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Tips and Ideas for the Ultimate Home Workout

Here, we'll review some ways to make your home workout space a truly useful way to get fit and stay fit. We'll include tips for getting the whole family involved, as well as some pointers for making your home gym a comfortable and pleasant place to spend time. If you can't incorporate all of these upgrades, ideas and improvements into your home workout area, there's no need to worry. They're just here as starting points to inspire you.

Fitness is a huge priority for many households today. In many cases, children are enrolled in several sports programs while parents have gym memberships. This is wonderful in terms of staying healthy and fit. However, it can be tough on the budget, especially in today's economy.

This is why so many households are looking into high-quality workout rooms and gyms for their homes. In the past, a workout room often consisted of a weight bench and a few dumbbells sitting in a dusty corner of a dank basement. No longer! Today's homeowners have discovered that they can enjoy all the variety and challenge of a gym in the privacy of their very own home.

The Basics: Starting with a Clean Slate

Basements are the most common site for home workout rooms and gyms. There's usually a lot of unused space and noise isn't a big concern. However, before you begin investing in expensive equipment, it pays to ensure that your basement is ready to become a workout area.

Finished basements are already a step ahead. However, if your basement is not finished, you may want to consider taking this step. A properly finished basement is warm and cozy, just like the rest of your house...not damp and musty. Dampness is not only unpleasant to spend time in, but it can rust and corrode expensive equipment. Waterproofing your foundation and finishing the walls of your basement will go a long way toward making your future workout area a comfortable place to spend time. Local contractors can seal your basement for you (waterproofing is usually a professionals-only job). You can also hire professionals to finish the interior of your basement, or tackle it as a DIY project. If you do decide to hire, remember to research and make your hiring decision carefully.

Soundproofing is another concern you may want to address when prepping a basement (or any other area of your home) for use as a workout space. Many people find that loud music helps them get through a tough workout. Headphones or ear-buds are always an option, but a built-in music system can give your home gym a professional feel. In addition, the clanks and thuds that go along with many types of aerobic exercise and weight machines can be bothersome for the rest of the household. Soundproofing can easily be installed on your basement ceiling, and is a relatively simple DIY project. Contractors can help you, as well. Soundproofing other areas of your home is just as easy.

Flooring

Once you have a soundproofed and finished space for your gym, it's time to think about flooring. You most likely have a concrete floor in your basement. While concrete is easy-clean and very durable, it's also, obviously, extremely hard. Many gyms use rubber flooring. There are a few reasons for this. One is that it offers and extra level of sound dampening. Another is that falls on rubber are much less painful, and much less likely to cause injury, than falls onto concrete or another hard surface.

Rubber flooring is available in an amazing array of thicknesses, designs and colors. You can go sleek with a black-and-silver geometric design, or go country with woodgrain-finish rubber tiles. Whatever the color scheme and theme of your home workout space, there's a rubber flooring option to match it perfectly. Tiles are available in every shade of the rainbow, and allow you to create customized color palettes. Visit a showroom or look online to see what's out there. Not only will a rubber floor add safety to your home gym, but it can add visual appeal as well.

Facilities

If your basement doesn't include a bathroom, now might be a good time to think about installing one. A basement bathroom is usually rather simple to install, since the plumbing is close at hand in most homes. A professional is required to do intricate plumbing and electrical work, but the project is not as involved as installing a bathroom in most other areas of the home.

A bathroom in your basement workout space isn't a necessity, of course. However, if you want to create a gym experience that rivals (or exceeds) that of a traditional fitness center, it's a great way to add convenience. Working out works up a sweat, and it's wonderfully convenient to walk across the room and into a refreshing shower after a sweaty aerobic session. Friends and relatives who may want to use your gym as an alternative to pricey fitness clubs will also appreciate this convenient touch. If it fits into your budget, a shower/sauna combo is an ideal and luxurious idea for a home gym bathroom, combining the relaxing and detoxifying aspects of a steam bath with the convenience of a quick shower. These units require professional installation.

Plan Your Layout

A workout space should be easy to navigate and walk through. There's no need to cram more machines into your space that it can easily hold; they're less likely to be used if they're difficult to access.

Before you buy any equipment, use your computer or old fashioned pencil and paper to sketch out your future home gym. Make sure you have the dimensions of the room and the dimensions of every piece of equipment accurate. Leave enough space in between machines for walking, and be sure to include a comfortable seating area for post-workout relaxation. If you use items like inflatable balance balls or other “loose” equipment, be sure to plan storage for those items as well.

Fun Stuff

Entertainment can make even the most grueling workouts go by much more quickly. This is why so many gyms have wall-mounted television sets positioned in front of their treadmills! You can borrow this idea for your home workout space. A flat-screen TV mounted on the wall will allow you to watch your favorite shows while you put in your morning miles on the treadmill. Installing a DVD or Blu-Ray player will let you follow exercise videos with ease (be sure to include empty floor space for this in your layout plan). If you or your children enjoy working out with a dance or exercise console game, include space for the console as well. Customizing your workout space to meet your household's tastes and preferences can make the workout experience even more satisfying than a trip to the gym, not to mention much more convenient!

A sound system is another great way to make workouts more fun. Installing some wireless speakers can let you fill the room with upbeat, fast-paced music, which often spurs on more intense workouts. Today's sound systems don't' require much space at all, and are easily installed.

A very convenient extra for your home workout space is an area for healthy snacks and drinks. All you really need is a small refrigerator; the models marketed for dorm use are ideal. Stock it up with vegetables, fruits and healthy juices for a true fitness-center experience!

Finding the Right Contractor(s) to Help You

As we've mentioned, there are some aspects of a high-end home fitness center which can easily be tackled as DIY projects, while others require the skill and expertise of a professional. When it comes time to choose those professionals, it's easy to become confused. The old methods of relying on recommendations from friends and family or simply running your finger down the phone book listings can be frustrating. Thankfully, there's now a much easier way.

Home improvement websites which connect contractors with consumers are an enormous help when it comes time to choose a professional. These sites allow you to review local contractor's areas of expertise, licenses, and other pertinent information. You can even read reviews from former clients! This information can prove invaluable, since it gives you an inside peek into how the contractor is to work with.

You can also simply post your project online and allow contractors to bid on it. A very popular option, this takes nearly all the work out of finding a contractor! Be sure to check references and qualifications before you hire, just to be on the safe side.

Once you've used qualifications and reviews to narrow your list, begin making phone calls. It's essential to talk through your entire project before any hiring decisions are made, in order to avoid costly hassles down the road.

When all is said and done, a home workout space is sure to become a very welcome addition to your home. It's a huge money saver, since you can kiss those expensive gym memberships goodbye. It's also a great way to get in shape, since you're much more likely to work out if the gym is a few steps away, rather than a few miles! Whether you go all out or create a simple, utilitarian space, it's easy to see why a home workout area is one of the trendiest and most popular home additions. They save money, time, and get you into better shape...what could be better?

Posted by: Diane
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