Missing the gym during the pandemic? You’re not alone. Most Americans switched to at-home workouts when social distancing measures were put into place and nearly all will continue this practice even after fitness centers reopen. If you’re among those staying active at home, it’s time to create a proper space for your fitness needs.
Back in March when gyms closed, I knew I wouldn’t be able to survive without some sort of daily fitness routine. Between work and my family, I need that fitness outlet.
I find that fitness helps maintain not only my physical body but also my mental health.
I wanted to create a space that would help me find peace, comfort, and happiness. I wanted it to be a retreat regardless of what was going on in the world.
The best part? I found I could make small improvements to a space that made a big difference and that I didn’t need to over-invest to have a great home workout. In fact, I think this is why the majority of Americans will continue to utilize their home gym even after fitness centers reopen. They’ve designed a space that meets their specific needs. Why deviate from it?
In this blog, I’ll walk you through some of the simple steps that I used to create my home gym space. Remember, you can always add more later, so don’t let this space intimidate you initially!
1. Find the right space
The optimal space itself will be ultimately depend on who uses the gym and what types of workouts you want to do. Are your kids old enough to use the gym? Will the equipment that you or your partner want to use require lots of storage space?
If you’re just getting started, look for space for a mat so you can stretch, do core exercises, etc. If you’re looking to invest in weight-lifting equipment, then you’ll probably need an entire room dedicated to fitness.
2. Invest in the right equipment
Stocking your home gym can get expensive quickly, but I’d encourage you to start small and build on it. Some of the best home workout equipment is fairly small and inexpensive. Here are some of my favorites…
- A mat: Select either a yoga or jump mat; the latter is thicker and used for more intense exercises like plyometrics and core work
- Resistance bands: Versatile, small, and cost-effective
- Jump rope: Great way to do cardio without equipment
- Dumbbells: The right dumbbells can add a lot to your gym
- Pull up bar: A tool you can set up and break down without breaking a sweat
- Kettlebells: Helpful for full-body toning and cardio
- Workout bench: A great tool to expand your weight training program, especially if you have more space
3. Consider storage
If you’re adding a gym to your home as a bit of an afterthought, then you may not be working with the largest room. I found that using the right storage option really helped my home gym feel like a usable space. I could put my mat away when I wanted to jump rope, and my dumbbells had a place of their own. Thinking about the right storage options as you create the space can help you love the space once you have all the equipment in there.
4. Add the extras
You may not think your gym needs “extras,” but you’d be surprised how worthwhile a few extra touches can be. For instance, I found that a mirror helped me to feel like my space was bigger than it was. (Not to mention the fact that I can see what I’m doing while working out!).
I also added some inexpensive gym floor tiles over my carpet to help cushion my activity while protecting the floor from any sweat or equipment. A simple and inexpensive touch that went a long way!
There you have it! These four steps can help transform your home into a space that everyone can use. And although my gym initially began as a makeshift space, it’s here to stay.