Your Home Gym – The Pros and Cons

by Rachel Laurendeau on January 24, 2013

If you’re like thousands of Americans, you may have made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, exercise more and get healthier. Unfortunately for many people, within a month or two of making those resolutions, life gets in the way and the goals go out the window, only to be revisited next December 31st. In this first part of our Home Gym series, we’re going to look at the pros and cons of building a home gym.

Advantages of a Home Gym

Convenience – Whether you like to workout early in the morning before heading to work or late at night after the day’s chaos, your home gym is open 24 hours a day. Plus, you don’t have to walk or drive to get there, nor brave the elements on a cold or rainy day.

Cost – Depending on the type of home gym you want to set up, you could spend a few hundred dollars or several thousand on your initial installation. However, if you are committed to your health and fitness, you will recover this money within a few years instead of spending it on expensive health club memberships or fitness classes. Additionally, if you have children and you fit your workouts into your home routine, you can save on the expense of childcare. Consider it a long-term investment.

Flexibility and privacy– Not only does your home gym offer you the convenience of working out any time you please, there are also no restrictions as to the types of exercises you do, the music you listen to or even the TV you watch while you exercise. For some people, going to the gym can be intimidating. Who wants to watch that size 2 on the elliptical while sweating away on the treadmill? And don’t get me started on all the people who think they can offer suggestions and pretend they’re trainers just cause they’ve been going to the gym for six months! And speaking of sweat, I must admit that I’m not a big fan of sharing sweat when people “forget” to wipe down the equipment when they’re done with it.

Disadvantages of a Home Gym

Lacking equipment or space – There are certain types of exercise equipment that are simply impractical or too expensive for the home gym. Additionally, many people don’t have the physical space in their homes for a large fitness room and this can be limiting. In my experience, the biggest untapped space for setting up a home gym is in the basement. As long as you have good ventilation and have taken care of moisture problems through foundation repairs or basement waterproofing, the basement is a great spot to workout.

Motivation – If you have a competitive spirit, enjoy group fitness classes or need a gym atmosphere to keep you motivated, a home set-up is not the best option for you. As well, if you are easily distracted by everything there is to do around the house, you won’t be successful at home. The solution in this case might be to hire a trainer who comes to work with you in your home at scheduled appointment times, but this can be expensive.

In upcoming blogs in this series, we’ll go into more detail about the successful home improvement set-up of a home fitness room and how to overcome some of the challenges around remodeling for a home gym.

Related blog articles: Creating a Home Yoga Studio

Resources: At Home Fitness and active.com

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