With the pandemic lingering and time at a premium for most of us, working out at home rather than at a gym is both safer and more efficient than traveling to another venue.
So how can you make a home gym that’s functional and inviting?
A recent New York Times article offered these tips:
Choose the right room: It doesn’t have to be huge. The Times mentions one woman who turned a room the size of a walk-in closet into a pleasing workout space. Basements with the appropriate ceiling height, little-used guest rooms, or home offices can also work nicely.
Equipment: First, consider what equipment you will actually use. No need to devote space to something that will remain untouched, day in and day out. The good news is that more companies are streamlining equipment such as stationary bikes and treadmills to take up less space. The Times also points out that some interactive fitness systems, such as Mirror, Tonal and Forme, “are as unobtrusive as a wall-mounted mirror or picture frame.”
Layout: Consider the flow of the room. For example, you’ll need space behind a treadmill, in case you fall off. You’ll also need adequate space between items to make them easily accessible. Some equipment requires electricity; these pieces will need to be positioned near an electrical outlet. Open space in the center of the room is nice for stretching, doing yoga and floor exercises.
Flooring: “Some type of resilient floor is always a good idea,” notes the article. Consider interlocking rubber tile or vinyl flooring, either wall-to-wall or in specific spots on top of other flooring. Cushioned mats to roll out for different workout zones are also useful.
Walls: Designers often suggest mirrored walls or framed mirrors attached to the walls to give the illusion of a bigger space and to allow you to check your form while working out.
Lighting: Unlike a commercial gym, which often uses harsh lighting, home gyms allow you to evoke more ambiance. You can choose stylish lights, even chandeliers and pendant lights, and install dimmers where appropriate. Be sure to consider placement, as you don’t want to be staring into a bright light while working out on the floor or elsewhere.
Finishings: You’ll need containers to store equipment, such as resistance bands, foam rollers, etc. “Even a group of baskets on the floor can help,” notes the Times. Additionally, you might want a TV or speakers for music, a water cooler or place to keep water bottles, and a hamper for towels.