There are many reasons to begin an exercise regimen, whether you’re looking to regain fitness, shed a few pounds, or make yourself healthier. The key to long-term success is to make healthy exercise a part of your routine. One factor that can get in the way of this is traveling to the gym. Once in a while, taking a day off isn’t a big deal — in fact, you should plan rest days into your schedule. However, it can become a problem when these days start to stack up. So, how can you ensure you make it to the gym a few days a week?
One way is to remove the distance barrier by setting up a workout space at home. A senior home gym doesn’t need to be flashy or have heavy-duty gear to fulfill your needs. The most difficult part is knowing where to start, and luckily, we can help with that!
Choose Your Fitness Goals Then Your Equipment
A home gym should be a reflection of what you’re looking to get out of your fitness journey. Before you purchase your first piece of exercise equipment, decide what you want to achieve. Are you looking to be able to build up your stamina, so you don’t feel winded as easily? What about improving your balance or strength to prevent falling? Are you hoping to improve your fitness so you feel healthier?
Knowing your goals will help you know which equipment to start with.
Figuring out your exercise goals is an essential step because it’ll help you know which equipment to start with. For example, if your main goal is balance, an exercise ball and resistance bands may be your first purchases. If you want to improve your strength, dumbbells and leg weights could be effective. For endurance, a jump rope and treadmill may be worth it. It all depends on what you want to achieve.
Find Your Space
The space you have available to work out in will also decide what equipment you can use. If you have the corner of a room, you may not have the space for a treadmill, a stationary bike, and a weight machine. Depending on the space, you may not even have room for a jump rope. When planning out your fitness space, take into account your fitness goals and prioritize the equipment that will most help you reach them.
Depending on the space, you may not even have room for a jump rope.
If you have limited space to exercise in, finding equipment that is mobile, compact, or foldable could be very useful. Not only will this allow you to use your space more efficiently, but you may even be able to have it double as something else. Let’s say you have a studio apartment. To maximize your space, you can use the space in front of your TV as your workout spot and roll up your equipment when you’re done.
Know Your Budget
Another factor you have to consider when trying to build a home gym is your budget. If you want top-of-the-line equipment with all the bells and whistles, you’ll likely have to pay for it. This is usually one of the benefits of joining a gym — they pay for the equipment so you don’t have to. When you’re making your own gym, figure out what you can afford to spend. A jump rope or dumbbells are usually pretty affordable, and you may be able to find a good deal on them. When it comes to electronic exercise equipment or other items that present a safety risk, you shouldn’t necessarily go for the best bargain since you often get what you pay for.
Bargain-hunting takes a little more work than buying it brand new from a store, but the savings may be worth it.
Sometimes, you may luck out when trying to stretch your budget. If you know someone who’s looking to get rid of something, you may offer them a cut-rate price. Some people may even let you take it for free for the price of removing it from their house. Similarly, you may find equipment at a discount on websites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or in the newspaper. It takes a little more work than buying it brand new from a store, but the savings may be worth it.
Start Small & Build as You Need It
Another way to save money is to slowly build your stash of equipment. You don’t need to have a fully stocked gym immediately. You can have a starter home gym and grow from there. Begin with your basic equipment and slowly add pieces based on what you can use, fit in your space, and afford. As you continue your fitness journey, your goals, budget, and even your available space can change. By adding equipment strategically, you can ensure you’re not overpaying for something that you don’t really need or not having to move unused equipment from one home to the next.
While starting workout sets will change from person to person, there are a few items that should work for most.
So, what’s a good starting set of workout equipment? While this will change from person to person, there are a few items that should do the trick for any budget, space, and goal. A comfortable yoga mat can be helpful to cushion your workout space, even if you aren’t doing yoga. They’re also affordable and compact. The same is true for a good jump rope, which is an excellent cardio workout for a limited space. Similarly, adjustable dumbbells and resistance bands are good strength training tools that won’t take up a lot of space and are usually pretty affordable. Finally, a set of ankle weights can be used to turn a regular walk into more of a workout and can help strengthen your legs and improve your balance.
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It’s entirely possible to exercise without equipment, but it can be helpful to have the equipment for specialized exercises. A professional gym can provide you equipment for a fee, but it may not always be the easiest to get there. There are definitely benefits for seniors with an at-home gym. It’s more convenient, you don’t have to share, and you can customize your equipment. If you’re looking to make a commitment to your fitness, an at-home gym may be the way to do it.