Wellness Benefits of Home Fitness Spaces

Stationery cycling can benefit from a screen and a beautiful view. Photo courtesy of Technogym // Wellness by Design (Tiller Press), © J. Gold

Has your gym reopened? Have you been back Or have you invested in weights and bands, yoga mats, treadmills or bicycles and found that you really enjoyed the benefits of exercising at home?

Millions of Americans turned their guest rooms or vacant corners of rooms (or garages or courtyards) into home fitness rooms when COVID-19 locked their regular exercise facilities. Now many are planning to continue exercising at home after the pandemic. There are pros and cons to figuring out where you live. Let’s take a look at each one.

Here are seven benefits of exercising where you live:

  • You don’t have to fight anyone for a pair of dumbbells or a machine
  • You don’t have to look for parking at peak times
  • You always get the best seat in the room for a virtual class
  • There are no creepers to watch you while you stretch
  • You can sneak into your exercise while your toddler is napping or your first grader is zooming in with their class
  • You don’t have to plan any membership fees – or fancy workout clothes
  • Your shower is as clean as you want it to be

Here are seven cons of exercising where you live:

  • You need to have room for home fitness
  • You have to purchase and maintain all of the equipment
  • You may not have enough privacy with roommates or neighbors to be comfortable at home
  • Noise and vibration can be problems with the workouts you’re trying to do
  • Your home is too full or full of valuable furniture and antiques to exercise
  • You need the motivation of a time and place to go

If your advantages outweigh your disadvantages, here are some thoughts on how to make your home gym more permanent. After all, the space you use was never designed to last. Maybe your partner wants to park their car in the garage again, or you may want to turn your living room back into an entertainment zone after you’ve all been vaccinated for small house gatherings.

Plan every aspect of an exercise room, from storage to the floor to the equipment. Photo courtesy of INTER IKEA Systems BV // Wellness by Design (tiller press), © J. Gold

Spatial planning pointer

The first consideration in setting up a home gym is determining the type of activity – or activities – that will be enjoyed there and what that or it will entail. You may have done it in the last year, but you are ready to take your fitness to the next level. This can mean a greater investment of space and money.

For example, at the beginning of the pandemic, dumbbells became as rare as toilet paper, so you might only have a pair of tens and twenties. Now you want to fill your collection with 15, 25, etc and you don’t want them sitting on the floor. In addition to a weight stand, you’ll also want a weight bench. Both take up more space than you can imagine.

There are a number of long-term details to consider when deciding where to place your permanent fitness area in your home. Here are some starting points:

  • How much floor space is required for this activity and its equipment?
  • What kind of equipment does it need?
  • How much free space does the equipment need both around and above it (e.g. to lift the treadmill)?
  • What is the power requirement, if any, and where is the power cord safe to trip over?
  • What heat, noise and / or vibrations does the device generate, if any?
  • Where can you use the device safely without putting yourself at risk or disturbing other members of your household?
  • How much privacy and air conditioning do you want?
  • What type of flooring is best?
  • Are there any problems with the air quality in your preferred room, e.g. B. when storing household cleaners or a nearby cat box?
  • What else might be needed, such as a bar, equipment storage, drinking station, WiFi connection, sound speakers and a screen for instructions?

If you’ve ever tried to take a nap while someone was exercising on the other side of the bedroom wall, or you tried to sweat out your cardio routine in the garage last summer, some of these considerations may already be important. These are all excellent questions to think about while shopping, especially regarding specifications, noise, and vibration.

A professionally installed wall mirror and bar can add value to a yoga room. Photo courtesy of the designer: Ana Cummings, DDA, IDC, CAPS; Photographer: Steve Dutchesen // Wellness by Design (Tiller Press), © J. Gold

A knowledgeable retailer or manufacturer’s representative should be able to answer these, but you will also need some information of your own such as: B. Room size and ceiling height, installation of large devices and possibly even weight problems for placing very heavy multi-stations on the upper floor. If you plan to install a bar, make sure it is sanded smooth, given a non-toxic paint or stain, and is properly installed in wall studs for stability.

Think about your body too. Stress injuries like vigorously exercising on an unforgiving tile floor, colliding with furniture during a cardio dance session, or trying to finish your virtual spin class while inhaling pet fumes can be painful. Proper planning prevents training problems!

Expand the space

After you’ve established the planning basics, consider your space, equipment, storage, and environmental needs and look for ways to make the fitness area more enjoyable. You want it to be an area you enjoy being in so you don’t avoid workouts. You can start with the wall paint and decor.

If you’re doing a vigorous workout, an energetic color like lemon, lime, or tangerine can liven up the room. Choose one that will make you smile when you see them. If you’re doing more meditative workouts like yoga or tai chi, consider soft blues or greens. If your training is repeated, e.g. For example, while stationary cycling or running on the treadmill, you may want to enjoy a beautiful view or mount a TV on the wall.

If a mirror is important to your workout, mount it on the wall instead of leaving it on the floor so it doesn’t tip over during your workout. Look for inspirational art to hang on the wall for motivation. If you’re training for a marathon, this could be a medal rack or a collection of bibs from previous races. If you’re doing cardio for a team sport, consider vintage prints from past Olympics. Hikers can hang up landscape photos of their highest bagging destinations or photos of past peaks. Even if you work out in a garage, adding color and decoration can make it more inspiring than a monotonous space.

Another way to add value to the space is by placing furniture. Depending on the workouts you have planned for the room, you might want an attractive accessory storage piece in a corner and a piece for your water bottle close by.

You may want insulating window coverings to keep out direct sunlight and peeking eyes and to optimize your air conditioning.

Place a filled bookcase against the common wall to reduce the noise from neighboring bedrooms. Photo courtesy of M Monroe Design (Interior Design); Photography by Dylan Chandler // Wellness by Design (Tiller Press), © J. Gold

Create comfort

Environmental control is another way to make your exercise area more comfortable. This can mean adding a pedestal fan if a ceiling fan is not an option. This can mean adjustable lighting so you can see a video screen better. This could mean putting a padded floor covering for impact or a vibration mat under a machine and replacing a hollow core door with a solid model for noise reduction.

Other ways to control noise are to put a bookcase against a common wall and fill it with books and plants, as well as move a bed away from a common wall. Managing indoor air quality through a smart home system that monitors and adjusts what you breathe as you snort and puff during your workout can also help keep your routines as healthy as possible. If this is not possible, you can add some plants to the room that will improve the indoor air quality.

Plants can help improve the indoor air quality in a room. Photo courtesy of Soltech Solutions. Design / Photography by Callie England // Wellness by Design (Tiller Press), © J. Gold

Final thoughts

The most important component of home workout success is you, but you can certainly improve your chances of success by creating a safe, comfortable, and motivating fitness area at home.

Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS, MCCWC is a Mayo Clinic certified wellness coach, wellness design consultant, and author of three books on design and remodeling. The Latest, Wellness by Design: A Room-by-Room Guide to Optimizing Your Home for Health, Fitness, and Happiness (Tiller Press), published September 1.

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