Factors to Consider when Buying Home Exercise Equipment

More people these days are choosing to set up exercise equipment at home rather than paying for a gym membership. Home exercise equipment can be set up in any unused space you have — many people use space in their basements.

Having such a setup has several advantages over a traditional gym membership: you save on gas, are able to work out any time, and you have the privacy to work out without feeling self-conscious.

Set Personal Goals and Find the Tools to Reach Them

When choosing what type of equipment you are going to buy, the first thing you need to look at is what your personal goals are. If you desire to lose a couple of pounds or just get in a little better shape, very minimal (or even no) equipment will cover your needs.

If you’re planning to get in better cardiovascular condition, there are treadmills, stationary bikes, rowing machines — basically hundreds of different machines that do the same thing. The major difference in these type of machines is what you prefer. Some people like to be seated, some like to stand, etc. At the top end of the issue, if you are planning to build muscle through resistance training, you are probably looking at the biggest, most complicated, and most expensive proposition. The good news is that new devices are constantly being developed that suit many different tastes.

It Depends on Your Situation

The big thing with gym equipment is you can go as big or as specialized as you want. I know a woman who has a full gymnastics gym in her house for her daughter. She simply did a search for the best equipment she could find including home balance beams, various bars, and other pieces of equipment that could help her daughter. Basically, find what will work for your personal situation (or your family’s!) and go from there.

Be Mindful of Setup Requirements

The second issue you need to look at is how complicated setup of your equipment is. A basic treadmill requires very little setup, but a Bowflex is much more complicated. The rule of thumb here is to select equipment you will actually use. We have all known people who had a stationary bike in the corner of their basement that served as nothing more than a coat rack. If you don’t have a whole lot of space to leave your equipment set up and workout ready, you want to be sure that equipment can be pulled out of the closet without a great struggle.

Some outdoor gym equipment

If setting the equipment up is more intense than the workout itself, you probably aren’t going to want to use the equipment much. This sort of caveat applies to something like the Total Gym endorsed by Chuck Norris. It is a really great and versatile piece of equipment, but I have heard many complain that it is a lot of trouble to drag out and set up every time they want a quick workout. This also applies to something like the Bowflex. While both of these machines are much, much better than anything that was available 25 years ago, your best bet would be using these machines in an area you can leave them set up. That way, whenever you need a workout, you just do it. You don’t need to budget time and effort to get everything ready.

Stay Within Your Budget

The last thing to look at when choosing your equipment is cost. If you just want to get into general shape, buying an aerobics DVD or very simple equipment like a jump-rope are very inexpensive. Again, the more versatile your equipment, the more expensive. When looking at top-end equipment like the Total Gym or Bowflex, many people even need to finance the equipment. One of the best alternatives to this is looking in your local papers. There will always be people who buy this sort of equipment and either don’t use it or upgrade very soon. These people are often willing to part with their equipment for very little money.

Regardless of your own starting point, choosing your exercise equipment is a pretty straightforward process:
Decide on your goals. Choose equipment that will let you accomplish those goals and that you will actually use. Finally, do your homework and find the equipment that suits your goal and your budget.

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