Gym memberships are expensive and generally a waste of money. Even if you go multiple times a week, you are probably still overpaying for a lot of equipment, classes, and amenities you never use. Why risk throwing that money out the window when you can do many of the same workouts and training from the comfort of your own home? Home gyms are excellent alternatives to working out in public or private gyms. They are cheaper, more convenient, and just as effective at helping you achieve your fitness goals. Here are eight ways to set up a home gym on a budget:
You don’t have to knock down walls or build another room to have a fully functional gym inside your house. It’s amazing what you can do with the space you already have. Every room has the potential to give you a great workout. The basement and garage are typically spacious enough to convert into a gym, but if that’s not an option, your living room, bedroom, or dining room will work just as well. Even the kitchen can double as a gym, giving you plenty of sturdy surfaces to lean against while exercising. You will probably have to pick up your belongings and move furniture around, which is a workout in itself.
If your money and space are limited, it’s best to keep your home gym as basic as possible. Depending on your cardio and strength-training routine, you may be able to get by with a few exercise DVDs or a set of dumbbells, mats, resistance bands, and a few other essentials. Only buy what you will use on a regular basis. Whatever money you have left over can be used on a bicycle, new running shoes, or additional workout toys.
Working out with friends is a great way to get motivated and have fun while you’re breaking a sweat. You can hold each other accountable and provide support and encouragement. If your friends want to work out at home but don’t have the space to do it, invite them over so you can work out together. Make it even more cost effective by sharing equipment and splitting the cost of new workout gear.
You don’t have to buy the most expensive or latest fitness equipment you see on TV to get a great workout. There are plenty of items lying around the house that can double as workout equipment. Open up your pantry and curl some soup cans or use a kitchen towel to do a gliding reverse lunge. Heck, even picking up your 25-pound dog a few times can be a great workout for your arms and shoulders. You can get really creative with this one.
Exercise equipment can be very expensive, and while some things are probably better to buy brand new like a yoga mat or weight gloves, most equipment can be bought pre-owned. You can shop on one of the many websites that specialize in selling or trading pre-owned fitness equipment, or you can go to a thrift store, garage sale, or a local sporting goods store.
One of the cheapest alternatives to buying workout equipment is not purchasing any at all. Your body weight alone offers enough resistance to get a great workout. Push-ups, planks, squats, and crunches are just a few challenging exercises that require you to use your body weight. Add jogging, jumping, and other explosive moments to the mix and you’ve got yourself one killer fitness routine that will blast calories and tone muscles in no time.
One of the best parts of having a home gym is decorating it any way you like. You no longer have to work out with unflattering lights or obnoxiously bright walls; you can make it as lively or soothing as you want. To decorate your gym on the cheap, go D.I.Y. Make your own inspirational posters and create a homemade weight rack. Your D.I.Y. decorations can make a big difference in your mood and help you get motivated to work out.
If you live in a running-friendly neighborhood or an area with hills and trails, forget about buying a treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike, and do your cardio outside. Not only will doing cardio outdoors cut down on equipment costs, but it will also give you new and exciting stimuli and some much-needed fresh air.