If you’ve set a New Year’s resolution to focus on your health and wellness, or if you put in consistent effort all the time but are looking for ways to up your game, you might be considering putting in a home gym. A well-appointed gym can provide you with all of the tools to reach your fitness goals, while adding in the convenience and comfort of getting to stay home for your workouts. And if you are dedicated, the home gym you put together will pay for itself over time in the memberships you won’t have to maintain. But a good home gym requires a lot more than just a set of dumbbells and a cardio machine. In order to make it effective, it’s got to be crafted in such a way that it helps you build momentum and keep it going. Here are some of the most important design features for a home gym.
First on the list is proper ventilation. If you’re serious about your workouts, you’ve got to have a room that is well vented and constantly full of fresh air. The best possible scenario would be a room with an exterior window and a ceiling fan, so you can cycle the air and keep it from getting stale. If that’s not possible you should set up fans, or hopefully you already have central air in place. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you can’t breathe in the middle of a workout, or of hating the room because it smells like stale socks.
You’ve also got to make sure that entertainment is considered. You could probably get by with just your iPod in a pinch, but you’re not building a home gym just to be stuck on your headphones all the time. Start out with a speaker system you can connect your MP3 player into. And make sure it comes with a remote control so you can skip out on the bad tunes. If you have the money, go ahead and place the speakers in the walls, which will give it a cleaner finish. And bring in a TV if that’s what you’re into.
Next, consider the lighting and the walls. You’ll want as much natural light as possible, which hearkens back to the window scenario. But as you’ve probably seen in basement gyms that’s not a requirement in order to get a good workout. But try and use lighting fixtures that mimic natural lighting, which will help you maintain consistent energy. If you’re installing lighting, put in dimmers as well. That way you can cut down on your eye strain if you’re exercising on your back. It will also allow you to use the room for yoga and meditation, which is now a fairly common aspect of exercise routines. The walls should be painted a neutral color. But think about putting in a wall of mirrors if you can, so you will always have a way to double check your posture and form.
Finally, don’t forget about the flooring. Your choices here will have a lot to do with the kind of workouts you can achieve in your space. One common design choice is to go with wooden floors, and then buy a bunch of mats you can lay out if you need the cushioning. But if you do a lot of boxing and jump rope activities you might want to actually install cushioned floor. That way there’s less impact on your joints. The expense will be a bit elevated, so maybe you’ll have to put off installing those fancy indoor water walls you’re coveting for a season or two. But you’ll recover from your workouts more quickly, which will make you more successful overall. The bells and whistles of a fancy gym can wait. Your health is more important.