It is coming up to that time of year when post-Christmas excess leads many of us to take up expensive gym memberships. We hold the mistaken belief that we will use them regularly in an effort to get fit and lose some inches from around the waist. Often, the result is that we spend an awful lot of money on a venue that is used infrequently.
Why is this? Maybe because it becomes inconvenient to travel to the gym. Or that we lose the motivation because it takes an effort to leave the home to use the equipment. If this is the only reason, then there is an answer – create a gym in the home.
A home gym offers convenience in that there is no travelling involved, and the equipment is accessible regardless of the time of day. There is also no continued cost once the equipment has been bought and installed.
As space is no doubt limited within the home, it is wise to invest in equipment that provides comprehensive exercise benefits. This could include the purchase of a cross trainer which also doubles as an exercise bike, both activities providing excellent cardiovascular exercise. A treadmill or rowing machine is also suitable for the home gym.
The body needs to be toned as well as exercised, so weights or dumb bells in varying weights are another good investment to build up muscle strength. To improve balance and flexibility, a non-slip mat is an essential for yoga practices and Pilates workouts. To aid these activities, get hold of a stability ball and resistance bands.
Storage options for the home gym
Some of the larger pieces of equipment will obviously need to be left in situ, but the smaller items will need to be stored to help keep the home gym area tidy and safe.
Weights, for example, are best stored in specially designed freestanding racks suitable for their size and weight. Resistance bands are best stored in small storage boxes, perhaps placed in a bookcase that will take up a small footprint against the wall. A large storage box is also a good place to put rolled up yoga mats, towels and bottles of water. A stability ball could be stored in a large cupboard.
To stop exercise becoming boring, remember to install some form of entertainment, whether audio or visual, or a combination of the two. Televisions are best kept out of the way by being mounted on the wall, but an alternative placement area would be a media centre. This could hold an audio player too.
Quirky storage solutions
Consider making some quirky and original storage solutions for your home gym. As well as making an excellent window dressing, custom shutters can be fixed together to make unusual pieces of furniture. For example, try fixing four together to create a rectangular box, which can be fitted with end pieces to make a cupboard or storage box.