Your Home Gym, Use it and Lose It

Home gyms are hot, poor health is not.  According to the National Association of Home Builders one-third of new and potential home buyers list a home gym as essential or desirable, just behind home offices and theater rooms as the most popular specialty space.

The best investment you can make in yourself is to start an exercise program you live with, it needs to be convenient and comfortable, or let’s face it, you’ll just stop using it after a few weeks, just like that gym membership you had.  Creating and decorating a home gym that suits your lifestyle will help keep you on the track to fitness.

  • If you hate stairsteppers like I do, don’t buy one for your home gym.  You won’t use it, so what’s the point of spending the money.  Invest in equipment that you’re going to use – if you prefer treadmills, better to buy a quality treadmill than to purchase a lower end treadmill and stairstepper.  That’s not to say you shouldn’t purchase challenging equipment, just make sure it’s equipment that will be put to good use, and not gather dust.
  • Multi-purpose strength training machines, such as the Bow-flex, are great additions to your home gym, but if it’s too complicated to change the settings and uses, you’re going to skip it whenever you can find an excuse.  Make sure your strength training machines are user-friendly and multi-tasking.
  • Floor mats are a necessity for stretching, and having them in your home gym is a reminder that you should stretch out to avoid injury before starting your run – or your walk.
  • Televisions and stereos are way cool for home gyms.  Watch the news in the morning while on your treadmill, it’s a great way to start the day.
  • Mirrors are motivating – there’s nothing like seeing a few jiggles when jogging to get you to do that last mile.  They’re great for lighting and making the room look larger and more inviting as well.  Try a wall of mirrors to mirror your professional gym.
  • You can have something other than exercise equipment in your home gym, it doesn’t have to be 100% task oriented.  A small sofa, such as an inexpensive one from Ikea, with a side table isn’t out of place here, and can make the space seem more inviting.
  • Don’t forget to hydrate – a small refrigerator or water dispenser is a healthy addition to your decor – you need to drink plenty of water when exercising, and having it close at hand will help.
  • Keep larger equipment towards the outer wall and smaller equipment in the middle where it can be seen – and used – out of sight, out of mind.

Decorating and outfitting your home gym for your use is the first step to making exercise part of your regular routine.