Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

How to Build an at-Home Gym: What Is Essential Equipment?

509255562.jpgOpen 24 hours a day, no membership fees, and no commute; this is what you have to look forward to after you complete your at-home gym! This can be an exciting time, but also overwhelming if you don’t know where to get started on your quest to exercise at home.

Planning Your Equipment

If you build a home gym the right way, it should take a couple of years. You don’t want to build the picture-perfect gym with no money left in your pocket and lots of equipment acquiring dust. Make a plan to grow your gym as your workouts progress. You will commit to more complicated workouts, and will need heavier weights and more equipment to mix up your workouts. When you purchase a piece of equipment, you want to know you are going to use it and it is going to be part of your routine. When planning, think of the cost vs. benefit for each piece in your home gym.

If you are a runner and know you will complete most of your workouts in the winter months on the treadmill, you know the workouts you put in will outweigh the cost of the treadmill. You should splurge on this item and buy a state-of-the-art treadmill. If you are just getting into weightlifting, the benefit of an extravagant dumbbell set might not outweigh the cost. Think about what your workouts look like now, purchase that equipment, and build over the next few years.

If there are pieces of equipment that are more of a want than a need or you are working on a smaller budget, look into purchasing used equipment. Lots of websites sell gently used gym equipment. Ask your family, friends, and coworkers if they have equipment they don’t use or have suggestions on brands to purchase.

Home Gym Essentials

If you have no idea where to start, here is a list of a few essentials that are seen in most home fitness centers.

  • Adjustable bench: A sturdy, comfortable bench is vital to your workouts. An adjustable bench can be used in so many different ways.
  • Power rack: If you are looking to lift heavy and do it safely, this piece is a no-brainer. You will bench, squat, press, and deadlift using this machine.
  • Barbell and plates: These can be used for free-standing exercises or along with the power rack. Purchase the weights you know you will use and you can add to your collection over the years.
  • Adjustable dumbbells: They are an investment but will save you money and space in the long run.
  • Piece of cardio equipment: Pick a piece that you enjoy or is right for your budget. These pieces will be pricier, so choose one you know you and your family members will use.

After you have the essentials you can purchase some extra fun pieces of equipment that are typically lower cost. These may include jump ropes, resistance bands, stability balls, etc.

Planning the Space

You will also want to think about where you place your gym, what kind of flooring you use, paint color, windows, display case with awards, motivational quotes, posters, TV, etc. These are things that will be personal preference but are important and will make your gym unique. Include items that motivate you and fit your workout personality. You want your gym to be a place that you can escape to and feel motivated to work toward your goals!

 What is your favorite in home piece of equipment?  Comment below and share with us!

Subscribe to our blog

Topics: exercise at home equipment weightlifting resistance winter Fitness Center

Battling Wintertime Blues with Nutrition

Are you struggling with the winter blues? Is it cold and dark and dreary in your part of the country? When was the last time you felt and saw the sun? You could be lacking vitamin D, and this can lead to depression and a lower immunity to fight colds.

So, if you aren’t able to get your much-needed 15 minutes of sunlight each day to supply your body’s vitamin D needs, start battling wintertime blues with nutrition with these food ThinkstockPhotos-stk26325fls-1.jpgoptions:

  • Fatty fish: This includes salmon, mackerel, canned tuna, and sardines. Three ounces of salmon provides 450 IU of vitamin D—almost all of the daily recommendation of 600 IU. Canned tuna and sardines are an inexpensive way to get in seafood, giving you heart healthy omega 3s and 150 IU of vitamin D per serving. Another bonus is the long shelf life if you haven’t been to the grocery store to get fresh protein choices.
  • Milk: Almost all cows’ milk in the U.S. is fortified with vitamin D. A lot of other dairy products are, too, but not ice cream or cheese. Typically an 8-ounce glass of milk has 100 IUs of vitamin D, and most yogurt has around 80 IU for a 6-ounce container. If you are choosing soymilk or almond milk, most are fortified, but check the labels to be sure.
  • Fortified orange juice: If you aren’t a fan of milk or have lactose intolerance, 100% orange juice is an option. Typically an 8-ounce glass has the same amount of vitamin D as a glass of milk (100 IU). Just make sure you are buying the fortified kind.
  • Egg yolks: Eggs are a great way to get in vitamin D. However, you have to eat the whole egg and not just the whites to get the benefit. One egg yolk has 40 IUs.
  • Fortified cereal: Another way to double up on vitamin D is to choose a fortified cereal to have with your milk or glass of OJ at breakfast. 1 cup of Multi Grain Cheerios provides 90 IUs of vitamin D. Add milk to that and you are close to 200 IUs! Just be sure to choose cereals that are labeled as fortified with vitamin D.
  • Supplements: If you still have trouble getting all of your vitamin D needs met through food and the sun, an alternative is to take a supplement. The upper-limit dose for individuals over age 9 is 4,000 IU per day. Consuming more than this can lead to higher blood calcium levels and increased risk of kidney stones. Always talk to your physician before starting a supplement.

Recent studies have found that nearly 3 out of 4 individuals have either a Vitamin D deficiency or borderline deficiency. Most of this because we spend more time indoors compared to our parents and grandparents. Longer work hours, longer commutes in a vehicle, and more screen time indoors definitely play a part. Get outside, incorporate more of the foods above, and chat with your doctor about supplementing. All of this can mean a healthier immune system, stronger bones, and lower risk of some cancers.

Want to lose weight, gain muscle, manage diabetes, improve sport performance, reduce cholesterol, or just figure out how to grocery shop and prepare healthier meals?

Benefits of meeting with a nutrition coach >

 

Topics: nutrition depression vitamins supplements winter blues winter