plan your workouts to your own level of fitness.
Workout Options: There are a multitude of resources online that showcase a variety of exercises that use resistance bands. From exercise blogs to YouTube videos, using these options makes crafting a workout a cinch. Resistance bands are known for being an effective way to build upper body stretch. Yet, they also can be used in conjunction with a yoga mat to work on the abdominals as well as increase flexibility in the lower half of the body.
Purpose: Having a multimedia device in the room can enhance your home gym. While it’s a nice form of entertainment while sweating away, it also can bring better workouts to you. The DVD player allows you play a variety of exercise or strength training DVDs.
Price: While the sky is the limit in terms of pricing, it is possible to get a TV/DVD combination for under $150. If you want a high-definition screen to cover an entire wall of your home gym, expect to pay more.
Workout Options: As mentioned above, TVs provide entertainment, but they are also a beneficial workout tool. Many complain about the monotony of working out. With a TV/DVD player it is possible to play a variety of workouts to keep your exercising interesting and invigorating. Rather than spending a ton of money buying and building a library of DVD workouts, start with your public library. Most libraries that rent out DVDs will have a section of exercise DVDs that can be checked out for a couple weeks. If you already subscribe to a service such as Netflix you can rent or stream a variety of workouts through those networks as well.
The Pitfalls of a Home Gym
Keeping in shape through the use of home gym certainly has its advantages. Many love saving time and being able to exercise in the comforts of their own home. But there are also some drawbacks of working out at home. Below are a few of the common pitfalls that occur after creating a home gym.
Some individuals spend more time creating the perfect home gym rather than using it. If this is your case you may need to give yourself a pep talk. But many do find that it is much more difficult to find the self-motivation to exercise at home. At a gym everyone is working out, so the desire to go there and do nothing is not as great. If you have a home gym, you may want to spend a few minutes planning your workout ahead of time. Having an exercise plan or goal in mind may help keep you on track and be a good motivator for working out.
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Another drawback of a home gym that occurs is the workouts can get interrupted. This is especially the case if you don’t live alone. Family members assume that since you are home they can approach you whenever they need you. To preserve your workout time and keep out the interruptions you may need to communicate this ahead of time to others. Letting the kids, partner, or sibling know ahead of time not to bother you when you’re in your home gym will hopefully allow you to exercise free of disruptions.
There’s a reason air freshener brands don’t make a scent called “Locker Room”; it’s not a pleasant odor. If you are someone who regularly utilizes the home gym it can start to carry that locker room aroma. While large gyms usually can diffuse the smell through high-grade ventilation systems or with large overhead fans, this is harder to do in a household.
To try and freshen the air of a home gym there are a couple of measures to take. For starters, it’s beneficial to use a disinfecting cleaning spray and wipe down the equipment periodically. It’s also not a bad idea to clean the floors with a cleaning agent as well. If the room of the home gym has windows, opening these will also help to freshen the air up. As a last resort there are a variety of air fresheners on the market that easily plug in and help cover odors.
While a home gym does have some disadvantages most of the issues can be easily solved. Getting into a routine and being consistent about it is probably the main challenge for most. But once this is established, most find that a home gym is a convenient way to get in shape and stay in shape.