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Fitness at Home: Creating a Home Gym

Home gym fitness equipment can be purchased for nearly any type of exercise activity. From a home gym leg press machine, to rowers, elliptical equipment and Bowflex machines, the array of equipment can be both exhilarating and overwhelming. Because the best home gym is the one that gets used, it’s important to select the equipment that is the best fit with the user.

Space for the Home Gym

Before rushing out to purchase any type of equipment, begin by taking inventory of how much space there is available for this equipment, and plan accordingly. While there are several compact and “space saver” home gym machines, they may not fit the needs of the user and will end up taking more space than they save if they aren’t being used.

A lot of gym equipment is heavy and not easily moved from one section of the home to another, so designating a permanent spot to set the equipment in and tailoring the space to fit the user’s needs is important.

Basements, spare rooms and even a corner of a living room often meet the space requirements needed, if a separate room is not created for the sole purpose of housing exercise equipment. To ensure that the space gets plenty of use, make it as user friendly as possible. Cover the ground with a thick, easy to clean material that is comfortable for stretching and floor exercises. Try to refrain from using carpeting in basement settings, as the dampness over time may lead to mildew and other health concerns.

Waterproof, foam mats are available, which can be rolled out on the floor to provide plenty of cushion while not wicking moisture from the air. Cork flooring is another great option, as it is springy, elastic and inherently waterproof. Cork is also available in a wide variety of colors and patterns, perfect for laying over an entire room, and providing a place for other family members to enjoy.

Provide plenty of ventilation and cooling, and be sure that there is plenty of space to stretch out and move around comfortably. If the user can focus better without a great deal of distractions, turn equipment away from other sections of the room that may have other people or entertainment. For exercisers who work better with a form of distraction, include radios, TVs, or places to leave reading material.

Building the Home Gym

When an adequate space has been designated, it’s time to find the right equipment. Be sure that the equipment being selected is a good fit with the user. A Pilates home gym is going to look very different, and provide a different exercise routine than a resistance home gym will. If unsure of what type of equipment is going to be the best fit, it might be worthwhile to purchase a two week pass to a local gym and try out various pieces of equipment and classes first, before purchasing something that may not get any use.

When purchasing the equipment, purchase the highest quality equipment affordable. Good home gyms get a lot of use, and it will cost more money in the long run to have to replace worn out equipment that wasn’t able to stand up to the user, than to purchase a better quality piece to begin with.

If possible, purchase equipment that can offer multiple exercises, so that the user does not grow bored or quickly outgrow the equipment and routine. A Smith machine, which uses large free weights for bench pressing and leg pressing, can be used by someone with little weight or a great deal of weight, and can be used for upper body and lower with little modification. Freestyle machines, which allow the user to change the position of the pulleys, as well as the resistance, also offer a great deal of versatility, allowing the exerciser to change their routine frequently.

Include a range of free weights, and other items, like exercise balls and benches, which can help the user to customize their workout. Try to stay away from machines that offer quick results with little effort on the part of the user. They rarely work, and will merely waste time and expenses. Single use machines, can also quickly become outdated and outgrown, forcing the user to move on to something else.

Creating a home gym is a worthwhile endeavor for people of all fitness levels and abilities. It can help motivate the exerciser, who will see the equipment on a regular basis, and provide a comfortable place to work out. A properly equipped home gym can save money in the long run by eliminating the need for a gym membership with monthly fees and expenses. Trainers are often available to come to a user’s home to help a new exerciser start their routine, and show them how to get the most of the equipment at hand. Trainers can often help someone to purchase the equipment that is right for them, if there are any questions or doubts ahead of time.

Create a gym in a section of the home today, and bring a new era of fitness and exercise to the space.