Contributed by Ashley Halsey
As the world begins to open up post COVID-19 lockdowns, gyms have reopened their doors with enthusiasm. You may feel super keen to go back and get back into it; but after almost a year of home workouts, you may also be considering just taking the plunge and getting setting up your own gym at home.
Whilst the traditional gym is sacred to many, there are some downsides that a home gym makes up for. To begin with, you won’t have to renew that steep gym membership — and no more dealing with other sweaty people!
If you’re interested in building your own home gym, read on to find out the best tips to get started, find the best equipment, and keep working out efficiently at home!
Things to consider before setting up a home gym
1. Select appropriate flooring
This point is very important, but sometimes it’s overlooked. The flooring in a gym is key because you’re likely going to be doing high impact workouts, lying on the floor to stretch, and may even have full blown core workouts that are floor-based.
Having a floor that cushions some of that high impact activity is essential, and your knees and joints will thank you in a few years’ time. Not only is the type of flooring important; but also be mindful that the space you have is levelled, especially for placing equipment, as any slants or uneven floor could damage the equipment or worse, cause you injury.
2. Make sure it’s bright
Fitness blogger Madison Carter talks about her main home gym tips: “Keeping the space well-lit is very important. I prefer natural light, as it makes me feel more motivated to work out; but if you only have a basement space you can use, make sure it’s lit with good quality lighting. Silly injuries can happen easily if you can’t see two feet from you.”
If you’re planning on using your space for different kinds of workouts, like HIIT and then yoga, you may want to consider a dimmable lighting system, so you can create the perfect ambiance for each style of workout.
This may sound self-explanatory but it’s a very important factor. Many people don’t realise how poor the indoor quality of the air can be, especially if you’re somewhere like a garage or a basement. On top of this, if you’re working out in there, you need to have a good ventilation system to avoid a build-up of moisture and to protect your lungs, as you’re gasping huge quantities of this kind of air.
The solution to this can be as easy as opening a window; but you may not have that option, in which case it’s advisable to install a ceiling fan and get a dehumidifier.
Interior designer Terry Garfield tells us: “Houseplants are a good idea to keep the air fresh and rid yourself of some allergens and potentially dangerous particles for your lungs. They’re also great to make a space look and feel more lived in and alive, the touch of greenery can transform a dingy garage into a lovely room.”
4. Free weights or machines?
This one is up to you entirely, and it depends on what sort of workout you enjoy. Free weights tend to be the more popular option, as they are significantly cheaper than machines. Also, for most home workouts, free weights target a greater range of muscle groups and are generally better regarded in the fitness world.
This is not to say machines are useless. If you’re an athlete, bodybuilder, or model you may need more targeted and specific workout routines that involve the use of machines. Also, if you invest in a set of machines, you can create easy workout circuits that may feel less burdensome than some free weight routines. Once again, it’s all up to you and your preferences and needs!
Overall, investing in a home gym is essentially investing in your own, long term, health, and well-being, so you can’t really go wrong with it. Make sure you do in-depth research on how to make the space you have available as safe and comfortable as possible and choose your equipment wisely!
Featured image credit: irina88w via Canva Pro