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  • Writer's pictureCherine Spagnolo

How to Create a Home Gym You’ll Actually Use.

Year after year, getting more exercise tops everyone’s New Year’s resolution lists.

While the number of people committed to this popular goal often plummets by February, experts say having a dedicated space right at home will inspire you to stay active. What are the design elements that will keep you honest and your home gym enticing throughout this year and beyond?

Think about:

What are you trying to accomplish with the gym?

How much space will you need?

What equipment do you like?

How many people will be using the space?

What type of training will you be doing?

What’s your budget?

The answers to these questions can help drive the direction of your design, provided you’re honest with yourself and any professional you’re working with.

Oftentimes people buy equipment that they’ve heard about and never use. They often will buy solely off of the health benefits as well — ‘I want a rower because I heard you burn more calories than on other machines.’ These are big mistakes. If the equipment doesn’t leave enough room to move around easily you won’t use it. If you don’t like the exercise or movement, it doesn’t matter how beneficial it is because you won’t use it.

A room full of bulky equipment is no longer a must. A select few anchor pieces and room for stretching, yoga, or functional training may be a better use of space. Some buzzy new fitness gadgets, like the interactive Mirror home training system, even double as home decor. (The device acts as a sleek full-length mirror when it’s not live-streaming fitness classes.) Before you decide which machines or activities you want to emphasize, focus on choosing the right place in your home to set up your gym. This can affect how regularly you use it. Basements are often a logical choice as they’re usually tucked away and quieter. If they have concrete floors, they can also handle the weight of heavy equipment and weights better than other rooms. If the idea of heading down to a dark basement might make you less inclined to get up and get moving, a place with natural light such as, a spare bedroom or designated gym space on a house’s main or upper floors can be a good alternative. Setting realistic goals for your workout space and designing it around your goals is a great way to remain committed to your workout regiment.

Pro tip: “Never put a treadmill where it will throw you into a wall if you fall while running,” Powell says. “A few minutes on YouTube looking at ‘treadmill fails’ will tell you why.”

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