Setting up a workout space at home can save you time and money if done well. Don’t get sucked into buying intricate machines that cost more than years of a gym membership. Instead, get resourceful. Even if you have a small space or budget, you can set up an exercise area that will meet all of your needs. Here are a few helpful tips to get you started.
Prepare Your Space
Whether you have an entire room, or just a corner at your disposal, being smart with the space you have is crucial. First, make sure the area is safe for your workout. Cover hard or slick flooring with foam tiles, or store a yoga mat within reach if you don’t have the surface area for that. If there are young children in the house, make sure they can’t access any heavy equipment – close off the space or create a storage area for items you’re not using.
If you don’t have enough storage space for your equipment, consider investing in a coffee table, ottoman, or bed frame with hidden compartments.
Invest in Practical Rather Than Inspirational Items
Surely you know someone who’s fallen into this trap: they think that if they invest in an expensive machine, they will surely use it and surely get into better shape. But a few months later, the monstrosity is merely taking up room and gathering dust until it can be sold in a garage sale. Instead of getting things you think you should have, buy only equipment that you already know you enjoy. You really only need the basics to get an effective full-body workout, so don’t get swindled into buying something you’ll never use.
Here are some ideas for affordable equipment that will give you a great workout and no regrets:
Portable Pull-Up Bar Pull-ups are amazing for your shoulders, arms, back, and abs. And lucky for you, you don’t have to install a metal bar in your house to reap the benefits of this workout. Get a model that mounts in the doorway and offers several different grips for a variety of upper body workouts. You can easily take it down and store it in the closet when you’re finished.
Homemade Weights A new weight set seems essential, but your wallet may disagree. If that’s the case, consider making your own weights. Workout equipment doesn’t get much simpler, and you may already have several household items required to make a functional set of weights. Fill empty milk or water jugs with sand for hand weights, and customize the amount inside according to your needs. Fill a plastic bag with sand, duct tape it, and stick it in duffel bag. This can give you an even better workout than store-bought weights due to the shifting position of the sand inside the bag and the way your muscles have to work to account for it.
Resistance Bands Elastic resistance bands are cheap and easier to store than just about any workout item. They’re also versatile, and can help you with range of motion in a way that free weights can’t.
Create an Atmosphere
Make sure the room gets some ventilation. Update your heating and air system if necessary to ensure that the area is a comfortable temperature for a daily workout. Your home may not have as many germs as the gym, but you may still want to wipe down sweaty equipment after use. Stock the room with water bottles and wipes. Think of what visual elements motivate you, from brightly colored walls, to inspirational posters. If you focus on what specifically inspires you rather than what’s typical in a gym, you can save money and feel more motivated to stay healthy.
It’s really as easy as that. Now you won’t have to find excuses about why you can’t go to the gym, because you have the luxury of one in your very own home. It’s convenient, it’s usable, it’s effective, and perhaps best of all, it’s cheap.
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