Use the right space
You might have become used to burning energy in your living room, but if you want to create a permanent set-up, you need a dedicated space for your equipment and to sweat it out without disruption.
Some people convert their garages into gyms, while others have renovated spare rooms for their HIIT workouts.
Another great idea is investing a bespoke shipping container, as this allows you to design the gym exactly the way you want it. It also gives you a separate space when you exercise that is distinct from your home, office and children, really helping you to focus on your workout and yourself.
Invest in equipment
The type of equipment you buy will depend on what sort of exercise you love to do. Some people have missed the intense cardio of spin classes, while others are more into strength and conditioning.
Think about what machines you typically used at the gym, and which you have missed during your time working out at home. If you are short on space, it is best to choose multi-functional equipment instead of filling the area with bulky machinery.
The NHS recommends doing 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise five times a week, so it is worth investing in one or two machines if you can, whether they are a treadmill, exercise bike, stepper, cross trainer or spin bike.
“If you don’t have enough room for a machine, just ensure there is space somewhere for a cardio routine (think burpees, star jumps – even just running on the spot),” Real Homes suggests.
It isn’t just cardio that makes for a good workout though, and strength training is incredibly important for improving fitness and health.
According to Mayo Clinic, it helps develop strong bones, reducing the risk of osteoporosis; increase metabolism for better weight management; protect joints from injury; reduce the symptoms of chronic conditions, such as back pain and heart disease; and improve thinking and learning skills.
However, you don’t need huge weight machines to build some muscle, and a lot can be achieved with some dumbbells and a simple resistance band.
Adjustable dumbbells are ideal, as you can change the weight by adding or removing plates, taking up less room for storage. They also enable you to build your strength by periodically adding plates to the dumbbells.
According to Olivia Young, found of NYC studio Box + Flow, who spoke to Thrillist “The easiest way to keep challenging the body from workout to workout is simply to add more load and weight to the exercise.”
Resistance bands are also essential, as they take up virtually no room and can really push your body without the use of weights.
Don’t forget to purchase some essential accessories for your gym, such as storage for your dumbbells, or hooks for skipping ropes and resistance bands.
You might also want to fit a wall mirror to one side of the container or garage, so you can check you have the right form for each exercise, while a fan is a good idea if the space is prone to heating up.
If you want to keep a track of your program, you could put a chalkboard on the wall and write it there. Alternatively, this could be an ideal place to measure your progress. Shelves could be fitted to hold some exercise DVDs or your water bottle, while a medal rack to hang your fitness awards could be motivating.