Top tips for setting up a home gym or workout area
The past year has seen lifestyle changes for all of us and for many this has meant exercising, as well as working and schooling our children, from home.
Across the country, people have certainly been getting out and about more to go walking, running or cycling, and many have also been finding a corner of their home to move about in.
While for some, this has meant pushing back the furniture and rolling out a mat, for others it has involved converting sheds, garages, garden studios and lean-tos into makeshift exercise areas.
And then, of course, there have been those lucky enough to be in a position to carry out a home extension, giving them new, additional space to transform into gym or exercise area.
Wherever you have chosen to create a workout area, however, there are a few key considerations. Here are our top tips for maximising your space:
- Assess the space
Before you decide where in the home to set up your home gym, think carefully about the activities you plan to do there. If you intend to buy equipment, consider not only the measurements of the piece (or pieces) but also the space required around it for you to be able to move about safely while exercising. Consider whether doors need to be able to open up into the space and whether one piece of equipment can be folded away while another is being used.
- Think about flooring
Again, if you are lucky enough to be starting from scratch and designing a dedicated exercise space, you can really give your flooring a great deal of thought. Ideally, whatever is underfoot should not be too hard as this will intensify the pressure on your joints – and could also lead to injury if you fall or slip. Try to find a product that is soft but hard wearing, such as rubber, a thick vinyl, PVC floor tiles or a heavy duty carpet. If you are working in a corner of the house with existing flooring, think about covering the space with rubber mats while you exercise. Make sure there are no loose edges that you might trip on.
- Ensure good ventilation
Whether you are designing a brand new home gym or finding a corner of the house to exercise in, ventilation is essential to prevent you from overheating. Consider how to maximise airflow with vents, windows and installed ventilation equipment when designing your new building. If choosing a space within the home to convert or adapt, try to choose somewhere with a natural air source. If not, make sure you have a socket and space for a fan.
- Plan for electricity
Wherever you plan to exercise you may well need access to electricity. This could be for your specialist equipment or for a music or video source. Try to ensure there is a socket close by, so you don’t have cables crossing your space or another part of the home that has high traffic. This could pose a danger to you as you exercise and others as they go from room to room.
- Consider added extras
Mull over what else you need to have in your space to help you with your workout. Do you need room for a screen so you can follow video classes or sessions, or for speakers so you can play music as you exercise? A flat surface for a water container and somewhere to hang a towel might also be advisable. These might seem trivial items but planning ahead; making your space comfortable, with a place for everything you might need, will help you to make exercise a regular part of your routine.