Guest article from homegymfiend.com
Self-care is all about putting yourself first and making sure you are taking all the steps necessary to take care of your mind, body, and soul. Of course, exercise is one of the best methods to address that, not just for the physical benefits which many people know about, but also for boosting your confidence and self-esteem.
Exercise should be integrated into your lifestyle, but in order to do so without throwing other parts of your life out of balance, you really need the right environment. For example, a lot of people get gym memberships and make commitments that they will start a new workout program, but then they get discouraged and quit. Sometimes it’s that commercial gym environment – spending a lot of money without results, the long commute to the gym after work, the distractions and the stress.
As an alternative to commercial gyms, home gyms have gained in popularity because they address some of these issues. Today, I’m going to be telling you 5 of the reasons why you should consider a home gym as part of your self-care strategy and why I think it helps create the right environment to keep your life in balance.
One of my favorite aspects of having a home gym is the convenience factor. Part of a successful workout program is discipline and consistency. It’s easier to be consistent in your exercise when you don’t have to deal with things like too much traffic, having to work out within specific hours (especially if you have a busy life), or dealing with bad weather. These are issues that you definitely have to deal with if you have a commute to the gym.
On the contrary, when you have a dedicated place to work out at home, you have a gym that’s open 24/7, you can work out any time of the day or night you like, you can go directly to your kitchen for a post-workout meal, and take a shower in your own bathroom. This makes it a lot easier for you to stay on top of your workouts and also integrate them into a busy and fulfilling lifestyle.
Self-care is also about taking ownership and making your own choices. When you have a home gym, you can take ownership of your environment and play by your own rules – not be subjected to the rules of a commercial gym. When you sign up for a commercial gym, you have to play by the rules of a shared public space. Not everyone in that space is going to share your preferences. Having to constrain yourself in that environment could negatively affect your mood and your workouts.
For example, some of the best and most important exercises for total body workouts, like deadlifts and squats, are not allowed in some commercial gyms like Planet Fitness. Also, many gyms have rules against dropping weights, or using chalk, or making noises. If you want to do those things in your own home gym, you have the complete freedom to and having that kind of autonomy is always nice for your mental state.
Save Time and Money
Time is a limited resource and one that we can never get back in life. Putting yourself first and being the best version of yourself also involves making the best use of your time and not losing it. Of all the reasons I’d recommend having a home gym to work out in, this is one of the most important. Think about all the time required to prepare for your workouts to go to your local gym: getting dressed, heading out the door, getting in your car, possibly a stressful commute (esp. if you work and have to get to the gym during rush hour), working out, showering, and the commute back, etc. Time is valuable and getting that time back using a home gym will have a big boost to your happiness.
Another important aspect of self-care is financial health as well. Often, we get scared of investing in a home gym because we think of the high upfront costs and that’s a barrier. But financial well-being involves long-term planning. Sure, you might have a higher initial cost investing in some basic equipment, but if you run the numbers vs a monthly gym payment, you break even pretty quickly and come out ahead in the end. More money in your pocket over the long run is always a success.
Cleanliness and hygiene are important factors in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. One of the main benefits of having a home gym is that you can dictate the environment and keep it clean. Commercial gyms are notorious for spreading germs, especially when people go workout when they are sick and don’t wipe down the equipment. Being sick is never good for self-care and self-improvement. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve gotten sick in the past just from going to the gym. Sure, you can take steps to disinfect and wash your hands as much as possible to mitigate, but you’ll want to work out more and harder when you know you are in a clean environment that you can control.
Last but not least – privacy is one of the main luxuries of having a home gym. This means you can dress the way you want to. You don’t have to worry about random people trying to start up conversations with you and distracting you or asking you for a spot. You also don’t have to worry about people commenting on your form. You can listen to the music that you want to or set up a TV and watch your favorite show! You can dance around if you want to in between sets and you don’t have to worry about being self-conscious about the amount of weight you are lifting either. It’s also all about putting your needs and yourself first and not having the egos of other people get in the way.
Final Thoughts and How to Get Started
I have been working out in my basement gym for 3 years now and there is no way I’d ever go back to working out at a commercial gym. There is nothing like having your own home gym where you can control the environment to your liking. It’s hard to focus with all the chaos and activity that goes on in commercial gyms. I’ve never made a better investment in terms of caring for myself than creating a dedicated space just for me to exercise.
To get started, first you just need to find a space to call your home gym. This could be a spare room, a section of an existing room, or part of your garage and basement. There are lots of workouts you can start doing with hardly any equipment at all.
If you want to start with weights, then I would suggest at a minimum having a nice adjustable bench and a set of adjustable dumbbells. Here is a nice dumbbell routine to kick things off. If you want to broaden your workouts and do more compound movements, then I would suggest adding a power rack and a set of barbells and weights. As you can see, you can start with a few pieces of equipment and not have to invest much money and then continue to build your home gym over time to your liking.
I hope this article has been helpful for you. Good luck on your journey to better physical, mental, and emotional health and make sure to consider a home gym as part of your self-care strategy!
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