Are you one of those people who cowers with embarrassment every time you step onto a treadmill at the gym? Do you dread lagging behind everyone else at the local spinning class? Don’t worry if you do, as you’re not alone. Thousands of people don’t get the exercise they need because they’re too self-conscious to work out at a traditional gym.
The solution? To bring the gym to you. There are now several portable and affordable items of strength and conditioning equipment that can turn any room into a home gym. Whether you’re a lifelong couch potato or a fine-tuned athlete, adding the right items of fitness equipment to your home can turn it into a temple for your body.
Creating your own private gym allows you to concentrate solely on your strength and fitness — rather than being held back by your own inhibitions. But it’s not just about privacy; a home gym is an investment in your long-term health. And if you make the right decisions now, you’ll be able to save money in the long run.
And don’t forget the time it takes to travel to and from the gym. This may be time you’re wasting in traffic… time that would be better spent developing your fitness.
Choosing cardio equipment
The guys at York Fitness have been getting people in shape for over 80 years, and they have a few pearls of wisdom to share when it comes to buying home gym equipment.
Cardio workouts are essential for good heart and lung health. They increase circulation, improve metabolism and burn fat, and often have a positive effect on our mood. As a simple rule of thumb, you should be aiming for between three and five cardio sessions a week — each one lasting between 30 and 45 minutes.
There are many great items of home gym equipment on the market today. Of course, they’re not magic wands. You’ll still need to put in the hard work to reap the rewards. But if you’re prepared to graft, these items could transform your physical and mental wellbeing.
Have you ever put off a run or brisk walk because of inclement weather? With a treadmill in your home gym, you’ll never be able to fall back on that excuse again. While the versions used in gyms aren’t usually suitable for home use, there are compact versions that can be folded away after use. Check out the York Fitness Active range if you want an unobtrusive treadmill that won’t become a tripping hazard.
Exercise bikes deliver a great cardio workout that can be adapted to particular goals and fitness levels. They’re particularly effective for people who struggle with knee pain caused by the impact of running long distances. Exercise Bikes are a great space saving option as they minimise disruption in the home, but you can’t “conveniently forget” about them when you’re feeling like a couch day. Opt for a bike with a digital display so you can have fun by tracking distances, speeds, times and calories burned.
People on cross trainers often look like they’re trekking over an imaginary snowfield, but they’re actually getting an intense cardio workout while minimising the pressure on their joints. Also referred to as elliptical machines, these effective items of equipment get you using both your arms and legs for a more intense calorie-burning experience. And who cares what you look like while using your cross trainer? After all, you’re home alone.
A lightweight, portable and foldable rowing machine delivers a fantastic home cardio session — but it can do so much more. This versatile item of equipment develops muscle strength, enhances joint mobility and increases flexibility over time. And if you find yourself becoming bored on it, you can always use the race function on the digital display and pretend you’re competing in the Olympic Games.
Choosing weight training equipment
Weight training develops strength, balance, conditioning and endurance. It’s also a good way to lose weight. As you build your muscle mass, you burn more calories while exercising. This is why it’s always a good idea to have a fitness regime that consists of both cardio and strength training. While you shouldn’t expect to be winning any bodybuilding contests by using a modest home gym, you’ll definitely be able to build strength and develop muscle tone.
The weights bench
A great place to start your home gym shopping spree is with a weights bench. This will be the foundation of your home gym, allowing you to develop your strength and conditioning with the use of various free weights and barbells.
Opt for a bench with four or five different backrest positions. York Fitness offers the ideal bench for beginners, as well as the Warrior Ultimate Bench — which utilizes both dumbbells and barbells for a comprehensive workout. Bringing the perfect weights bench into your home allows you to use leg curls, fly arms, lateral pulldowns while you watch TV or supervise the kids.
Dumbbells and barbells
There are several barbell and dumbbell designs available, so choose something that works for you. Available in cast iron or vinyl, these sets are available in a range of weights — including 25kg, 35kg and 50kg. For more flexibility, choose adjustable sets that allow you to change the weight plates on the bar.
Kettlebells are a great alternative to dumbbells, as they allow you to do a few slightly different upper-body exercises. Used correctly, these relatively simple items of equipment can be used to develop balance, core stability, endurance, power and core strength. Kettlebells can be swung, providing a very different type of workout.
Don’t forget the accessories
The success of a home workout is often down to the accessories you have. There are many distractions at home, so it’s important to feel like you’re in an environment conducive to fitness. After all, you probably won’t get the results you’re looking for if you’re taking regular snack breaks during your fitness sessions. Add ankle and wrist weights for more intense workouts, and use cardio steps and skipping ropes to keep things varied and interesting.
Check out the York Fitness website for accessories that can make your home gym a little more exciting. For example, a simple punch bag and a pair of boxing gloves allows you to recreate your favourite Rocky fights from the comfort of your own home.
Dedicating a space in your home to fitness can save you time, money and embarrassment — but only if you’re committed to making exercise part of your life for good.