If you’re like many other folks, you like the idea of having a consistent workout regimen, but you hate the idea of having to go to the gym. Perhaps, you find your local gym options too expensive or you’ve found the place too crowded.
You also might be worried about the cleanliness or health implications of using public gym equipment. Whatever the case, don’t worry; even if you’re working with a limited budget and a small living space, you can create an indoor workout environment at home that meets your exercise needs.
1. Carve Out a Space
First, you’ll have to carve out a space for your pseudo home gym. At first blush, your house or apartment may appear way too small to accommodate any kind of substantial physical activity, but you can build an effective workout space in as little as 36 square feet.
The best option is to have an unused room in your home where you build in everything you need. If you have a spare bedroom, a finished basement, or a roomy attic, these present a perfect opportunity.
Otherwise, you may have to shift furniture or get rid of something bulky that isn’t doing you much good. For example, could you dump the useless couch in the basement to make room for a workout space? You should investigate alternative spaces such as your garage.
2. Get Control of the Climate
You’re not going to want to work out if your exercise space is too cold or too hot. So make sure, it’s suitably climate controlled. If you have central heating and cooling, you may not have to worry about this.
But you still might want something extra like a space heater or even a full-scale fireplace to ensure the environs are warmer in winter … or a fan to cool it down in summer. The more comfortable you can make your workout space, the more motivated you’ll be to keep using it consistently.
3. Invest in Mats
No workout space is complete without some kind of mat. Even if you’re exercising on a carpeted floor, you’ll still prefer an extra layer of protection. Mats can serve multiple purposes –
- protecting your floor from the damage of falling weights.
- reducing the chances of injury if you should hit the floor hard.
- They can also make your workout more enjoyable.
You can purchase a yoga mat relatively cheap if you search for one online. Also, look at garage-style flooring mats, which can be linked to create a large, contiguous surface area.
4. Purchase Adjustable Dumbbells (or Resistance Bands)
One of the best things you can purchase for your workout room is a set of adjustable dumbbells. These can be expensive, so they may turn out to be one of your biggest purchases. Even entry-level sets tend to run more than $100.
However, they are often worth the money. Dumbbells can be used for a wide variety of exercises. Essentially, they enable a workout for your entire body. Plus, because they’re adjustable, you can use them to challenge yourself in any stretch or exercise, no matter how far you progress.
If you don’t feel ready for dumbbells or you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, substitute them with adjustable dumbbells that have a set of resistance bands. You’ll want to upgrade to heavier weights eventually, though, if you hope to enjoy the greatest benefits of resistance training.
Later, you can consider purchasing a weight bench, and a barbell with ample weights. You may need to create or find additional space to make this setup work, however.
5. Get a Stationary Bike (or a Stand)
In addition to weights, a good workout space will have an option for cardio. One of the most compact machines for this purpose is a stationary bike.
If you already have a functional bicycle, you could purchase a stand-alone stationary bike stand, which will convert your wheels into an indoor cardio machine in just a few minutes. This is an inexpensive solution.
Alternatively, you could buy a fold-up treadmill, or focus on bodyweight exercises such as jumping jacks.
Make Gradual Improvements
Your workout space isn’t apt to resemble a fully furnished home gym, the day you set it up. But you’ll have plenty of time and possibly room for growth.
As you get more comfortable with your workout space and ideally gain access to more funds, you can add equipment, upgrade your existing gear, and experiment with new exercises. You might even decide to move to bigger quarters just so you can pack more into your workout area.
In addition to setting up an indoor workout space, think of strategies for spending more time outdoors. You can bike, run, or go for more and longer walks, and enjoy the fresh air while you work your body. As long as you’re motivated and happy to be drilling your physique, you should consider it a win.