Have you ever envied celebrities who get to stay in great shape partly because they have home gyms? Woking out at home is very convenient. You don’t have to queue to use equipment or put up with other people’s chatter. You won’t feel self-conscious about your body or have to put up with strangers’ inept flirting. Because there is no travel involved, you are likely to find yourself working out more often and doing so in a way that fits in better with the rest of your daily routine. It can be difficult to find the space to exercise in a crowded living room, especially if you’ve got kids underfoot, but a home gym is the perfect solution.

Setting up the room

If you have a room that is big enough to lie down in, you’ve got a room with the potential to become a gym. How you lay out that room will make a big difference in what you can get out of it. This starts with the basics. A carpet is better than a wooden floor because it will give you more grip, and using thick underlay will be safer if you fall. Classic wood shutters are better than curtains because they give you more control over the light and provide more security for any expensive equipment you choose to install. Spotlights are a good choice for artificial illumination because you can direct them where they are needed and make sure you won’t have light glaring into your eyes whilst still having bright enough light available to see what you’re doing right away in the event of injury. Wall bars are easy to fit and will provide you with a useful tool for lots of different exercises without taking up a lot of space.

Simple, low-cost equipment

The equipment you install in your home gym doesn’t have to cost a fortune. There is a lot you can do with a simple bench and a basic set of weights. An exercise ball is a must. This is multi-purpose, and it can easily be pushed out of the way when it is not needed. A skipping rope takes up next to no space but is great for warm-ups. If you have a strong enough ceiling or can fit a supporting beam across it, you can hang up some rings to provide lots of other exercise options. Depending on the way your house is built, however, you may need to consult a carpenter for this step.

Investing in machines

If you are going to buy machines for your home gym, your choices will depend in part on what you’re trying to achieve with your body and the balance of strength, endurance and flexibility that you’re aiming to achieve. Nevertheless, there are some pieces of equipment that almost always make sense.

Cross trainers are optimised for building up your fitness, they tend to be built to last, and the cost is very reasonable when you consider how much you can get out of them. Climbers are ideal for building muscle whilst improving your flexibility, and they are great for home gyms because their vertical shape means they take up very little floor space. Treadmills are cheap and a practical choice if you do not have anywhere to go running nearby, whilst rowing machines are the best way to build up your arms and back at home.

Those little extras

Let’s face it: exercising for prolonged periods of time can get boring, even when you know it is good for you. In an information-saturated age, it can also be frustrating to work out in silence, when you know you’re out of touch with the world. Fitting a TV in your home gym makes a big difference. You can also install a games machine so you can run on a treadmill and shoot enemy combatants at the same time, for example, making otherwise routine exercise into a game. Studies have shown that turning exercise into play encourages people to do more of it.

Finally, because it’s your space and you don’t have to bow to anyone else’s tastes, you should install good speakers so you can play the music you love whilst you work out. This will make it easier to find your rhythm and make the whole experience a lot more fun.

Setting up a home gym takes effort, but it can really pay off. It doesn’t need to break the bank, and it should only take you a couple of weeks to get everything in order. Before you know it, you will be able to enjoy a morning workout every day and go about your business feeling fully energised.