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Intentions & Your Home Gym for 2021

Updated: Jan 8, 2021

Welcome 2021! Many of us, myself included, had no problem shoving 2020 out the door with my boot and a sarcastic smile! Many of my followers know that my spirit was temporarily broken in the last few months of 2020, leaving this perpetually positive gal a tad shaken. On the morning of January 1st , with a fresh new year on the horizon, I felt renewed, revitalized, and recharged. I’m not sure what happened when the clock hit midnight, but I felt a strong shift.

The dawn of a new year often ushers in reflections and resolutions. This year I decided I wasn’t going to make resolutions. Instead, after some serious self-reflection, I’ve created a list of intentions. We’ve all experienced a year full of disappointment and loss. Intentions offer less pressure and more space for what will come our way over the course of the next year.

My intentions include carving out time for more self-care for 2021. With COVID-19 still part of our daily life, self-care can become a complicated task. Thankfully, I was able to lean on my dear friend Kiara Rusconi for a little guidance. Kiara, in addition to being a top-performing Realtor at William Raveis was a nationally recognized leader in the fitness industry for nearly two decades. She had some brilliant solutions for those who would like to make at-home fitness part of their intentions for the new year.

Kiara, I have a few hurdles to get over as I start to craft my work out routine. First, I let my gym membership lapse in Connecticut. Secondly, in Florida my condo complex has closed their gym due to the pandemic and rising cases. In both homes I have limited space. What are some of my options?

The pandemic has changed our accessibility and comfortability in where and how we workout for the time being. Someone who has spent a lifetime in athletics or being physically active will always find a way to keep fitness a priority regardless of location or equipment. However, for most of us, staying consistent with fitting fitness into life is an ongoing desire and struggle. I am an advocate for anything that sparks motivation to get active and stay healthy. One size does not fit all. For some, fitness centers are a way of life and offer a broad selection of equipment, variety in workout programming, and serve as a social outlet. For others, having the ability to work out in the comfort of your own home creates convenience and minimizes feelings of self-consciousness and intimidation. The advent of intuitive home fitness technology further expands the options. Such systems also fit into smaller scale homes and apartments that may not be able to allot space for a home gym. 

I like the way you’re thinking Kiara, ‘the advent of intuitive home fitness technology’! The LDD team did a little research and found me some great options. I’m over the moon with Mirror, the invisible gym! When not in use, this beauty is a tastefully styled mirror that requires only two square feet of wall space. Guests will walk right by your ‘gym’ and be none the wiser! The workouts have something for everyone including but not limited to, yoga, kickboxing, barre and Pilates. Of course, weight training and cardio programs are also available. An application like this is perfect for my little condo!

While we’re discussing home fitness technology, another option is the Peloton. This sleek company offers bikes, treadmills, and guided classes through their app. The bikes are compact with a footprint of 2 foot by 4 foot, though it is advised that 2 feet be allotted around the bike for training. This compact footprint could easily fit into our guest room! I love that the app tracks your progress, and offers the option to work out with others, something I definitely miss from the gym!

Kiara, for those who can afford the space, what is the ideal size for a home gym?

The sizing of a home gym is greatly dependent upon the size of the home. In an ideal scenario, to allow for ample equipment options and proper spacing, a room around 500 square feet is preferred. With the pandemic, there is likely to be a prolonged shift in the usage of fitness centers and commercial gyms even for the most avid fitness nuts. Therefore, if fitness is an important pastime for a homeowner, building a slightly bigger gym from the onset will ensure long standing enjoyment and avoid further future improvements.

What are some must haves? In that ideal home gym should we include a small fridge, storage for towels, TV or Internet access on a large screen? 

Entertainment design in home gyms is essential! Studies have shown that sweat sessions tend to be longer and more dynamic when listening to music or when watching a movie or a favorite show. Stimulating the brain takes the focus off of the burn and helps to pass the time. Go big or go home with the TV! By creating a theatre style set-up, the television can be easily seen from all corners. Boosting internet connectivity also allows for double productivity; work and workout simultaneously and never miss. A small refrigerator is a great added feature. With many home gyms located on a lower or upper level of the home, this gives access to chilled water is at your

fingertips. More so than towel storage, I am a stickler for organization and having a well thought out home for small fitness accessories so that they do not just end up scattered about.

Is there is the ideal temp for a home gym?

Temperature is such a personal preference. I prefer to have a fitness area be slightly chilly when at rest. This keeps the space and the participant comfortable as the workout heats up. Set the room temperature at around 66 degrees or slightly less. Keep in mind that body heat will contribute to the actual room temperature rising in addition to warming body temperatures.

What about equipment what should we invest in? For example, is a Peloton bike worth the investment? Or can we get the same results from a stationary bike and a third-party app?

Whatever the workout style, investing in great equipment is a must. Buying low cost, low quality equipment is likely to result in issues and repair costs with a shorter equipment lifespan. An early splurge on high quality or commercial grade fitness equipment will ensure that it can keep up with the home's fitness demands. Cardiovascular equipment, such as treadmills, elliptical trainers, and stationary bikes dominant the top picks. However, regardless of fitness goals, weight training is essential to maximizing health and reaching goals. Be sure to invest in a set of dumbbells, an adjustable weight bench, a version of a multifunctional cable machine, and a free-standing or assisted lifting rack for getting in those squats. Sophisticated programed equipment, such as a Peloton bike, can be a smart choice for someone who responds best to preprogramed workouts or for someone who needs the extra motivation of a virtual instructor. Most importantly, select equipment that best aligns with set goals, fitness levels, and user confidence.

Photo credit All Digital LLC

I have noticed wood floors are becoming more common in home gyms, although the few gyms I’ve completed we've installed rubber flooring are we on the right path?

Commercial grade rubber flooring is my top pick for home gyms. It visually sets the tone for an athletic space but is also incredibly practical for easy cleaning and withstands the wear and tear of dropping weights. Rubber flooring is also excellent for buffering and absorbing sounds. If rubber flooring is a spurge, select a commercial nylon/synesthetic carpet with an action-backed base. This selection will soften the space both in form and function and can be more comfortable, yet still durable, for someone who plans on spending a lot of time stretching, doing yoga, or other floor-based workouts.

This is great guidance and insight Kiara! Do you have any additional thoughts?

Remember that any activity is better than no activity. Find a workout that you are inspired by and one that you can realistically commit to. Set goals and celebrate the small wins. If you are just getting started, just think where you will be one year from now! If a home gym has been on your mind, there is no time like the present to get the project started. Winter is and the New Year are here, get moving!

Wise words, my dear friend.

As we embark upon this new year, I hope you find the importance of

self-care and a new year intention too! We all deserve it.


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