Five tips for building an energy efficient home gym
Do you dream of building your own home gym, but don't think you have space in your home or bank account? Think again!
With the rise of online workouts, the latest videos of celebrities showing us their iso bodies have surfaced, including the likes of Kaylah Itsines’ milk carton workouts, or the likes of Chris Hemsworth showing us how he got body ready to play Thor. Surely, they must have high grade equipment and home gyms with large spaces? Maybe not.
Building a home gym doesn’t have to break the bank. With a few energy efficient items and some creativity, you may be able to find the same benefits of hitting your favourite gym (or workout class) at home.
Here are some ways to build an energy efficient home gym, in any space on a budget.
1. Find the right space
Pick a dedicated space in your apartment or home where you can set up a home gym. You could consider spaces like a spare bedroom, patio or corner of your living room. You may need to move some furniture around but be creative and work with the space you have.
Choose a space near a window or door if possible, so you can let airflow in, without having to turn on the air-conditioner. Bringing in plants can also help boost oxygen levels in the room. Ferns, bamboo palms, and spider plants top the list for their indoor air purification powers
2. Pick multipurpose equipment
A lot of equipment providers promise instant results, but most are either too expensive for what they are or aren’t versatile enough to exercise your entire body.
It may be tempting to think that electric or expensive equipment is going to get you better results, but the truth is, it’s what you do with the equipment that makes the difference.
Let’s start with the basics. Pick from a range of simple, multipurpose pieces of equipment that can be used for different exercises. Start with:
- Resistance bands. Resistance bands are light weight and can be used for both strength training and stretching.
- The kettlebell is a cast iron or cast steel ball with a handle attached to the top, it can be used for weightlifting and to add resistance to body weight workouts.
- A yoga mat. Yoga mats provide support while engaging in activities on the floor including Pilates and stretching.
If you already have the basics and want more, consider adding the items below:
- Dumbbells. Choose from a range 2-10kg weights for strength training to target a wide range of muscle groups.
- Medicine balls. A simple all-around fitness tool, Medicine Balls can be thrown, or slammed to enhance your strength and conditioning training.
- A foam roller. A lightweight, cylindrical tube of compressed foam that can be used for increasing flexibility, reducing soreness, and eliminating muscle knots.
Consider shopping around for second-hand equipment, and of course, you should always clean the equipment thoroughly and tailor everything to your specific workouts
3. Understand equipment energy ratings
If you have space and you’re ready to invest in equipment for your home gym, it’s important to understand not just what price they’re going to cost, but also the ongoing running cost of your equipment.
All electric appliances, including treadmills with a motor, have a wattage power rating. This is the amount of energy that the appliance consumes when running. The wattage rating on your treadmill depends on the type and size of the motor, among other factors.
Look for the wattage rating on the serial number sticker on your machine or in the owner’s manual to understand the different energy ratings.
4. Maintain & organise your home gym
Now that you’re all set up, be sure to maintain and organise your home gym so that you can make your equipment last and motivate yourself to work out. Here are a couple of tips:
- After every workout, wipe down your equipment with a towel and cleaning products.
- If you have a Yoga mat, roll it up so that it doesn’t get walked on and make sure to always put your weights away so that no one can trip on them.
- Find a dedicated space to store your equipment where you can see it – doing that will encourage you to use it.
- If your space permits, install a mirror on a wall in your home gym. Watching yourself exercise helps you correct your form and minimise injury.
- If you have invested in any electrical equipment, make sure to turn it off when not in use to save energy.
- Lastly, stock this area with towels, a water bottle, a Bluetooth speaker and anything else you use during your workouts. You could also bring in a tablet to watch online workouts.
To keep you accountable, invite a workout buddy to train with you, or ask your partner to sweat it out by your side. Just like a real gym, you won’t see results unless you regularly visit it
When setting up your home gym, you may want to consider the different lighting options available to you, to make sure you’re optimising your energy usage.
An ideal fitness space has lots of natural light coming in from windows and doors, however if you do need more light consider using Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) or Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs), two popular forms of energy-efficient lighting found in Australian homes.
While these light bulbs can be more expensive in the beginning, over time, the energy savings – along with the financial ones – can really add up. Some of them can use up to 80% less energy than incandescent light bulbs to produce the same amount of light, as well as last up to 10 times longer.
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