Shifting to a home workout routine during COVID has been a big adjustment for many of us – myself included. Creating work-from-home offices and remote learning spaces is tricky enough. But a home gym to sustain a regular workout routine?
I’ve always either been in a studio or running outside, so staring at a screen was yet another lifestyle challenge I needed to figure out. I spent the first few weeks in March working out in the corner of our basement, but it was a struggle to get down there and un-motivating to stay. The setup just didn’t work for me: the windowless room was a far cry from what I was used to breaking a sweat in, and I had to rearrange the room every time I went down there. I knew that a physical change was needed in order to maintain my exercise routine.
After some thinking about what I wanted in a home workout space + what was realistic (both from budget and space constraints), I curated an inviting space aligned to my exercise goals, which has made the adjustment to online workout classes much easier. Not to mention, the commute to the living room is pretty awesome, especially for early morning classes.
How did I do it?
Read on for tips to tweak your home workout space, especially if it doubles as something else when you’re not exercising.
Align your space to your workout goals – not the other way around
Think about what you need to maintain your routine. How much floor space? What gear do you actually use? Do you need privacy? Is natural light important?
Keep on asking yourself questions and based on the answers, prioritize how you create your space. That might mean moving a piece of furniture out of the room or changing the existing room layout; acknowledge that there might be downsides to the new setup, but shifting your mindset to focusing on the positives will help create an emotionally healthy space to get your body physically fit.
Accessibility = frequency
Don’t feel the need to hide your workout gear at the end of a session. You’re more likely to use it if you can see it – no real gym keeps their equipment hidden away, so why should your home be any different? I personally keep my yoga mat always rolled out – one less thing to do before signing into Zoom and one less thing to do before running to the next activity of the day.
But be sure to keep in mind child safety; put dangerous items, like heavy weights, out of reach.
Keep everyone happy
Balancing workout habits can be hard with other people at home all the time. If your kids are literally using your body as their playground, (I’ve been there!), consider adding a dedicated space for them to be while you’re focusing on your workout. A bin of books or a selection of easy crafts that are just to be used during your exercise time can help, and a visual timer like the Time Timer allows even the little ones to understand how much time is left. Or, check out these kid-sized mats. How cute!?
Make it yours
Just because it’s a home gym doesn’t mean it has to look sterile. Add a cute basket for your jump rope and yoga block. A side table that fits your aesthetic is a great place to prop up your laptop. And you’re using a corner of your living room or bedroom as your workout space, consider swapping out your mat for a new one that better matches your decor.