More than a Mirror and Some Weights

The home gym. When you hear that phrase, do you automatically picture some ghastly floor-to-ceiling mirrors, ugly black rubber flooring and some free weights? Maybe a yoga mat thrown in for good measure, perhaps? Or do you see a treadmill with some clothes hung on it, shoved in the corner of a bedroom? Whatever your vision, it probably doesn’t look fun or aesthetically pleasing. This, my dear readers, is unacceptable to me.

I don’t care what the purpose of any room in your home is, it still shouldn’t be ugly. Especially not something like a home gym. I have a good reason for feeling this way: if you are anything like me, you don’t necessarily want to work out. If you need to lug equipment around to get started, after a few days, you’re going to stop. If the room is functional but dreary and not motivating, you’re not going to want to be in it. You’ll find excuses not to go in there, and then all those attempts at getting healthier will be a waste as your equipment gathers dust.

First, paint the walls a color that is different than the rest of the house, so that your brain registers that this is a special place. I typically advise clients to choose what I call a “power color.” Look through the offerings online or at a paint store. Think of words like strong, happy, fit, and healthy; see if you catch onto a color that matches those words. Make it a color that you associate with your goals. Next, put things on the wall. Not necessarily related to fitness, although I have plenty of male clients that go with a sports theme and have team memorabilia on the walls. It can be anything that you want to look at while you’re in there. A family portrait, beautiful artwork, motivational words, or pictures of athletes. Something that triggers an “I can do this!” mentality whenever you see it. Use the walls, too. Make them functional. Put up hooks and/or shelves to put all those little things you need within both your reach and your eyesight. A home gym is not the place to be investing in lots of out-of-sight-out-of-mind storage techniques. The easier it is to grab and get on with it, the more likely you’re actually going to use it.

Now that I’ve given you some wall ideas, let’s talk about flooring. I recommend wood or tile floors. They are easy to clean, which is important when you get all sweaty and gross. You can also buy those rubber flooring squares or throw rugs with sticky material on the bottom to keep any equipment from sliding around. If you use carpet, it can be harder to do certain exercises (especially if you are into things like yoga or aerobics), and leaving heavy gym equipment on it for extended periods of time can actually damage the carpet. Plus, there’s always rug burn, which is something else to avoid.

Surround yourself with things that motivate you and make you happy. Make any equipment you have readily available, accessible, and easy to use. Choose easy-to-care-for flooring. Following these simple guidelines will help you reach your fitness goals in no time!