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Home Gyms and Health

Owning Fitness Equipment and How it Can Improve Your Fitness

Maintaining an active lifestyle can seem difficult to attain and maintain. Many of us work full time whether at home or at another location. Trying to carve out 45 min to an hour a day can seem like an impossibility. Perhaps a home gym with a few key pieces of equipment at home may be the answer.

Home gym equipment has become more popular, especially with the newest use of virtual asynchronous or synchronous exercise classes.

In this blog I will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of having fitness equipment at home as well as some of the key pieces that I suggest.

What are the advantages of a Home Gym?

Benefits of a home gym include accessibility, cleanliness, environmental control, type of work outs (solitary or virtual group) and personalization.  The machines/equipment will always be available on your schedule. Whether you are an early morning, middle of the day or night owl exerciser, if the equipment is at home it is at your beck and call.

Cleanliness is a big one for me, although I am not a germaphobe, I am afraid of certain common infections that can be spread via common use equipment. I know that my home gym equipment has only been used by myself or maybe a family member and that I am the one cleaning it.

Another advantage of the home gym is personalization. The equipment that is purchased will reflect the one or two exercises that you love and will do on a regular basis. A home gym will also allow one to enjoy solitary workouts if that is what is needed after a particularly stressful day.

There is no waiting for a machine or space because it is only you. If you are feeling like participating with a group, it is easy to bring up the virtual work outs and voila, you are working out with others! You can also control the environment of your home gym, from the temperature, lighting to audio.

What are the Disadvantages of a Home Gym?

Disadvantages of a home gym include cost, fewer work-out options, lower quality equipment and responsibility for repair and upkeep and perhaps a limited or smaller work out area. Most home gyms do not have the variety of cardio and weight machines. The limitation is often due to the high cost of quality equipment.

If they are in the home gym, perhaps they are not commercial grade and thus offer less adjustability. Additionally, when the equipment needs repair the owner is responsible. The home gym is typically smaller as well. If one room in the house is dedicated to exercise, while ideal, it is still far smaller than even the smallest public gyms. Cleaning and maintaining the equipment falls on the owners.

If a home gym is something that you are considering begin with the work out space. Here are my five suggestions for your space.

  1. Identify a designated work out area. Even if you carve out a corner in a room, create the small gym feel with rubber flooring, a place to hold towels and water. By doing this, it will be less likely that the equipment will become a clothes hanger.
  2. Purchase the highest quality equipment that you can afford. I suggest looking for used high quality equipment if budget is a concern. If not, purchase the equipment that provides all of the adjustability that you think that you will need presently and in the future.
  3. Provide yourself 1-2 cardio options.
  4. Select either free weights or some type of weight/resistance machine.
  5. Identify space for a mat for floor work.

The type of equipment that you choose will depend on your favorite exercise and on your budget.

NurseChrisP Large Equipment Picks

Treadmill: SOLE F80 : We own this brand of treadmill and it has been moved 3 times and has never had any issues. I have had it since 2015.

Rowing Machine: WaterRower Club . I personally have this rower and it has been moved three times without any issues. I have owned it since 2015.

Bike Trainer: Cycle Ops. We have owned this brand of trainer since 2005, it has only had to have the bearings replaced once in 2015!

EllipticalSOLE I used an old style stepper for years and this elliptical would take the place of that. SOLE brand has been good for us.

NurseChrisP Small Equipment Picks

Jump Rope and Jump rope mat- select a weighted rope for the best experience

Yoga mat (I use 2, one on top of the other to save my knees and hands)

Free weights- I have 12, 10, 8, 6, 5, 3, 1 pound had weights

Kettle Bell

12 pound medicine ball

15 pound bar

Adjustable weight bench

NurseChrisP Fitness Guide Picks

BBG/SWEAT by Kayla Itsines (PDF or online subscription

Tracy Anderson Metomorphosis (DVD or online subscription)

The best place for your to exercise is where you will do it. This goes along with my motto for the best eating plan and best exercise plans. The best ones for you are the ones that you will do. Period.

Check out my ebook or my paperback book, Second Chance at Health: Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating for guidance on how to find the best plans for you!

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