It starts with a New Year resolution
Every year millions of people come up with their New Year resolutions – lose weight, get fit, stop smoking/drinking, train for a marathon... Unfortunately, within a few months these resolutions become a distant memory for the majority of us, and we are able to somehow justify why we really need to smoke/ drink another pint/ keep those love handles (the ladies love a little something to hold on to… not true!).
According to medical experts, the amount of physical activity you do is directly linked to how healthy you are. Ideally, an adult should do at least 30 minutes of medium intensity exercise five times a week. Intensity can be easily measured by how out of breath and warm you are afterwards.
The combination of bad eating habits, stress, modern living and lack of physical activity directly contributes to how unhealthy we are.
Once you’ve decided that you want/need to get fit, then you have to make the choice of whether you want to join a gym, get personal training or participate in specific classes. The easiest way is to buy a gym membership, but creating a home gym can have the same effect if done correctly, and if you’re motivated enough, of course.
By definition a home gym is basically a space in your house dedicated to exercise and where you store your equipment. It can be just a little corner or an entire room, filled with the latest gadgets or just a couple of weights and a resistance band.
For guidance, getting a personal trainer is probably the best option, but there are also DVDs, books and exercise videos on Youtube you can follow. After all, you’re exercising to stay healthy, not train for the Olympics.
There are many advantages of a home gym:
- The money you spend on the initial set-up is the biggest investment you make. Upgrades can be made as and when you see fit.
- No gym fees and binding contracts. Joining a renowned gym in Kuala Lumpur can set you back as much as RM2,000 per year.
- Privacy and the option of exercising whenever you want.
- If you’re shy or don’t like crowds, a home gym is ideal.
- If you feel like wearing those terrible grey sweatpants with the suspicious stain down the front, no one is going to stare at you!
There are basically only two disadvantages: a home gym takes up space; and if you’re not fully committed and disciplined enough to set aside time each day to exercise, it's just too easy to not do it.
What type of equipment do you need?
You’ve committed to the home gym idea, so the next step is to decide on the space and what kind of equipment you can fit in and afford. Basically, exercise equipment is categorised into:
- Aerobic: Treadmill, rowing machine, elliptical machine, stationary bicycle, jump rope
- Strength training: Weights (hand or free), resistance band, strength training machine (like what you would find in a regular gym)
If your space and budget is limited, just ensure that you have room to do exercises like jumping jacks, skipping, lunges, press-ups, push-ups and running in place. Installing a pull-up bar is cheap and telling your mates how many pull-ups you can do at one go is always a good way to show off!
Keeping fit and healthy isn’t about six packs and being a certain size; it’s about longevity, better mental health and feeling good about yourself. If all it takes is a little space in your home and an hour of your day, there really isn’t any excuse. Think of those New Year’s resolutions and start moving!