by Melissa Bell & The Health Science Journal
The word gym always conjures images of rows of machines, weight areas, loud pumping music that interrupts your ability to think and uncomfortable crowding. Luckily, a home gym doesn’t have to incorporate all of that and with a few choice pieces of equipment and a dedicated area of your own within your home, you can have your own personal fitness area that allows you to train whenever you like – without having to clean equipment and worry about what you’re touching.
While you might be thinking – how could I possible afford to set up my own home gym – it doesn’t have to break the bank and in fact, is something you can gradually grow and develop over time by adding extra pieces and upgrading equipment, once you have the funds available. To get you started and inspired, here are some budget ways to start building your own home gym and getting into a good habit, without the need to start selling off your treasured belongings;
Start with the Basics
You don’t need a state-of-the-art treadmill or exercise bike to get you started, but simply the motivation to be healthy and improve yourself and your fitness levels. A skipping rope, soft mat (like a yoga mat) and a weight set can see you successfully work each muscle group and can all be picked up for relatively cheap with little variation between quality and cheaper options.
Once you’ve got a basic area set up, add a jar or pot to your fitness room or home gym space and every time you use the space put in between $1-$5 (or equivariant in your local currency) into the jar. Once you’ve formed a habit, you’ll soon notice your money-pot begin to fill up and this can be put towards upgrading or improving your equipment when you feel like a challenge. This can be motivation to get you to use your gym space more when the jar is looking low and can be a handy place to throw any loose change before you begin your fitness routine.
Avoid State-of-the-Art Equipment
Top tier gym equipment is expensive, but it is also designed for constant use by a continuously revolving door of gym attendees – the average home gym (unless being attended by half the neighborhood) does not need to include top of the line fitness or gym equipment. You don’t have to pay the prices expected of new quality equipment either and can save yourself a lot by investing in second-hand or refurbished equipment. Advanced or brand-new equipment is nice to look at but can often have a higher learning curve as it includes a whole host of bells and whistles that aren’t going to apply to the average gym user. Not only that, but a much smaller pool of gym-goers would have used or had access to the equipment, making it difficult to choose equipment based on actual user feedback.
As with any large purchase, do your research before putting down the investment – you might find that feedback hasn’t been positive, or the costs of maintenance and repairs outweighs all benefits gained from owning a high-tech piece of equipment.
Split it with a Buddy
Do you have a gym buddy or family member that you often attend the gym with? Why not invest in a home gym together, while it will need to be at one of your houses – depending on who has the space available – it can make it much easier to provide a comprehensive fitness area when you’ve got a bit more capital to play with. Plus, having someone to work out with routinely is always more motivating than trying to get into the right mindset by yourself.
The Benefits of a Home Gym
You might be wondering why you’d want to have a home gym rather than go out to a gym which already has a range of professional equipment and personal trainers available. The reality is, on average, gym goers spend $58 each month alone on gym memberships and that’s not counting the travel, clothing, supplements and additional trainer costs that accompany it. With all the additions, it’s estimated that gym users spend up to $155 a month on using their gym. That’s quite a high number. In comparison, if you were to create a home gym for less than $1000 – you’d be saving money after 7 months.
Not only is it cheaper, but without so many other gym users around, you can work out comfortably without worrying about who is waiting for your machine. No gross equipment wipe downs and you can listen to the music you like, rather than having to put up with the almost unbearable monotonous bass beat that accompanies professional gyms.
You’ll also spend less on supplements as you have easy access to your home foods and kitchen to prepare a healthy post-workout meal or snack and the benefit of no longer having to put up with gym locker and changing rooms.
Whether it’s something you aspire to or has been on your mind for a while, a home gym can make all the difference to your work-out routine, inspiring you to enjoy working out and making it easy to form long-lasting positive fitness habits. Explore the possibility of a home gym for yourself today!