7 tips for creating a home gym

7 tips for creating a home gym

One of the biggest challenges to getting in shape is sticking with the commitment to a regular routine. Designating space in the home can make it easier to follow through with your fitness commitment. Here are seven questions to ask before setting your home gym plans in motion:

  1. What are my goals and current fitness level? This could be anything from toning up to slimming down, wanting to run a marathon or simply building up the stamina to comfortably walk a few miles. Identifying your goals in advance will help you decide what equipment you need. If you haven’t worked out since high school, be honest. Now is not the time to exaggerate your fitness level.
  2. How much space do I have, and money to spend? Dumbbells take up little more than a corner, but treadmills can require several feet of space. When it comes to paying for the equipment, most specialty fitness dealers offer financing and layaway. High-quality equipment will last longer, break less and be easier to use.
  3. How much time do I have to work out each day, and what do I most enjoy? That will help determine which equipment to buy because some pieces work faster than others. Look for something that will be fun and challenging. That way, you’ll want to keep coming back to it over time.
  4. What injuries do I have? Many people suffer from knee, back and joint problems and those can restrict what equipment you should buy. Talk to your doctor about possible restrictions before purchasing anything.
  5. What have I used in the past that has worked? If you were in great shape in high school or college and really enjoyed your workouts, consider sticking with a similar routine.
  6. How many people will use the equipment? Maybe your spouse and kids want to join in; maybe it will just be you. Regardless, take each participant into consideration before deciding on equipment.
  7. Am I really ready to make this commitment? Fitness is a lifetime commitment. If you think you’re going to workout for three weeks and then quit, the financial and emotional investment just isn’t worth it.

Want to move forward with a home gym? Consider these benefits and drawbacks:

Pros:

  • Convenient: You can exercise when it fits your schedule.
  • Saves time: No driving to the gym, no parking, no waiting in line to use equipment.
  • Private. You don’t have to worry or care about what others may think.
  • Customized: You can design your gym to your particular style and needs, from the equipment to the colors and music choices.
  • Saves money: In the long run, you can actually save money as you’re not paying for gas or a gym membership.

Cons:

  • Less variety : Unless you spend a lot of money, the availability of equipment is smaller in your home than in a fully stocked health club.
  • Limited access: You won’t have access to the latest equipment and advances in fitness technology.
  • You must self-motivate: You don’t have the social effect, the buzz and vibe of a gym, to energize you. Unless you hire someone to come to your home, you won’t have a trainer around to push and motivate you.
  • More distractions: It’s easier to be distracted by things at home, whether it’s a phone call or laundry buzzer.

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Amenities such as child care and a greater variety of fitness classes make working out at a gym more appealing and convenient. Here's what to look for in a fitness center and how to stick with a fitness program once you find one.

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