5 tips to help you set up a home gym

Setting up a gym at home is a great way to help you stay fit and encourage you to do some exercise every day. You don’t need a professional set up either, simple equipment can make a big difference to your physical fitness. We have some easy tips on how to set up a basic home gym to suit any fitness level.

1. Small pieces of equipment can be extremely effective.

If you’re working out at home, space is likely a big factor, but you don’t need large gym machines to keep fit. These five pieces of gym equipment take up hardly any space in your home.

  • Dumbbells: a popular choice to work all muscle groups and improve strength.

  • Kettlebells: to tone muscles and get your heart pumping.

  • Resistance bands: very small and lightweight but an effective strength training tool.

  • Ab roller: to give your upper body a major workout and strengthen core muscles.

  • Skipping rope: a simple skipping rope can provide a great cardio workout!

2. If you’re going to invest in one bigger piece of equipment an exercise bike is a good choice.

An exercise bike is often the first thing people buy for their home gym. That’s because it is reasonably affordable, fairly lightweight and doesn’t take up too much space. In fact, many models can be folded up after use. It’s also a piece of equipment that people of all fitness levels can use. You can adjust the resistance to require more or less effort and pedal at a speed that suits you.

3. If you’re short on space, your home office can double up as a home gym!

The two biggest challenges of setting up a home gym are expense and space. Home gym equipment can be very pricey and it’s often very large as well, so your options may be limited unless you have a garage or spare room where you can work out. One way to get around this is by combining it with your home office by choosing active office furniture that keeps you moving while you work and can be used for more rigorous exercise after work. This ranges from the most simple exercise equipment, such as a Pilates exercise ball that lets you work your core while sitting at your desk, to larger pieces, such as a desk bike or treadmill. You can use all of these for low-intensity exercise at your desk so you’re not sitting still all day, which is really damaging for your health.

4. Yoga mats can be used for all kinds of exercise.

Yoga mats are very versatile. As well as yoga, a good yoga mat can be used for Pilates or as a general fitness surface that is easier to work out on than your living room carpet. Whatever exercises you are doing, you want to avoid friction from the carpet and will need some support and protection from hard floors. Yoga itself is a really easy activity for anyone to do at home. Not only is it beneficial for physical fitness, it is also effective for reducing stress and anxiety. There are lots of Yoga for Beginners video available online.

5. Don’t forget a gym mat to protect the floor.

When you’re choosing gym equipment, the floor is likely to be an afterthought but it’s really important to get the right gym mat. Weight room matting will protect your floor from damage if you’re doing weight training in the house by absorbing the full impact of heavy equipment placed or dropped on the floor. It will also absorb a lot of the noise, so you don’t annoy your neighbours!

No matter what type of exercise you choose to do at home or what equipment you have, staying active will make a big difference to both your physical and mental health, so keep moving during your workday, get out for a walk, chase the kids around the garden…it all adds up!

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