Hi friends! I have a different type of blog post lined up today, that I thought would be handy given our current social distancing / shelter-at-home situation. This post is actually part interior and part mental health & wellness- something I think we could all use a little of in our lives right now. Did you know we have a small home gym in our house? We recently (as in, a couple months ago) converted one of the bedrooms in the basement to an exercise room, and although it’s a work in progress- it’s proving to be pretty functional… especially now. One of my 2020 goals was to work on finding better balance in my life, and having an exercise routine is a huge part of that, which I’m still working toward. Getting into the habit of including physical activity in my day has become a big part of self-care for me lately, and I hope by sharing some of my favorite resources- it can help you too. Click through for a glimpse into our home gym (in its early stages), our plans for the space, and a roundup of some free resources for working out and getting active at home!
Our Home Gym
Converting a basement guest room to a home gym was actually Emmett’s idea. He pitched this to me back in December and I agreed it was a cool idea! Wayyy back in college, we were both very into fitness and working out. For him, weight lifting used to be a big part of his routine. For me, I prefer studio classes like yoga, barre, and spinning. Here we are years later, without a major renovation project underway for the first time in a long while, thinking we should stick to our initial goal of getting healthier and finding better balance in our life.
Our home gym, as I mentioned, is a work in progress as of now. It’s not exactly inspiring and is pretty basic, but I feel super fortunate to have the additional space in our home to dedicate to a gym that houses our exercise equipment. The space measures about 12 feet by 11 feet, so it’s not huge, but we have a decent amount of room for our needs. Since it is in the basement, the ceiling is on the lower side, plus a portion of the ceiling actually drops into the space (a large bulkhead that covers ductwork).
I’ve been collecting home gym inspiration on this Pinterest board, if you’re interested in seeing ideas I’ve saved! To start, I’d love to rip up the carpet and install a more suitable floor. I’d also love to transform the closet into some sort of built-in storage rack for equipment (kind of like this). The space could also use some inspiring art and a better paint color. Despite the basement location, luckily we do have a window well in this room for natural light, but I’ll definitely be updating the window treatment at some point. Who knows when we’ll end up tackling this project, but it’s certainly on our radar! In the meantime, it has been very nice to have a designated space to workout and be active.
We’ve been trying to stick to a tight budget for this room. Emmett found the bench press and free weights for a ridiculously low price on Facebook marketplace. The stepper machine has been with us since our previous home. It used to be tucked in a closet. I actually bought it because it was the smallest, space saving cardio machine I could find. I still use and love it! For Christmas, I splurged and bought myself a Peloton- which I use often and have grown to LOVE. The other miscellaneous items, like the resistance bands, dumbbells, the exercise ball, and yoga equipment are all things we’ve accumulated over time. I’m honestly pretty excited to make this space our own and insert more function and design into it.
If you’re looking for some free at-home workouts to stay active during this time, I’m going to list some of my favorites below…
Some Favorite Resources for FREE At-Home Workouts:
Peloton: Right now, you can download the Peloton app and use it free for 90 days! Even if you don’t own their equipment, you can access their classes that include yoga, dance, strength training, and you can even use it when you run outside (at a safe distance from others, of course)!
Nike Training Club: The Nike Training Club app is completely free and has tons of incredible workouts! There’s a variety of options to choose from, and they are all led by professional trainers. If you have an Apple watch, the workouts automatically pair with your watch, so you can follow along with their cues.
Fitness Blender: This YouTube channel is a great resource for free at-home workouts. They are led by a husband & wife, and there are hundreds of free videos available that include cardio, weights, yoga, and stretching. I will say… they don’t have any music, so I recommend using your playlist to help get you going!
The Fitness Marshall: Caleb Marshall (check him out on IG) is one of my favorites for FUN dance workouts! He has been posting a lot of free content lately. If you like dancing and pop music, you have to check him out. I always finish his workouts smiling and in a much better mood! For cardio, they’re really fun and don’t feel like a traditional workout- that’s the best way to describe it.
Lauren Gleisberg: Lauren is a mom of two who posts great at-home workouts (she just posted an entire workout using your stairs at home!) right on Instagram. She focuses mainly on weights and high intensity cardio, but I like her quick Insta workouts that are easy to follow and really just use bodyweight or free weights you have on hand.
CorePower Yoga: CorePower is offering free yoga and meditation classes for the foreseeable future! These are a great way to find balance with your body and mind, while alleviating some stress. I would highly recommend!
Paleomg: Juli Bauer Roth is another fun follow on Instagram. Her account has everything from clothing to easy recipes, and great at-home workouts. She is a dog lover and is pretty hilarious… plus she does a great job of posting home workouts to her account that are simple and easy to follow.
If you don’t have any fitness equipment and would like to build a home gym or exercise area in your home, here are some basic items to get you started:
- Super Bands or Mini Bands
- Free Weights
- Yoga Mat
- Yoga Blocks
- Water Bottle
- Exercise Ball
- Stepper (for an inexpensive exercise machine option)
My friend Kyla also shared her favorite gear, that is more clothing focused and less equipment based… if you’re in need of new, cute workout gear to get you motivated!
I figured now that the majority of gyms and fitness centers are closed, this might come in handy for a lot of you. Do you have a dedicated space in your home for working out? I love that at-home workouts can be done anywhere, using just your bodyweight. Every digital resource listed in this post is totally FREE. I hope having these resources and making time in your day for exercise helps you clear your mind and focus on your well being- I know it has really helped me to maintain a sense of normalcy lately! Getting more active has also helped alleviate some stress and anxiety in my life. Am I perfect at working out every day? Absolutely not! My goal is to workout 3-4 times each week. I’m sure my form is pretty laughable, and I don’t claim to be an expert or even someone who is super passionate about fitness, BUT- I do know we all have to start somewhere! Do you have any favorite resources to add to the list?