COLUMN: Wellness Within: Setting Up a Home Workout Space

This column is written by Deborah Peddle-Hann from Journey 2 Wellness

We know we need to ‘stay the blazes home’, and with the second wave starting, we are doing our best to keep ourselves, our family, and those around us safe. But if you are a regular gym user, losing that access can be devastating for both your physical and mental health.

For many people, ‘hitting the weights’ can be a lifeline and as dramatic as it feels to say, a matter of life and death for some.

The good news is, with some imagination and a few small purchases, you can set yourself up to exercise in the comfort and safety of your own home.

First and foremost is the location! It is vital that you set yourself up in a space where you ENJOY spending time. Tucking yourself into a dark dingy corner of your basement where you feel completely uninspired, will simply set you up for failure.

If this is the only place in your home where you can set up your workout space, try to find ways to make it more inviting. Paint the walls a cheerful colour, put up a mirror or two, add a tv or a stand to set up a tablet and hang inspiring photos or posters printed off the internet. Make it a space that makes you feel good and you’ll be more likely to want to spend time there.

If you hire an online trainer or attend online classes, find something to use as a stand for your phone, iPad or laptop and test out different angles around the room. It is important to be able to set up so your trainer can see you from head to toe. And don’t be afraid to get creative. I stole my daughter’s music stand and use sticky tack to hold the phone to the stand. It’s simple and it works perfectly! Tripods are also great and phone attachments are relatively inexpensive.

So now that you have your space more welcoming, the following is a list of equipment you NEED:

  1. You Body

What? Were you expecting more?

Seriously, I will get to some good pieces of equipment to invest in, but to get started you can 100% get a great workout with only your body! Don’t believe me? Do a YouTube search for “body weight workouts” and give one a try. I guarantee you’ll be sweaty in minutes.

Now, my longer list of equipment that would be helpful to have in your home gym. This is by no means an exhaustive list but something to get started.

  1. Yoga or exercise mat
  2. Fans.
  3. Dumbbells. If you use a wide range of weights, I recommend a set of changeable/clickable weights. Otherwise just a couple different weights will work.
  4. Stability Ball – it is amazing how many exercises you can do with a ball, which also doubles as a chair! If you are 5’6” and under, a 65cm ball is the perfect size. 5’7” and over, the 75 cm ball works great.
  5. Exercise bands. Either long body bands and/or short “booty bands”
  6. Bonus items: Bench and chin up bar. Both are handy to have but you need to make sure you have the space for it. A chin up assist band is helpful if you are not able to do full chin ups.
  7. High cost items: If you can afford it, a piece of cardio equipment like a treadmill, elliptical or bike can come in handy. But make sure it is something you will use, or it will just become a dust collector. Don’t be afraid to just head outside for a brisk walk or some intervals to get sweating and burning calories,

The most important thing to remember is that you do not have to have the perfect workout space, workout clothes or workout equipment to stay healthy. Grab yourself a virtual accountability partner or coach, set a schedule of healthy eating and exercise and just get moving! Don’t make it more difficult than it needs to be. Ten minutes of exercise a day is better than zero!

Please get up and get moving so you can live your healthiest and best life – no matter what the situation around you.

Stay safe everyone and remember to be kind to those around you.

We are all in this together.