Create a Home Gym Without Breaking the Bank
Getting in shape doesn’t have to involve long hours at the gym or a costly club membership. Consider the time and money you could save working out at home.
Here are some ideas to help you create a home gym:
Clear a space and pick up home gym equipment
Create your home gym by first designating a space in your home – basement, unused room, a nook of your garage, etc. Set yourself up for success by making it a place you want to be. Have a TV or sound system for entertainment. Consider painting and decorating the space in your favorite style. Have a place for snacks, bottled water and towels.
When it comes to exercising at home, look for equipment that helps you concentrate on three areas: cardiovascular, strength building and flexibility.
Here’s what you need to target these areas when you work out at home:
1. Cardio equipment
- Jump rope: It may seem like a child’s toy, but jumping rope is an effective and inexpensive way to get a good cardio workout.
- Stationary bike or bike trainer: Look for a good buy on a stationary bike or invest $100 or so in a bike trainer – a stand that securely holds your bike in place while you pedal.
- Step bench or stairs: Using a step bench or even the stairs in your home is a simple way to work out your legs and heart. Many step benches even come with an exercise DVD, and there are plenty of how-to videos on the market.
2. Strength-training equipment
- Free weights and a gym bench: Repetitions using free weights or dumbbells can help tone and build strength. Using a padded and adjustable bench allows you to lift at different angles to target each muscle group. If you’ve never had professional instruction, check out the wide variety of books, DVDs or online sources to learn proper weight-lifting methods to help avoid injury.
- Exercise resistance bands: Resembling giant rubber bands, they come in different levels of resistance and work primarily arm and back muscles. The stretchy tubing also can help tone and strengthen even abs and legs. There are various print, video and online instructions for exercising with the bands.
- Push-ups and crunches (sit-ups): These old-fashioned, tried-and-true exercises target the core muscle and require no home gym equipment at all – just the willpower to push and crunch.
- Yoga mat: Yoga is a popular and effective way to improve flexibility by stretching – and a yoga mat is a good investment. Sometimes called sticky mats, they provide cushion, stay put on the floor and help stabilize you while also relieving pressure on your joints and back.
- Yoga blocks: When you pick up the mat, invest in some yoga blocks. These foam blocks are useful tools as you learn different positions. They bring the floor a little closer when you need to steady yourself.
- DVDs: Another good way to build flexibility when you exercise at home is to find instructional DVDs that walk you through movements and stretches. Unless you have a background in aerobics, dance, Pilates or something similar, you’ll want guidance on stretching.
Find home insurance coverage to protect your home gym
Working out at home lets you exercise on your own time and in a space you’re comfortable.