Exercising at home is a great way to stay fit in your own time: you don’t have to join any gyms, you don’t have to fight long lines and you certainly don’t have to sit in traffic or be forced to go right after work just to get your workout in. Your workouts should be fun and free to do whenever you want.
But, let’s face it. Home exercise equipment often winds up being used for everything but exercising. As a clothes rack, as a makeshift bookshelf… you know! This happens because you either buy the wrong piece of equipment, or you just can’t motivate yourself enough to stick with an exercise program, and the next thing you know your elliptical machine or treadmill is collecting dust. Here’s a quick guide to finding the right exercise equipment and sticking with it once you do.
Choose Your Equipment
There are a lot of different styles of home exercise equipment out there, so the first thing you need to do is choose which one suits you best.
If you have a room dedicated to your workout, then one of the best pieces of equipment you can buy is an elliptical machine. They are too bulky to store in a closet or under the bed, but they give you one of the best full-body workouts for your dollar. They are low-impact, so you can use them even if you have joint or back pains. You can find great elliptical machine reviews here and see what others have found while using them.
Other alternatives are treadmills, exercise bikes and even rowing machines. The most important thing is that you find the type of equipment that you think will help you stick with it the most.
As with all new exercises, you should always ask your doctor what exercises you are able to do.
Set a Budget
Once you decide on the type of equipment you want, you need to set a budget that you will stick with. Some people are motivated by buying expensive exercise equipment which ups the guilt factor if they don’t use it. If you pay more than your elliptical or treadmill is actually worth, you may find yourself resenting the purchase. This may leave you with a long-lived distaste of using the machine. On the flip side, if you buy a cheap one, it may break or just not have everything you want to keep your routine exciting.
Research all of the bells and whistles and determine what you need and what you can live without. Soon, you will find a piece of equipment that is right for you at the right price.
Before you buy it, however, you should try it out. Visit a local sporting goods store that has the model you like — or the closest thing to it — and use it for a few minutes. You will familiarize yourself with its functions and options and you will be able to make the right decision. Take your newfound knowledge online afterward and compare it with the reviews.
Create an Exercise Space
Once you purchase your exercise equipment, don’t just unpack it and shove it into the nearest open area. Rather, create a space in your home that you will enjoy working out in, say three or four times a week.
Choose a space that has a window to a view you like, or you can even park it near a television if you want to watch shows while you workout. The main goal here is to create a pleasant space that you enjoy working out in. If you just tuck it away in a corner and tell yourself you’re going to use it, you may find it gathering clothes and dust sooner than you think.
One of the worst things you can do is swear to yourself that you’re going to use your equipment every day, right from the start. This creates an undue pressure to live up to expectations that are, frankly, impossible, especially if it’s been a long time since you had an exercise routine.
Instead, set up your equipment and start out slowly. Just 15 minutes a day for three days a week is enough to start. This will keep you from becoming “burned out” and soon telling yourself, “I’ll workout tomorrow…” until tomorrow becomes next month. Fifteen minutes for three days a week for two weeks is a great way to get into a routine. Then, as you get accustomed to that level of exercise, you can increase it to 30 minutes three times a week, or 15 minutes five times a week until you find the routine that’s right for you.
Don’t let that purchase go to waste: follow these simple steps and start a routine today!
Aaron Turner works as a personal fitness instructor, working both with small groups and individuals of all age-groups to get them fit and feeling fantastic. He is a great motivator and enjoys sharing his tips online.