So you say you want to work out more, but a gym membership just isn’t in the budget? No problem. Creating a home workout space dedicated to a consistent exercise practice only requires a little bit of rearranging, imagination and planning. And for under $50, you can invest in the right (easily stored!) equipment that will turn a hum-drum corner of your home into your intentionally energizing space.
Find the Perfect Space in Your Home
First, take a walk around your home and identify an area that would be a good fit for your workout routine. If you enjoy following workouts on DVDs, then your living room might be the right space for you. Or if your bedroom has high ceilings and lots of open floor space, that might be the best spot for you to set up an exercise nook. Kara Brynteson, a St. Augustine-based certified fitness instructor, notes that her favorite workout space is the bedroom, because of the open floor plan and large mirror. “I find that doing my sequences in the mirror helps me adjust my form so that I’m doing the movements correctly,” she says. Find the space that works best for what you like to do. Ideally, this is a clutter-free area with lots of natural light.
Arrange – or Rearrange – the Space
Once you’ve determined your ideal workout space, it’s time to adjust the furniture and make room for your layout. Chances are, you already have what is needed to make this space your perfectly serene workout spot. Just make sure that the room allows you to stretch out on the floor and move your limbs freely without bumping into furniture. Try strategically placing a storage ottoman or basket nearby to tuck away the workout gear. This is where you can stash your weights and mat when they’re not in use. Just make sure that it’s accessible – you don’t want to hide it so well that you never pull your gear out!
AT HOME GYM TIP: Try strategically placing a storage ottoman or basket nearby to tuck away the workout gear.
Stock Your Space
Once you’ve identified your workout space and made room for movement, it’s time to stock up a little. Investing in a few exercise items is key to preparing your home workout space. This is not the time to invest in a treadmill or Stairmaster, unless you really, really think you will use it. Instead, take a trip to your local T.J. Maxx or do some browsing online for a few of these simple start-up options to outfit your workout space:
- A set of lightweight dumbbells, such as Champion C9 5-lb. weights
- A yoga mat, such as GoYoga’s extra thick exercise mat (found on Amazon)
- A set of resistance bands, such as the C9 comfort grip band and Phantom Fit Loop Bands (found on Amazon)
- You can also utilize a few items that are already in your home, like a chair, towel and clipboard (we will get to that one in a minute). Go ahead and stock your storage ottoman or basket with these items, so that your newly appointed workout space is ready when you are!
Now it’s time to actually plan ahead for your home workouts. Just because those resistance bands are within reach doesn’t mean they will actually lift themselves. Go ahead and gather a few workout sequences. Kara recommends searching Pinterest or browsing through some health magazines to find a variety of arms, legs and abs sequences that will challenge you. Print out (or tear out) those pages and post them to your clipboard so you can reference them as needed. Using a workout DVD, like Jillian Michaels’ 30-Day Shred DVD, gives you a quick, efficient session. Kara adds that there are countless streaming options available. “The Suzanne Bowen subscription offers so many workouts, which keeps my home routine challenging and fresh,” she comments. “Plus, the streaming option makes it easily compatible with any of my devices, so I can use my phone, iPad or TV to connect.” This range of options ensures that there is something for everyone in their own home workout space.
Create an Action Plan (and put it on the calendar!)
Now that your space is chosen, arranged, and stocked with gear and a plan, it’s time to decide when you’re going to exercise – and write it down. Putting your home workout on the calendar as if it’s an appointment will help guard that time slot and guarantee that you stay accountable to the plan. As Kara notes, “If you write it down, you will stay closer to your goals. Even if you only have ten minutes in your calendar, you know that you can pull out those weights and mat and make the most of those ten minutes. And you will be so glad you did.”