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Set up the perfect home gym


Getting a workout doesn't have to mean spending money on a gym membership or expensive equipment. With increasingly hectic lifestyles, home gyms are more popular than ever, with convenience as the biggest reason people opt to work out at home. Exercising in the privacy of your own home makes it an appealing choice, and there is no time wasted driving back and forth to the gym, worrying about what to wear, packing and unpacking a gym bag or waiting for equipment. Not to mention the shower. The comfort of a home gym can be set according to personal preferences such as location, temperature, ventilation, music played and lighting. Without the distractions found in most gyms, workouts have the potential to become more focused and productive. There are many things to think about before setting up a home gym.

Available space

Exercise equipment, depending on what you choose to buy, can take up considerable space. Decide where you plan to set up your gym and make note of square feet and the height of the area. Regardless of how much room is available, even if it is just one small corner of a room, it is still possible to get a great workout.


Decide how much money you have to invest. Start with inexpensive basics until you are certain you are going to stick to your exercise program. Wait until you have at least six to eight weeks of consistent training under your belt before you decide to expand your gym to include more expensive equipment. If you find that the items you want are way over your budget, consider buying them used. Often, with a little patience, you can find exactly what you are looking for at garage sales, in newspapers, buy/sell magazines or simply by asking friends, neighbors or co-workers.

Health and fitness goals

Developing a proper training program depends on personal goals and physical limitations, as well as level of fitness.

Before you begin any exercise program, check with your doctor. If you have pre-existing medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, recent injuries or joint problems (bad knees, arthritis, etc.), you will want to make sure your exercise program and choice of equipment are appropriate for your needs.

To achieve overall fitness, it is best to include both aerobic and anaerobic exercise. To keep you interested and motivated, your program should be enjoyable enough that you look forward to the next session, yet challenging enough to see results.


There are dozens of options available when it comes to exercise equipment. For aerobic conditioning, treadmills, stair steppers and stationary bikes are good choices, allowing you to exercise year-round regardless of the weather. Step benches are inexpensive, lightweight and save space. Exercise videos can be used with or without a step bench for learning all sorts of different types of activities. Using a jump rope is also a great way to get a cardiovascular workout, although not particularly suitable for beginners or anyone with joint problems.

What to look for in equipment

Things to consider when buying exercise equipment include:

. Durability

. Safety

. Comfort

. Adjustment

. Smooth, quiet operation

. Warranty, service and parts availability

Marjie Gilliam is a certified personal trainer and fitness consultant.

Set up the perfect home gym 02/11/11 [Last modified: Friday, February 11, 2011 3:30am]
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