Creating a home gym on a budget

With February being National Heart Month in Canada, there is no better time to create a home gym. Whether you want to begin getting in shape or just maintain your health, it’s not necessary to break the bank paying expensive gym membership fees when you can create a convenient home gym on a budget.

Workout at home

The space

You will only need a small spare room or even the corner of a larger space, such as a rec room, in which to establish a home gym. A downstairs room is preferable due to noise considerations. If you’re setting up in a basement room with concrete floors, consider acquiring a carpet remnant to put down beneath your equipment.

The equipment

What you choose to put in your home gym will be determined by what you wish to accomplish, your preferences and your budget. A basic set of free weights and perhaps a bench is suggested for strength training. To get your heart rate up, burn calories, tone muscles, and increase endurance, you may elect to acquire any number of machines, including a rowing machine, a treadmill, a stationary bicycle, a step machine or an elliptical trainer, which is arguably the best at providing an all-around workout. The best way to equip your home gym on a budget is to check out yard sales, classified ads, and internet sites such as Kijiji for drastically reduced prices. Just be sure to check the equipment over thoroughly and test it before buying, to ensure it’s in proper working order.

Workouts

One of the reasons people join a gym is for the motivation and/or social aspect of group exercise. At home, you can re-create that experience in whole or in part through use of workout DVDs — think yoga, pilates, dance, targeted light-weight toning workouts, and even Zumba! Whether you use a DVD player or one of the newer interactive video game systems, you will find plenty of options for great workouts. You’ll still have the experience of being motivated by an instructor, and if you miss the social aspect, invite a friend or two over to join in. Note: if your home gym has a concrete floor, you’ll need to pad it with foam mats of some sort — try the interlocking foam puzzle mats designed for kid’s playrooms, which are very affordable.

Accessories

Finish off your home gym within budget by acquiring inexpensive new or used items such as motivational posters, a full-length mirror (for checking technique), a boombox or MP3 player, a yoga mat, weight-lifting gloves, a stability ball, resistance bands, a jump rope or even a hula hoop. Any or all will enhance your space and your workouts to help ensure that you visit your home gym regularly.

More home fitness

Indoor fitness: Winter workouts from the experts
Budget-friendly fitness: How to get a great body on the cheap
6 Simple indoor exercises

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