Eager to exercise more often but dread the painful inconveniences of a gym? Don’t give up on it just yet. Besides helping you keep flab off your tummy, regular exercise is part of a key process towards unlocking a healthier you. The good news is that you don’t have to force yourself to deal with the gym life. Take all that needless anxiety out of the equation by building your very own personal gym at home. Imagine never having to pack a gym bag ever again! Better yet, picture a world where you may never have to pay for a monthly membership fee. Or having to reckon with obsessive-compulsive dudebros whose eyes start twitching whenever you so much as breathe in the direction of their favourite station. Keep it all within reach at home and you can get all the exercise you need on your own terms.
Get Moving With The Right Equipment
The key to building a basic home gym is paying attention to your own needs. Ask yourself: what do you want to achieve from this? If you’ve only just begun, consider investing in equipment for cardiovascular training that is designed to get you moving at your own pace. Most importantly, don’t limit yourself to traditional forms of exercise — think outside of the box. You should also listen to your own body, especially since you’re going to be training on your own, and be sure to remain open to experimentation. Before you begin, it may be helpful to steer clear of buying into these cardio myths as well.
Cardio Equipment: Treadmills, Ellipticals, Or Stationary Bikes
Treadmills are costly but they’re well worth the investment. A good treadmill should come with the necessary flexibility that is well-suited for most. You can make all the adjustments to speed, inclination, and even incorporate some interval training. On the other hand, if you’ve battled one too many knee injuries in the past, elliptical machines or stationary bikes may be more ideal for you. Do consult your doctor first if you’re unsure. You’re also free to skip these machines entirely by opting for equipment-free high-intensity interval training (HIIT). As intimidating as HIIT may sound, there are plenty of simple tutorials for beginners out there to get you started.
Other Basic Tools To Consider: Jump Ropes, Exercise Mats
Jump ropes sound rather juvenile, but they’re excellent for cardio training. Plus, you won’t even have to worry about bulky equipment ruining your home decor since you can keep them out of sight. Additionally, if you’re looking into HIIT, an exercise mat is a must. Some exercises such as planks can feel quite painful without one. It’s also perfect for keeping pressure off stiff knees.
Every comprehensive fitness programme has to come with some form of strength training. Beginners, don’t be put off by that notion just yet. There are plenty of ways for you to figure out the right kind of strength training for yourself — and it doesn’t always have to involve barbells or bulky gym contraptions. Instead, focus on getting lighter free weights first until your body gets used to it. If you’ve always struggled with keeping the weight off, strength training can actually be an ideal long-term solution. Combining HIIT with weights at least once a week is also an excellent way to keep your routine from getting boring, too.
Don’t Fear The Free Weight
Free weights are an umbrella term for any kind of weighted strength equipment. Think basic gym equipment such as medicine balls, kettlebells, and dumbbells. Most beginners understandably don’t quite know which weights to buy first. With dumbbells, there’s a simple solution: invest in an adjustable set. If the first level is way too easy for you, make it heavier.
If you’re still leery of free weights, resistance bands are a good compromise. These offer greater flexibility, in every sense of the word, by allowing you to use them in a variety of range of motion. Moreover, you can pack them with you whenever you travel too.
Put the finishing touches on your basic home gym with the tools that may help you recover better. Recovery is quite possibly the most crucial part of any fitness regime, arguably even more so than the training itself, since your body needs to fully repair itself for you to continue exercising. Besides ensuring that you get enough sleep every night, stock up on the following:
- Foam roller
- Ice packs
- Epsom salt (optional)
Foam rollers are a budget-friendly way for you to give your sore muscles an equivalent of a deep tissue massage. Beginners may find the sensation quite painful, so if you prefer, you can get one that isn’t quite as hard. However, the firm ones do feel a lot more satisfying since they allow you to target deep into your muscle layers. You should also prepare an ice pack just in case you get a little bit too eager and exert yourself too much. If you have the luxury of a bath, Epsom baths may feel wonderful whenever you suffer from sore muscles. Still, don’t simply assume that your sore muscles are normal. Should soreness persist for more than seven days, it may be wise to check with your doctor in case you’ve inadvertently injured yourself.