2020 saw a massive increase in home fitness activity. This didn’t start by choice. The pandemic shut down gyms in many areas. This led to a mass movement to set up workout options on the homefront.
Now that pandemic restrictions are lightening up, it’s created an interesting question. Will you return to the gym, or have the benefits of exercising from home changed your opinion on home workouts?
If you find yourself sold on the idea of long-term home workouts, you want to make sure you’re set up for success. Creating a sustainable fitness routine at home requires more than just the right mindset. It also takes an investment in planning, infrastructure, and of course, equipment.
1. Create a Budget
If you decide to invest in a home workout setup, resist the urge to rush right out and drop two grand on a state-of-the-art home gym. Sure, you might be able to get a set at a discount or even second-hand. Even so, that doesn’t mean it’s actually worth it — or even in your price range at the moment.
It’s true that a home gym can save you money in the long run. However, it’s important to remember that it will still cost more money upfront. This is why you should start the process by sitting down and considering what you can realistically afford.
Start by adding up how much you’re saving by not having a gym membership. According to Healthline, the average gym membership is $58 per month. Of course, this number tends to vary. On the one hand, working out at the local Planet Fitness, allows you to work in some frill-less exercise for as little as $10 a month. On the other hand, if you like the platinum experience or you simply live in certain geographic areas, you could spend north of $100 a month.
Get your last gym bill and see how much you’ve paid in the past. This can help you create a baseline for how much you can spend on your home gym. Consider how much you would have spent in the next couple of years on a gym membership. Then use that as an indicator for how much you can invest in your home gym without spending more money in the long-run.
Once you have a budget in place, it’s time to consider what to spend the money on.
2. Start with Infrastructure
Before you start researching equipment, take some time to ensure that your home is ready for a gym. A few factors to consider include:
- Space: Do you have an adequate amount of space to exercise in? Even if you do, consider how much space you have. Can you fit a yoga mat? What about a full home gym, bike, elliptical, or treadmill? You want to understand how much space you have to work with before you buy anything.
- Tech: Your exercise space should also be well-equipped with the tech that you require while you work out. Do you have quality speakers for your workout mix? What about high-speed internet for any audio or visual streaming? Some smart exercise equipment also needs a solid internet connection.
- Cleanliness: Do you have an area that is clean? Do you have a schedule to keep it that way? What about air quality, temperature control, and other environmental concerns? If you’re going to invest in a home gym, you want to set it up in an inviting, healthy space.
It’s easy to skip this part. Try not to, though. This is a crucial step in setting up an appealing fitness space that will keep your interest and remain indefinitely inviting.
3. Consider Equipment
At this point, it’s time to consider the equipment that you’ll need for your gym. Avoid the need to slip into a “bigger is a better” mindset here. Instead, think about what equipment you need for your own unique workouts. What machines or exercise paraphernalia do you routinely utilize? In many cases, you may even be able to get a single piece of equipment that can be used for several different exercises.
It’s wise to start with some affordable staple items, such as a workout mat, weights, and resistance bands. From there, consider any space or budget limitations and then choose what you want to get to beef up your setup.
As you come up with your own list of required equipment, remember to separate wants from needs. For instance, you may like to use an exercise bike. However, that doesn’t mean you necessarily need a Peloton or NordicTrack. You can always save up to buy exercise equipment like this in the future. However, if you’re limited on funds, consider getting a basic bike to start with. You may even want to look for a gently-used one if you’re trying to stick to a tight budget.
4. Set the Stage for Success
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your home gym. You may be able to order your equipment and even set most of it up in a short amount of time. However, your gym won’t really be a success until you’re using it on a consistent basis.
This takes more than an upfront investment. You must also maintain a solid amount of commitment and discipline, as well. It’s far too easy to lose sight of your fitness goals once the excitement of setting up your gym fades. Consider the following steps to help you stay focused on healthy exercise over the long-term:
- Set up an exercise schedule: A recurring schedule can help you carve out time, stay focused, and maintain momentum with your workouts.
- Check on your progress: Also schedule times to review your progress and consider if adjustments in your daily fitness regimen are needed.
- Track your progress: It’s much easier to assess your progress if you track it by using a fitness tracker or an exercise app on your phone.
- Stay accountable: Get a family member or friend to help you stay accountable as you exercise from home.
There are many factors that you should consider when investing in a home gym. From budgets to equipment, solid internet to accountability, if you want to stay fit at home, you must take the time to set the stage for success first.