As we adjust to the new normal, take a gander down at your body and see if it still looks like you.
While COVID-19 is no joke, I’ve heard some people quip that the “19” stands for the number of pounds we all gained while staying at home.
You see, there’s one thing nobody told you about the experience of working from home. When you start working from home, you miss out on all the behind-the-scenes calorie burning that was part of your daily life. Walking from your car to your office. Rushing to get into the conference room before the meeting starts. Trips to the bathroom that took more than ten steps.
It all added up without you even thinking about it. Take that extra daily movement away, and the pounds start to creep up. Add 24/7 access to your kitchen and the pounds don’t just creep, they pile on in no time.
Of course, you are far more than a number on a scale. So don’t beat yourself up if your clothes are feeling tighter, but if you want to look more like the old you, there’s something you can do that no amount of lockdown can ever take away.
You can make a home gym.
Seriously. You can. If you already have a Man Cave or a She Shed, just a few tweaks can turn it into an Ab Cabin or a Yoga Yurt. And if you don’t have much extra space, don’t worry. A home gym doesn’t have to take up much room at all, and it certainly doesn’t have to break the bank.
Here are 4 simple ways to create a home gym that fits your style and resources.
1. No Space, No Budget
Got a patch of floor and access to YouTube? Congratulations! You’ve got a home gym! Pick out the kind of exercise you want, the amount of time you have, put it in a search and voila! You’ve got a 20 minute fat burning routine with no weights. Or a yoga stretching session to ease back pain. Or an energetic zumba warm-up class. You want it? There’s an excellent chance that YouTube has got it. And it’s all free.
Don’t like the thought of exercise at all? We’ve still got you covered. Turn on some music and dance! Yes! You can disco your way back into your regular clothes size. Mirror ball optional.
2. Little Space, Little Budget
If you want your little bit of dedicated space to feel like a real home gym, start by getting home gym rubber flooring mats. These typically come as interlocking puzzle pieces of EVA foam. These clearly state “Workout Zone” and will act as a reminder to focus on your fitness.
With a small budget, it helps to focus your goal. What do you want? Core strength? Flexibility? More muscle? Stamina? If your goal is to be more mindful of burning calories, a simple pedometer can help. Chart how many steps you take in a day and make a conscious effort to add more.
A balance ball is just the trick for ab and core exercises and they also safely work on stability and balance. Before you buy one, go online to see which size works best for your height. Resistance bands are great for improving flexibility without putting too much stress on your joints. They also build muscle.
Want more muscle? Get one or two pairs of dumbbells – 3 lb and 5 lb are a great place to start. These work to strengthen both your muscles and your joints. And if you’re looking for more stamina, a simple jump rope or mini-trampoline will get your heart and lungs pumping. Most of these items can be easily stored under a bed or in a closet when not in use.
Maybe you need to zero in on your booty – you know, the part of you that’s been getting numb sitting in your chair during endless Zoom meetings. Check out BootyBands.com for some reasonably priced options that will zoom you towards your goal of 100% bootyliciousness.
If you’re no beginner to weight training and your little bit of space has room for barbells and weights, believe it or not, you can find plenty of options in your price zone. The first rule of thumb on finding workout gear and weights… don’t get discouraged. Get hunting for bargains.
It may take 10 trips to Walmart or 15 scrubs through Craigslist to find that one weight plate you need, but it is worth it. When you go searching for weights in stores, don’t only look in the weight aisle, look in the returns too! Be willing to use mismatched plates and tie on your weight plates with scarves or socks until the weight bar grips arrive. 7am pacific time is the best time to surf resale apps for weights.
3. Moderate Space, Moderate Budget
Nearly everybody has a junk drawer, but you’d be surprised at the number of people who have a junk room. You know, a place where everything gets dumped and the door stays closed. If that room happens to have mirrored closet doors, congratulations! You just found your new home gym!
As always, you get what you pay for. A cheap treadmill, cycle, or stepper is likely to become your new coat hanger in record time. Squeaks and uneven tension can make a workout miserable, so get the best you can afford. If you’ve already got a bike, there are two types of stationary bike stands you can get to make your outside bike an inside bike. There’s a trainer, which clamps the back wheel of the bicycle. leaving the front wheel able to spin, or a roller bike stand. This elevates the bike, so both wheels spin while you train.
Did you know there are Goldmines for finding quality weights, equipment, and workout gear at discount prices? This can help your moderate budget go farther. Do a search on Mercari for barbells and weights (be sure to list the lbs you want), or check out OfferUp. A search for fitness equipment on Let Go, CraigsList, EBay or Facebook Marketplace can also bring surprise rewards like a Gpolus 8-in-1 Multifunctional Squat Machine Deep Sissy Squat Home Gym Fitness Equipment or a Chin up Squat Stand Strength Training Adjustable Dumbbell Rack.
Check out these suppliers for more options:
- TKO fitness: Barbell Sets
- Costway (taking it back old school with those sand-filled weights) 🙂
- Homebody Fitness
- Troy Cardio Barbell
- Les Mills
4. Lots of Space, High Budget
You just hit the Home Gym Jackpot! No squeaky stepper here! Investing in high quality equipment AND paying a monthly subscription fee for online professional training is no problem for you. Hello Peloton, The Mirror, and a cavalcade of Nordictrack machines! You get the most benefit out of the machine purchase with the monthly subscription service for incredible classes with amazing coaches.
The caution here is to make sure your home gym compliments your decor, has all the electrical requirements met, and remains uncluttered and easy to maintain. Need a TV and sound system to keep your body moving? Are there motivational photos or quotes to display on the walls? Work it, baby, work it! You’ve got the cash to build the home gym of your dreams!
If you find that your home doesn’t fit your fitness goals, no problem! That’s what I’m here for. To help you find the perfect home to fit you and your lifestyle. Check out stephenburchard.com. Taking the (k)nots out of real estate, so you can fit in a few more crunches.