A year of isolation in our homes because of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many people to make necessary adjustments to their exercise routine. Without ready access to the local gym, home gyms have become popular. As we exit the pandemic, many have learned that working out at home provides an effective, efficient, and workable solution to staying fit.
In this article, fitness enthusiast Daniel Calugar describes the equipment necessary to make an at-home gym for any space on a budget and provides tips and suggestions for anyone looking to stay fit and healthy during the pandemic and beyond.
Before purchasing new equipment to establish or expand your home gym, several things should be considered:
- Your preferred types of exercise, such as weightlifting, aerobics, yoga, etc.
- The size and shape of your available space.
- Heating and ventilating.
- Noise considerations.
- Structural supports for mounting equipment.
Even if living in a tiny apartment with a limited budget, you can still utilize part of your home as a place to exercise. The most cost-effective solutions for staying fit require only a little space and a good floor mat.
If you are fortunate enough to live near a park or running trail, remember to utilize these resources when weather permits. Walking, running, and bicycling are excellent affordable forms of exercise.
Yoga, weightlifting, push-ups, sit-ups, squats, lunges, and jump rope require very little additional space. A floor mat is important to protect your joints if engaging in aerobic exercises. If you live in an apartment, your downstairs neighbors will appreciate your investment in a sound-absorbing floor covering.
Resistance bands, free weights, a medicine ball, and a kettlebell or two are very inexpensive. Other affordable options include a pull-up bar or gymnastic rings. When supporting your body weight, always ensure your equipment is mounted to a reinforced structure, not just the dry-wall or plaster. Structural support is also an important consideration for wall-mounted exercise equipment.
Treadmills and stationary bikes are an excellent choice for aerobic exercise and endurance training. Sadly, many people abandon their exercise goals, so used exercise equipment is readily available on various apps and websites. Finding a slightly used but high-quality piece of exercise equipment may be a better investment than a low-priced but low-quality piece of new equipment.
Remember that when you exercise, especially aerobic exercise, you will generate body heat and be uncomfortable unless your exercise space is adequately ventilated and cooled. Budget-minded individuals may choose a window-mounted fan or air conditioner, while others opt to modify their home’s HVAC system.
The options for building an at-home gym are limitless and will be unique to your particular situation. There may be some expense involved, but if you can offset the cost with what would have been a gym membership fee, the net price will be reasonable. The important thing is to find something that works for you to stay with your exercise program and be healthy.