While everyone knows that fitness is tied to good health, sometimes it feels impossible to find the time to squeeze exercise into our busy schedules. Add to that the high price of gym memberships and equipment, and staying in shape can seem so out of reach, we just give up. But it doesn't have to be that way. With some clever arranging and minimal purchases, you can create an at-home fitness space that lets you work out at your convenience without breaking the bank.
1. Set up your space
Ideally, your home will have a spare room that can serve as a designated wellness space. But in reality, most of us don't have that luxury. If space is limited where you live, you can always start with a gym go-to basket.
Fill a storage box or wicker basket that can be moved around easily with workout essentials: resistance bands, a yoga mat, kettlebells and one or two hand weights. Keep a towel, reusable water bottle and your running shoes nearby, too, and you'll be ready for a workout whenever (and wherever) the mood strikes.
2. Source equipment
The most expensive part of fitness at home is buying equipment. Larger gym equipment can cost an arm and a leg, so if you need a treadmill or rowing machine, consider Craigslist or other reputable online selling sites. Sometimes, gyms upgrade their equipment and sell their old stock to the public at reduced rates--so check around.
If you’re looking to buy one or two pieces of new equipment, shop post-holiday sales, when many stores will be getting rid of old stock. Many stores offer big deals in January to encourage New Year's resolutions makers and also to make room for new spring and summer stock.
3. All-in-one gyms
All-in-one home gyms with weight- or resistance-based lower and upper body workout capabilities are considered one of the best purchases for a complete at home exercise routine. According to Top Ten Reviews, the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE is by far the best home gym on the market, but it comes with a pretty hefty price tag ($1,300). If you can find one used online or from a sport resale store, then it's a fantastic purchase.
However, some people argue that free weights and bodyweight exercises are far superior to all-in-one machines, especially for women. Consider learning more about the benefits of using free weights over other home gym equipment before making large purchases.
4. Creativity to the rescue
If you want many pieces of gym equipment but don’t have a ton of money to spare, then a DIY job might be right for you. If your handyman skills are above average, a larger homemade project is possible; but in the meantime, you can work out with things you already have lying around the house. For example: use water bottles as weights (frozen to increase the weight), books as yoga blocks, rolling pins as ab wheels and bungee cords or belts as resistance bands. An exercise ball is also a super versatile workout tool that doesn't cost a lot and can help you in all aspects of your workout routine.
5. Get help from friends
One of the best and most motivational ways to set up a gym is to collaborate with like-minded friends. If you spread out the cost of a workout space and equipment, your expenses will be less, and you could potentially save a lot of money. An added bonus to this kind of arrangement is the support and encouragement you'll get from everyone around you. After all, what’s a good workout without some good, old-fashioned competition?
After all is said and done, the only thing left to do is to get exercising. Remember that you can achieve as much from your home gym as from expensive personal trainers and gym memberships; it’s all about routine and motivation. Once you’ve established a workout routine, you will soon see the physical and emotional benefits of regular exercise. The best part? You did it on a budget!
To read more inspiring articles by Kaitlyn Krull, look for her work at Modernize.