Guest Writer: Jake Moreno
Having an in-home gym is the dream of just about everybody who is passionate about health and fitness. Paying for a gym membership has its benefits, such as access to sports courts, fitness trainers, group classes, nutrition advice, and more, but having an in-home gym has its own range of benefits that many people think outweigh those of paying for a membership.
For example, there is a lot to be said for the money you’ll save in the long run by owning your own equipment. Gym memberships can range from $10 to $200 or more each month, which adds up quickly—especially if you want to make a lifelong commitment to staying healthy. Buying your own equipment can seem like a costly investment (because it often is), but if you think about the long-term, it will definitely save you money down the road.
In addition to saving money, there is a lot to be said for having the equipment readily available in your house. One of the biggest obstacles people face when it comes to incorporating physical activity into their daily lives is how much of a hassle it is to get to and from the gym. It can be a serious time commitment that is exaggerated by bad weather. If the thought of waiting in traffic or trudging through the rain or snow has ever discouraged you from going to the gym, you could benefit from having a home gym.
There are loads of other benefits as well, including increased privacy, eliminating the need to hire a babysitter while you’re away and being able to wear whatever you want, to name a few.
The Basics of a Home Gym
I mentioned before that buying your own equipment can be expensive. While that is often true, it isn’t always the case. And it’s not like you need to go out and buy everything all at once—you can buy exercise equipment little by little, and you’ll have a fully-functioning gym before you know it! To get you started, here is a list of a few inexpensive things you can start with to get your home gym going.
Dumbbells are extremely versatile and should be one of the very first things a would-be home gym owner should invest in. Every major muscle group can be worked with the help of some dumbbells and a few exercises that can be found online. You won’t need very many dumbbells, either. Purchase a few dumbbells within about 50 lbs of each other and you will be set to perform enough workouts to keep you busy for a while.
Jump ropes provide some of the best cardio and agility training out there. It may look simple, but on average, jumping rope burns a surprising 20 calories every minute! In just 15 minutes, you can burn 300 calories or more just by jumping rope. It also improves your agility and coordination. And the best part? You can pick one up for only a few dollars and it will last you a long time.
Treadmills are an essential part of any home gym, especially for people who live in areas that experience extreme weather. While a good treadmill is definitely on the more expensive side, you’ll thank yourself for buying it for years to come. Studies have shown that starting and ending each day with a brisk walk and starting and ending each workout with a light jog will benefit your health in more ways than just giving you a runner’s high. Here’s a link to what you should be looking for when you purchase a home treadmill.
Stationary Bikes are a perfect alternative to a treadmill for people who have bad knees or are unable to run. Using a stationary bike is much easier on the knees than running is, and it provides similar benefits. In fact, using a stationary bike has been shown to strengthen the muscles surrounding your knees, improve joint stability, and increase your range of motion.
If you have any or all of the equipment above, you’ll have just about everything you need to start a working home gym. Like I mentioned before, you don’t have to buy all of it all at once, but if you commit to consistently expanding your home gym, you’ll have a home gym in no time, complete with machines, a sound system, and everything else you need to get in a great workout from home.