By Jane Perkins (Contributing Freelance Writer)
When asked about the top impediment stopping African Americans from working out more, the top answer is usually ‘a lack of time.’ As stated in research conducted at Arizona State University, exercise is important for African American women in particular, since they disproportionately battle a plethora of conditions associated with sedentarism, including Type II diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. If you are determined to take matters into your own hands by setting up a home gym, you will undoubtedly be doing your health a big favor, since all these conditions can be prevented through exercise and a healthy diet. Follow these tips for a fully functional gym that won’t ruin your budget.
Strength And Resistance
Your home gym does not have to have fancy nautilus machines to meet your daily exercise requirement needs. It should, however, include key items for strength and resistance workouts. These include resistance bands, dumbbells, a kettlebell (if you’re into CrossFit), a barbell, and a few weight plates. You will usually spend a few weeks on one specific weight, so a total of four weight plates should be enough to get you through the first few months. You will also need a good bench that you can use for barbell lifting and resting between sets.
Cardiovascular Workouts And Space
Your home gym will need to be large enough for you to do at least half an hour to 45 minutes of cardio every day. To save space, you could invest in an elliptical machine or treadmill. These can cost between around $400 and $2,500, so if you are sticking to a budget, look into second-hand purchases or well-reviewed budget equipment. If your home gym is large enough, you can forego bulky cardio equipment altogether. Instead, you might try completing your own cardio workout by following a streamed class or video. The key is having enough space to move around the room without being hampered by bulky equipment.
Storage For Cleaning And Supplies
One corner of your gym should be dedicated to cleaning materials. This is because the gym space, furniture, and gym machines need to be cleaned regularly. A study conducted by FitRated has found that an exercise bike has 79 times more bacteria than a water faucet and that free weights have over 360 times the bacteria contained in a public toilet. Storage furniture should contain wipes for cleaning equipment after each use. You can use the same furniture piece to store yoga mats, resistance bands and other loose pieces of equipment that shouldn’t be lying loose in the gym. Regular cleaning is key, especially if others are sharing your equipment.
Design Maketh The Gym
Tiny touches of design can make your gym feel more like the ‘real thing’ and therefore motivate you to do your best. Small furniture items such as barbell shelves, hanging bars, and vibrational plates can make the experience more ‘authentic.’ The key is to build your space up slowly, looking out for opportunities for second-hand and sale items that can make your gym more appealing as the months and years go by.
If time is stopping you from being as active as your health demands and you have space for it, a home gym may be the solution. Investing in a small number of weights and other pieces of equipment will kickstart the process. As time goes by, think about things that can make your gym more appealing, including a small fridge for drinks, a TV so you can follow your favorite workouts and a good music system to inspire you to give it your all.
Top Tips For Setting Up A Home Gym