There are few things as convenient as a home gym for the health-conscious homeowner. In fact, don't even think of it as a gym—think of it as more of a dedicated fitness room. There are obvious benefits to having ready access to a fitness room, such as maintaining a healthy weight, building lean muscle mass and increasing cardiovascular health.
With today's workaholic culture, you're probably one of the many professionals who don't have time to commute to and from a gym after a long day; a home fitness center serves as a convenient replacement. Even if you're not a fan of hitting the gym, a home fitness room could be just the thing you need as encouragement to start building healthy habits.
Find the Right Equipment for Your Fitness Goals
The first order of business is deciding what style of fitness you most enjoy. Do you lean heavily towards weight-lifting? Do you enjoy jogging on treadmills and elliptical machines, or prefer isometric machines? If you consider yourself a bodybuilder or want to tone lean muscles, then your room may not need to be that large—in fact, you may not even have to dedicate an entire room exclusively to fitness. A few weight racks positioned up against a wall would do nicely for various arm work-outs, and if you have the space, a bench-press apparatus in the middle of the room will help you achieve your heavy lifting goals. There are plenty of compact leg-lift machines, and a pull-up bar can be suspended in a doorway to round out your mini-fitness center.
A More Complete Vision of Fitness
Gyms tend to look all the same: spare decorations and row upon row of equipment. Luckily, the potential customizable variations on a home fitness room
are nearly endless. If you're primarily into running and walking-related exercises, you'll probably need considerably more space than a body-builder, since that equipment has a large footprint. An elliptical or treadmill machine might dominate one section of the room, leaving room for perhaps a punching bag and speed bag positioned in another part. Getting the perfect arrangement for your needs may require a bit of remodeling on your part—especially if you want the new fitness room to look as you pictured it.
For added motivation when you need a boost for those last few reps, a serious in-home fitness room should have some entertainment. Picture yourself powering through a difficult, calorie-blasting uphill treadmill workout with a flat screen TV in front of you, showing champion athletes doing the same. (Or your favorite guilty TV pleasure.)
Making the Best of What You've Got
Although building a full fitness center is worthwhile for some folks, it is hardly necessary for everyone. A multi-functional space works just as well—just make sure you've got at least a single designated exercise wall free of clutter
, so as to cut down on any excuses that may cut into your exercise routines. The rest of the room can be arranged around the exercise portion, in a strategic fashion that smoothly blends into the overall space.
All in all, a home fitness room solves the single greatest impediment to working out: actually going to the gym. Gone are the days when you're weighing the time to get there against plans for the rest of the evening—with a fitness room at home, you never have to add an extra commute to your day. If you find yourself paying a gym membership but not putting it to good use, it may be time to consider bringing the gym home with you in the form of your very own fitness room.