November 24, 2020
As working from home becomes the norm, most people are having to rethink and re-adjust their lifestyle. It’s dawning on many people that you can maintain a fit lifestyle at home without a gym subscription.
With so many online resources offering excellent workout routines, you can stay in shape without ever leaving the house.
However, before cancelling that gym membership, you need to build a functional home gym. It wouldn’t do to have one that resembles a dungeon or a cheap set from a horror movie.
Building the perfect home gym entices you to ramp up your workout session and put the space to good use.
Here’s a handy guide to help you build a dedicated home gym that will serve you for years to come without a huge cash outlay.
Pick the Right Space
At the very least, you need an area measuring 3sqm to create a dedicated and functional home gym. Anything less limits your workout routines as you’d have no space for gym equipment.
Spare rooms and seldom-used garages make the best options for home gyms. They are often spacious enough to allow you to create a dedicated workout space and with plenty of customizations and gym equipment.
Remodel the Floor
Once you’ve settled on the most appropriate space to set up a home gym, it time to examine the flooring. Is the current flooring up to the task, or will the floorboards shift and squeak in the middle of a workout?
If your exercise regime comprises gentle and controlled movements such as yoga and Pilates, you need not worry about the flooring material. But if you’re considering HIIT routines and strength training with heavy gym equipment, you should install a sturdy flooring.
The best flooring for a home gym services four functions:
- Minimising the chances of slipping and falling
- Bearing the weight of your weights and equipment
- Handling all the impact of your exercise routine without breaking down
- Providing a forgiving underfoot to reduce the shock impact on your joints
Carpet flooring isn’t recommended for a home gym as it accumulates dirt, sweat, grime, and allergens. Stone, ceramic, porcelain are susceptible to damage, especially when working with weights.
LVP (luxury vinyl plank) vinyl floorings make an excellent choice because they are hardy, durable, hardwearing, and easy to clean. Vinyl boards are made from PVC, come in various thicknesses, designs, and are super affordable.
The standard luxury vinyl boards have a wear coating, while the high-gloss designs are sealed with polyurethane.
Improve Air Circulation
Naturally, it would be best to create your home gym in a source of airflow, ideally windows or vents.
Having a home gym with large windows that let in plenty of sunlight is highly recommended and advantageous.
Frequent exposure to sunlight triggers serotonin release, the feel-good hormone, which helps uplift your mood and improve your mental health.
Cracking a window during a hot and sweaty cardio session floods the home gym with a bout of fresh air. However, if most of the windows are south facing, the gym might become unbearably hot during summer.
If converting a garage into a home gym, you might want to improve its insulation and install climate control so you can use the space all year round.
Lighting the Home Gym
While natural light is the best way to light a home gym, you shouldn’t ignore artificial lighting.
You can start by swapping regular bulbs with LED or CFL bulbs which emit quality light without heating the room. Ideally, you should pick bulbs with a colour temperature of above 5,000K. These bulbs are in the same hue as the sunlight and thereby induce the same benefits as sunlight.
Be sure to light the room evenly because a scantily lit home gyms produce shadowy patches that will only serve to kill your morale.
You have three options when looking to light a home gym:
- Ambient lighting: also known as general lighting, ambient lighting provides just the right amount of illumination in the gym to allow excellent visibility. It comprises wall lights or overhead pendants. Consider using dimmable lights to create a calming atmosphere during yoga or Pilates.
- Task Lighting: As the name suggests, this type of lighting is customised to provide custom illumination when doing a specific task. This entails installing spotlights over specific areas requiring brighter lighting, such as the home gym’s weights area.
- Accent lighting. Accent lighting illuminates a key feature in a room. As such, this kind of lighting may not serve a practical purpose in a home gym save for adding a dash of colour into the space.
Customising a Home Gym
As with any room in the house, your home gym could use a bit of sprucing up. That could range from soundproofing the ceiling and the walls to aromatherapy diffuser to mood light and house plants.
You can install a wall to wall mirror if you wish and harness the benefits that come with it. For starters, mirror walls add the illusion of space, making a tiny space feel bigger. Secondly, a mirror lets your form as you exercise and minimise the risk of suffering an injury. Thirdly, mirrors are a necessity if using a home gym for yoga or dance.
Build Your Home Gym Just Right
With the right kind of space, flooring, and gym equipment, you can build a home gym that fits your fit lifestyle like hand in glove. You get to dictate its ambiance, feel, and personality – crucial ingredients to ramping up your effort in every workout session.