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How to Set Up a Home Gym that Rules

By Sandy Schroeder

Gym workouts are great when they are working, but a home gym may be a more convenient affordable choice that covers the most bases. If working out at home appeals to you, this may be the time to start a home gym that can be gradually expanded.

Know Your Own Goals

Before you decide to do a home gym, you need to ask yourself what your goals are. You may want to improve heart health and lower cholesterol, hang onto your range of motion, improve your golf game or fit into a size smaller jeans. Once your goals are pinned down you can review health goals and equipment choices.

Review Key Health Targets

Harvard Health says these are key health goals that we all need.

  • 150 minutes weekly of vigorous aerobics
  • A strength training program for the major muscle groups
  • Stretching and balancing exercises to improve flexibility and balance

Choosing Components

Take a good look at your budget, personal preferences and available space.  Pick the pieces that fit your home, wallet and ongoing goals.

Portable pedaling machines, mini trampolines, exercise balls, resistance bands, mats and jump ropes may be good starters to see how a home gym works out for you.

As the weather changes, a serious aerobics machine such as a treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical stepper or rowing machine might be a good investment if you are a longtime runner, biker or gym person, and have the space.

For strength training - Use simple strap-on weight-filled ankle cuffs for leg lifts and small barbells in different weights. A how-to video for weight lifting can help you work on the proper form.

Try resistance training - Use elastic exercise bands that employ body weight to build muscle strength. Bands range from very stretchy to heavy duty resistance.

Get a good mat - You will do a lot more stretches, push-ups and yoga poses when you have a comfortable yoga mat or foam pad.  

Weigh the Buys Out There

Before you invest in a major piece of equipment, check out durability and road test it at a sporting goods store. You may be able to get a good buy in used exercise machines, if you are already experienced with the available equipment.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Tempe, Ariz.

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