Creating a home gym is easy

IO-DeckerFinding the motivation to exercise is definitely easier if your workout equipment is only steps away. That’s the allure of the home gym, a specialized room in the house dedicated to helping you stay in shape. Many homeowners are converting unused space into customized gyms, which is not as difficult as you might think.

The first step in creating a home gym is ensuring that you have enough space for one. Make sure you measure the entire space and any exercise machines you are thinking about buying. A crowded gym space is difficult (and somewhat unsafe) to use. And don’t forget to measure the height of the room as well. Pay special attention to your ceiling height – low ceilings could interfere with your gym equipment or while performing other activities like jumping rope. Next, check the ventilation. A poorly ventilated home gym will get hot and muggy, which can make exercise uncomfortable.

The flooring you select for your gym is also very important. We agree with the fitness experts and recommend rubber flooring because it provides stability, support and reduces the chance of injuries. Just make sure whatever type of flooring you choose allows you to exercise comfortably. If your home gym features heavy exercise machines, be sure to place mats or some kind of support underneath them to keep the floor from getting damaged.

With all the logistics out of the way, we can discuss the fun, creative aspects of planning a home gym. Mount a television or a sound system on the wall to make workouts more fun. Install bright lighting to help you get motivated during workouts. If you don’t have much natural light to work with, you may want to install halogen, LED or sconce lighting. You can hang mirrors on the walls to both brighten the space and help you exercise at the same time.

Gyms are inherently full of equipment, so you probably want to designate a place for everything to be stored. Install storage to organize free-weights, yoga mats and other workout equipment. I think tall cabinets that resemble lockers could add a sporty, yet functional touch to the room. Cabinetry with countertops may be beneficial if you want to install a sink or have space for electronic equipment.

David Decker is president of The Affordable Companies, which provide affordable luxury in kitchens, bathrooms and flooring. They are based in Carmel (575-9540, www.the-affordablecompanies.com). Email home improvement questions to david.decker@the-affordablecompanies.com.