Hello again, savvy savers! It’s time again for another Battle Of The Bulge, Budget-Style post!
As always, this series will focusing on ways to live a healthier, more active lifestyle while be able to afford clean, organic, obtainable foods! I believe this series can be worthwhile for many, who like myself, wish to get more in shape, not through crash-dieting but by small attainable lifestyle changes! With that said, here is where I am currently: I have a family history of high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer. I am looking to lose 60lbs., find affordable non-gym membership options for working out, and change the way I consume food; this includes meals, snacks, and splurges!
Here’s where I am today:
- I am 32 years young
- Weight 191 lbs; I am down two pounds since last week.
Ways I’ve used to workout this past week:
- I walk my dogs.
- Continued yoga and meditation.
- Using a pedometer
- Portioning my meals
- Measure myself monthly using seamstress tape
So for those who may know know, I used to be in shape. I played tennis, took jazz, ballet lessons, and would walk for miles on end at the beach. That, of course, was then. That was before life piled up. A decade of graduations, working, saving, relocating, marrying, and general laziness began to take its toll, on my health and life.
As the years wore on into my twenties, exercise became less important, less frequent. Injuries began to take their toll, starting with my ankle, then a diabetes diagnosis, and further limiting my activity, working from a home office upwards of twelve hours a day. The predictable result is that today I am but a shadow—a soft, blurry-edged, crusty shadow—of my 120-lb tones, svelte frame of yore.
While I’ve made my peace with my life-work-toil life at home, the overall dénouement of hitting the big 3-0 and beyond, occasionally when Facebook posts photos of “this was your life, many moons ago” wall posts, I can’t help wondering: What went wrong?
So, just this last month, during DH and myself’s weekly to-do chat, we decided to set up a home gym, in what was formerly my home office.
So, the idea of a home gym intrigued me. I know myself, I loath working out in front of others. So if I could in some small way both turn back the clock just a bit on my health, it would be worth it. But what would it take? How much would it cost? And where would I even start?
As a savvy saver I know that it’s universally know that the best time of year to buy workout equipment is in the quarter post-Christmas, when stores are trying to cash in on consumer self-inflicted New Year’s weight lose resolutions, but I needed a home gym today, post-haste! I also didn’t want to re-create my grandmothers, 1990’s fossilized, cliché home gym equipped with a dusty elliptical trainer, sit up machine, and every as-seen-on-tv unit money could afford! So, one thing was for sure, this would be a gym-on-a-dime operation.
So, here are the steps I’ve used to help implement my new home gym:
1) A Room with a View: It’s hard to get a workout in when you’re beset by screaming kids or overflowing laundry hampers. You want a dedicated room with a door that you can close off from the rest of your home, so your workout isn’t interrupted.
2) Accessories: To make my room more inviting I’ve planned to add a full length mirror to a door, to self-monitor my progress, and have wifi speakers put in to focus on my workouts and not the rest of my home.
3) Think small: All you truly need is a smaller room, with adequate lighting, and cleared space. In my workout room, I have nearly floor length windows for lighting, foam gym mat packs ($20.98 from Sam’s Club, which covers 24 square feet, per pack) for flooring, neutral colored walls, mini blinds,and that’s it for space customization’s.
4) Time: Consider the realistic amount of time you will actually use your gym. Are you going to work out for an hour a day, occasional training, or a set regime every few days. I plan to immolate a core training circuit; a 30-Minute daily, morning (between 6-7 am) Research-Based Workout Exercise system.
5) What Are You Training For? Okay, you’ve got your space, with or without mirrors, stereo, and floor mat. What about the actual exercise equipment? What you buy should depends on your objectives—weight loss, cardio fitness, strength training, or some combination thereof—but it’s not quite as simple as that. You will also need pieces to help with weight lose plateaus, such as Pilates, jump ropes, etc. as after three weeks or so your body adjusts and you stop losing weight. A general rule of thumbs is a combination of cardio and resistance training is best for weight loss and overall fitness—even though that message itself is sometimes resisted. Especially for women, the above mentioned extras will help with what we need most, toning.
6) Dumb and Dumber: As my husband, a former US Army Sargent advised me early on, every home gym must be equipped with a full set of dumbbells and kettle-bells. Shop for the three weights you think you’ll use most often, 5, 10 and 15 lb bells for women. What’s nice, is that each piece can be purchased for under $7.00 each at mass retailers. Also, dumbbells store easily, on a small table or bench, and with the right glute and leg exercises, you will not need to purchase expensive rowing or leg machines for your home gym.
7) Second hand first: So, first thing is first, you need a home gym budget. After my husband and I settled on having a $500.00 home gym budget, we planned to purchase mostly, second hand equipment for our home gym. Thus far we have found an elliptical on a local Facebook group for $20.00, a stationary bike for $10.00, and free jump ropes, resistance bands, yoga ball, and dumbbell bench. We still plan to buy a treadmill, weight bench, and finish outfitting out dumbbell and kettle bells. Also consider looking at Freecycle, Craigslist, and Penny Savers for additional sources of gym equipment.
8) Think outside the gym: In order to help me with one of my more pressing issues, poor posture, I plan to invest in a stability ball as a replacement for my home office chair. What’s nice about this option, is that for under $30.00 online, this call will allow you to do abdominal crunches, squats, hamstring curls, body bridges, as well as preform basic office functions, too!
So, there are my plans and tips for starting a home gym at home. If any of my readers have a gym at home already, and have some tips for revamping my above mentioned plans, I’d love to hear about them.
Here’s to your health,