Setting up a Home Gym

Setting up a Home Gym during quarantine and long after! Exercise remains an important part of any healthy lifestyle. It’s essential to combat disease, lose weight, increase energy, and boost your mood. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends about 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of the two in a week. Try two days of strength training and two other days for a more high-intensity cardio workout for about 45 minutes. 

Living in California allows us to run, jog, walk, and bike outdoors most days, which takes care of the cardio. If you prefer the convenience of home for strength training indoors, here are a few ways to stack your setup. The following pieces make for an ideal starter gym. Start small and add as you go, depending on your budget, space, and inclination. Just be sure if you have any injuries or medical conditions, to check with your doctor before starting any workout.

A well-equipped home “gym” for strength training allows for schedule flexibility and privacy. Also, since pieces can be added over time, it can be easy on the budget. Set up in a dedicated room, the corner of a den, or tuck equipment away in a free kitchen cabinet to take out only when in use.

Dumbbells

Select a variety of weights such as 2, 5, 10, and 20 pounds.

Yoga/Exercise Mat

There is a wide range to choose from. Look for those meant for the type of exercise you’re doing and that can easily be rolled and stored if you prefer to tuck away when not in use.

Resistance Bands

Overall, these typically come in a set that includes different levels of strength, distinguished by different colors to make recognizing your go-to easier.

Stability Ball

Helps with balance and adds challenge levels to exercises like crunches.

Additional Items to Consider

Kettlebells

Gliding discs

Full-length mirror

Waist-trimmer belt

When you are ready to use these pieces, identify exercises that target the areas you are interested in (I recommend the basic full-body workout that focuses on form at verywellfit.com) and follow the basic guidelines below. If you have any pain or discomfort, skip the exercise, or modify it.

Warm-up with five minutes of light cardio to prevent injuries.

Beginners start with no weight or light weights and do one set of 14 to 16 reps of each exercise.

Intermediate/Advanced Do two to three sets of 8 to 12 reps with enough weight that you can only complete the desired number of reps.

One of the most important pieces of equipment? A water bottle. Hydration is key before, during and after your workout. Also, speaking of after, the best post-workout snack is a smoothie with a high-quality pea protein. Have fun!

Shellee Dyne is a certified nutritionist and wellness expert. Learn more about Shellee and her practice at dyneamicnutrition.com or follow her on Instagram @dyneamicnutrition.

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