People buy gym memberships not for the professional equipment, although there is that, too, but mostly for the commitment factor. And not just because you paid money for it but also because once you are there – you will inevitably work out. In order to be set for exercise you need to be away from everything else and concentrate on training only. Your house is a place for living, on the other hand, and you simply don’t have a routine (not yet) to train, there is no special area for that in most people’s houses so the number one priority for you if you want to exercise in your home environment is to make that space, space reserved for training specifically.
a) Make it somewhere in the area where you can leave all of your equipment if you have any – like Swiss ball or dumbbells, of just something that reminds you of exercise – exercise mat, perhaps. The area needs to be dedicated to exercise and it has to be accessible.
b) Pick the area where you walk past but you don’t do other stuff at, like playing video games on the carpet or watch TV, it’ll compete with your training activities if you associate leisure time with exercise you may not enjoy so much.
So, once you have that space you will be able to go there whenever you want to or planned to work out. You will not need to think of where you are going to set up – you’ll just go straight there.
The people who invest heavily on a home gym and then never use it make one simple mistake: they don’t make it accessible. They close the door, they set it up somewhere out of the way – somewhere where they are not reminded of it. They cover their equipment, like a treadmill or a bike, with clothes and magazines and end up neglecting the whole thing because it’s not easy to jump up and go, it’s not “staring them in the face” – it’s in the corner/basement/behind closed doors. So make sure your home gym area is where you can see it, where you walk all the time – that it’s central in your house if you want to make exercise a priority in your life. Otherwise it’ll be an out of sight out of mind kind of thing.
It’s hard to get yourself to exercise when you are underprepared, when you need to go through an hour’s worth of setting up before you get to train. If you need to look for your clothes, a bottle of water, music and whatever equipment you might have – you are unlikely to get started. Make it easier on yourself and have everything on hand: your training clothes, mp3 player and water all set and ready to go when you are. Some people, like myself, wear training clothes at home – it’s comfortable and you are ready to work out at any moment of the day.
You can’t make time for exercise and then wonder what you are going to do – you are unlikely to start, to be honest, if you are not entirely sure what it is you’ll be doing exactly. So, having a clear idea of what your plan of action is – is crucial. Make it simple so you know when it’ll be over, how much time you need and if you can afford to spend that time training. Make it reasonable so you don’t dread it and keep postponing it to a later date – make sure that whatever program you are following is the one you are physically able to stick to. Make it easy to follow – have a visual guide or a list you can cross things off, something that’ll let you go through the motions and get the sense of progression. If you’re following a DVD make sure you don’t have to dig for it for half an hour – have it at hand.
In the beginning of your journey spend as little money as possible, instead, try to spend time on getting motivated and inspired by other people. A lot of people get side-tracked by what equipment and gear they need, they keep on spending money, before they can even begin to exercise. It becomes yet another distraction, an obstacle between you and exercise. You think you need something to begin with but you don’t, you just need to want to start. If you think some particular equipment is “the stuff”, before you throw your money away, borrow it from a friend first or make do with a DIY substitute first, at the very least the cheapest possible version of that thing. Most of the time, what you think is going to be the solution will only join all the other junk in your garage and you may even find that it was absolutely useless after a few tries. So, before you throw away your money, try it out elsewhere, at the store or by using a guest gym visit and test that equipment there first.
Fitness is all in your head – if you are all set it’ll be a lot easier to train at any point of the day, here and there even if it’s just 15-20 minutes – it will all count. And once you get into a routine and make it part of your lifestyle it’ll get easier and easier to find the time and the motivation to exercise.