Converting unused space into a home gym

🕑 5 minute read

Whether you’re a fitness fanatic or fancy getting into shape, converting your unused space into a home gym is a great way to stay fit and motivated.

If there’s one thing we all learned during COVID-19, it was how to get our pump on without stepping out of the house.

And while home workout routines are notoriously difficult to keep up, many Brits managed to stay focused on their fitness nonetheless. In fact, during the first 6 weeks of the first 2020 lockdown, 63% of people discovered how beneficial exercise was for their mental health

The lockdowns of 2020 are behind us now, but perhaps you’ve taken a shine to home workouts and want to keep the momentum going?

If so, the good news is it’s easy to convert any spare space in your home into a dedicated gym area. Here are five tips to help you get started.

Source: Sports England

1. Work from the bottom up

The idea of creating a home gym can seem a little daunting at first. But breathe. It’s easier than you might think.

First up, start with the floor. If your floors are hardwood or tile, you should consider laying spongy mats, so your equipment doesn’t damage them. Weights, for example, can wreak havoc if you drop them.

Mats are also great for reducing noise and slippiness. And if you don’t fancy covering the whole floor (or you’re short on space), a simple yoga mat should suffice.

While thinking about the floor, be mindful of the room underneath or even next door. Stomping along to a high-intensity workout video is all well and good, but your partner won’t be happy if they’re trying to watch their favourite show in the room below you.

It’s best to exercise in a space that’s away from busy areas in the house - even if that means heading to the garage or taking things outside.

2. Set the scene

Whether it’s meditation music or thumping beats that get you in the zone, you’ll want to make sure your sound system is up to date.

Go as large and high-tech as you like with this (depending on your budget), but again, be mindful of the neighbouring rooms and of course, the neighbours themselves.

Home workout videos were incredibly successful in 2020 – over a million households were tuning into Joe Wicks by the end of the first lockdown. If you have also become addicted to bopping along with personal trainers, consider mounting a TV onto the wall at eye level.

Speaking of walls, you might also want to redecorate them. Red and orange are great colours for rooms that demand physical exertion, providing you with shedloads of energy and motivation. Mirrors are also great for keeping an eye on your posture and alignment – not to mention your impressive muscles.

Finally, if you’re striving for new personal bests, think about introducing a chalkboard to the mix. They’re great for keeping count of how many sets you’ve done and can help you track your diet as well as your workouts.


3. Keep things ventilated

No matter how intense your workout, your body temperature is sure to rise. It’s therefore important to make sure your home gym is well ventilated.

Make sure you can easily open a door or window if you need to catch a breath. And consider a fan to help you cool down – from ceiling to stand-up, any kind of fan should help you stay focused.

Finally, make sure you have easy access to water. If you’re one to forget your bottle before commencing your workout, it might be a good idea to install a compact fridge for essential H2O or your favourite energy drinks.

And don’t forget a decent workout towel - choose one that’s odour-resistant and quick to dry for the best cool-down effects.

4. Equip yourself with the tools

Once you’ve set the scene and considered noise and ventilation, the next step is to move into your space. Now, this bit all depends on what your exercise of choice is.

If you’re short on space but desperate to stay fit, there are lots of miniature tools on the market that won’t break the bank. Items like dumbbells, kettlebells, ab rollers, resistance mats and skipping ropes are all affordable and great for staying fit.

And if you’re a runner who’ll miss out on your daily jog during winter, you’ll naturally want to consider a treadmill. For big-ticket items like these, shop around for secondhand options. You’ll be amazed at how many people dive into purchases like these and end up wanting to sell them just weeks later.

If your workout routine is flexible and you have space and budget for just one large item, make it an exercise bike. Not only are they affordable, they don’t take up too much room and they’re fairly lightweight so you can carry them outside when you need extra space.

5. Rationalise the costs

On average, Brits spend £39 a month on unused gym memberships. So, if the costs of floor matting, sound systems, mirrors, fridges and fans are making you feel guilty, try to relax and put things into perspective.

With a home gym, you're investing in your physical and mental health, which is invaluable. But more obviously, you’re saving money on your monthly gym membership bills.

If you’re feeling bad about spending (and you shouldn’t), get your head around the costs by comparing them to the amount a typical gym membership costs.

You’ll soon find that your home gym quickly pays for itself.

Source: Money Expert

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