Are you a gym avoider?
Personally, I prefer to exercise at home because:
- It is less expensive
- I don’t care about my appearance at home
- I never need to wait for equipment
- I like “class” workouts, but want to pick my own each day
- There is no commute time
- I can use my own shower afterward
- Less exposure to germs
If you also like to work out at home, let’s go over some basics of having the right environment.
Because I work out to DVDs instead of just using equipment like a treadmill, I need space. It is best to have a space you can leave set up at all times if possible. I use a space in my basement. My space is about 8′ square, not counting the table with the DVD player and screen.
Now you need:
- DVD and/or CD player
- Rugs and/or mats
- Equipment needed for your workout (weights, step, wave, ball)
- Possibly a rack for weights
- Possibly a rack for DVDs or audio CDs
- Gloves (or something for grip) for weights
- Good shoes
- Air flow
Obviously if you work out to DVDs you need a player. Even if you use a treadmill or other machine, you might want to watch or listen to something to make the time fly by.
Since my floor is concrete, I put a rug remnant down. But I found it wasn’t enough cushioning, especially when doing floor exercises. So I purchased several packages of “puzzle mats.” I am not sure of the exact name but I got them at Wal-Mart. These provide good cushioning to protect my knees during jumps, and my back during floor exercises. I put the rug on top of them.
I love variety so over time, I’ve acquired workouts that use 2 step heights, an incline step, the wave, and an exercise ball in addition to weights.
I line my weights up along the front of the mats. If you are tight on space, you could get a rack and/or store your weights under the table where your DVD player sits.
If you have lots of DVDs and/or CDs, get a rack to save space and keep them organized.
I use Harbinger weight gloves most of the time, because I use iron weights. If you don’t like full gloves, try Gym Skins. You can also buy weights that have covered handles.
For aerobic workouts, use cross-training or aerobic shoes. You need stability for lateral moves (like grapevines) and good cushioning. Never, EVER use running shoes for aerobic dance workouts and weight workouts! They are meant to tip you forward for momentum in running, and you don’t want that during lateral moves or when trying to stabilize for weight training or balance moves.
The lighting is up to you, but make sure you can see well. We had to add lights in our basement as it wasn’t bright enough without them.
I have 2 fans. One is a small fan on a low table, which feels good on my face during floor work. The other is a taller one, adjusted to blow on my face while standing. Fans will do wonders for your comfort!
Keep a towel handy to wipe away sweat. I also wear a headband and clip up my hair. I can’t stand hair sticking to a sweaty face!
A great place to find a variety of workout DVDs is collagevideo.com.