With parks, beaches and gyms closed and remote work becoming more popular throughout last year, forgetting about workouts is easier than ever. However, working from home doesn’t mean you should stop taking care of your body. It can be easy and fun to stay fit and healthy even if you’re self-isolating.
You don’t need a lot – a little space and some equipment. However, you may also think about creating a home gym. This way, you’ll have an organized area for all your sports items, enough space for training, and nobody will bother you during workouts.
To set up a home gym, you’ll need the right space – if you live in an apartment, it can be a corner of your living room, and, if you’re a proud owner of a house – a spare bedroom, attic, or a vacant garage. The last one can always be upgraded, so you’ll have enough space for all the tools, yard supplies, and sports equipment. A1Garage.com, a company providing garage door services, claims that a significant amount of their garage make-over commissions are clients looking to turn that space into a home gym.
Then, of course, you’ll need to find the appropriate equipment. Don’t worry, you don’t have to buy everything you can find in a professional gym. You should only get the essentials for the most popular exercises from cardio and strength training, pilates, and yoga. Don’t know what exactly to buy? Our checklist will help you!
No matter what kind of activities you prefer, a mat is your absolute must-have. Unlike many bulky sports items, it will fit into every space, and you’ll use it for most of the exercises. When choosing a mat, consider its size, thickness, and durability – it must be comfortable and protect you from the floor, as well as long enough for you to lie down. If you train regularly, choose a mat with a protective coating, and if you do a lot of stretching or yoga, opt for a soft mat, which is at least 5 mm thick.
Aerobic steps can be used in all fitness styles: high-intensity interval (HIIT) training, cardio, low-impact circuits, weight training, and traditional step aerobics. It is one of the best pieces of equipment for total body training, and it also can be used as a trusty bench. Choose a step depending on its size, not price – look for the bigger ones, around 43×16 inches, so it will be easy for you to place feet on it and get enough back support when lying down.
If you’re not a fan of running, good news – 10 minutes of jumping rope are equivalent to 30 minutes of running. And it’s also fun – chances are you’ve done it as a child, so this will be like a childhood flashback! It’s also one of the safest pieces of equipment when it comes to injury statistics, as it puts less stress on the joints than running. If you want to combine it with strength training, choose a rope with removable weights stashed in the handles – it will help strengthen your arms and shoulders.
If you want to add some more resistance to your exercise, get resistance bands. Put them around your quads, ankles, or knees during the workout, or find a special exercise set and really feel the burn. Resistance bands also increase coordination, add variety, and are great for all fitness levels. They’re inexpensive, light, and don’t take up a lot of space – an ideal solution for a home gym.
Lighter dumbbells will help you stabilize the muscles and support the joints, while heavier ones will help build muscle mass. However, it’s not always possible to buy a whole set, so decide what weight you need depending on preferred exercises and your fitness level. If you’re just beginning your adventure with strength training, choose the lighter ones, around 5lbs, if you’re comfortable in a gym – those weighing around 8-12 lbs. And if you don’t have much storage place – get adjustable dumbbells, which are cost-effective and space-saving.
It will challenge your posture and, at the same time, help you work those core muscles. It’s also great for flexibility, yoga, and pilates exercises! Moreover, it can replace your computer chair for short periods of time and help you activate lower body and core muscles, and improve your balance. Make sure the ball you’re buying is the right size for you: the hips have to be at the same level or slightly higher than the knees.
The term “home gym” has usually been associated with something that only the richest of the rich could afford. After all, gym equipment is quite expensive and not everybody has enough free space in their homes to turn into a fitness area.
Thankfully, you don’t always need a treadmill for at-home workouts: some light and space-saving home-gym items can be a great solution. Working from home can be physically and mentally challenging, especially if you can’t go anywhere else. Just remember: some exercise is better than nothing. Take care of your mind and body, and don’t let the pandemic bring you down!