Do you love going to the gym?
- Do you struggle to find the time?
- Do you experience resistance and find excuses not to go to the gym?
- Why is regular exercise important?
Exercise is important and regular exercise has a positive impact on your health, mind, body and soul. It’s vital to find time to fit in a regular exercise routine. Key to your success is to identify your goal, e.g. weight loss, muscle tone, feeling good, general fitness or flexibility are just a few common fitness goals.
Most importantly, choosing an exercise type that you enjoy and suits your body type and condition can make the difference between starting and never starting!
Training at the gym has a huge advantage in variety of exercise and muscle groups that you can practice and you’re not dependent on the weather!
Gym membership can be expensive and it can be difficult to know exactly when you will be able to get to the gym when you have small kids.
If they get ill with a tummy bug, you might miss 10 days in a row where the only exercise you get is running with your kids to the toilet every hour. That’s a third of your monthly gym membership wasted!
Even when your kids are happy and healthy and you are too, work commitments or other home life responsibilities can prevent you from maintaining a regular schedule and exercise routine at the gym.
Investing in a home gym is a smart solution. You save time driving to and from the gym, avoid getting stuck in traffic.
You don’t have to wait for your turn to go on the treadmill and skip other smelly people training, it’s just your own sweat to deal with!
BONUS: You can train in your pyjamas and don’t have to worry about how you look or what you’re wearing!
“Gym membership can be expensive and it can be difficult to know exactly when you will be able to get to the gym when you have small kids.”
I had four kids in four years. No babysitters either. It was just my husband and I.
Exercise is important to both of us and while we have different preferences we both like to exercise regularly, exercise early in the day or very late in the evening, and we both prefer to exercise together!
We’ve lived in different homes in different countries and always prioritised living either in an apartment complex with gym access or built our own home gym.
When we were younger (we met when we were 22) and had less money we would buy dumbbells and exercise bikes second hand and slowly collect what we needed.
Once we had our first baby it became apparent that along with quality sleep and a clean home, life with a new baby also meant we found it challenging to maintain a regular exercise routine.
For both of us, exercise is primarily about feeling good, energised and positive and less about losing weight. I see a correlations between my mood and exercise.
My husband had access to a gym at his workplace, but this always added an extra hour to his work day and with small kids this just started to impact his commitment to his exercise routine, as well as my own patience being left with small kids on my own for an extra hour everyday.
Also, we were never exercising together which we both missed. We realised we really helped motivate each other when we lifted weights together!
I suggested we invest in a home gym. My husband was surprised and overjoyed!
He was less impressed when I showed him the space I had created in (his) garage effectively halved his man cave, but he loved the idea of having a garage gym and understood the benefits.
We generally exercise once our kids go to bed. They sleep well and we know we have this uninterrupted time together.
How To Get Started
We made a list of what equipment and exercise was important to each of us and came up with a plan of what to buy and what we would prioritise.
As gym equipment is heavy we bought most item online on Amazon and had them delivered.
The only thing we bought in person was a second hand mirror. Every gym needs a good full length mirror! As well as yoga mats, straps and a pilates ball.
The links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I linkthese products because of their quality.
Squat rack & Weights
Squat rack – This one is very useful for main lifts like bench press, squats and overhead press.
Olympic barbell set with weights to go with the squat rack. We have a set similar to the XMark Fitness Combo Olympic Exercise Bar with weights.
Dumbbell Rack & Dumbbells
If your budget and floor space allows, some kind of dumbbell set with racks, instead of adjustable dumbbells is a great addition. This takes your home gym to another level and saves alot of time compared to adjustable dumbbells. Especially if you and your home gym buddy lift very different weights!
A good sturdy bench is important especially if you are heavy yourself and/or lift heavy weights.
Chin Up Bar
A heavy duty chin-up bar to attach to the ceiling or wall. Stay away from the door frame mounted ones, especially if you are tall.
We have a lat pull down machine which is great also for tall people. My husband is 6ft 4. The Lat Machine, is one of my favourite machines in our gym as I really like to train my back muscles.
A treadmill can seem like a luxury. For us it was the last item we saved up for and invested in. Mainly because it takes up alot of space. In fact, we sold our eliptical trainer to make space for the treadmill. After alot of research we ended up buying the Sole F63 treadmill.
Neither of us enjoy running on ice or snow in the winter and having a treadmill means that the seasons don’t affect us.
The rowing machine is my favourite exercise machine for HIIT and intervals. In my opinion, this type of fan resistance machine is much better than the ones using magnetic resistance.
I really notice the benefits for my body as a whole. I am no fitness expert, but I feel this machine is great for all muscle groups. Especially legs.
A classic staple for a home gym is an exercise bike. This is what we started with. This provides another fantastic leg and glutes workout.
Crossfit gym bunnies will be familiar with the bike from hell. This is definitely a luxury, non essential item. If you enjoy HIIT training and want to invest in an exercise machine specifically for that type of training, this is perfect!
The assault airbike is great for interval training. The Assault AirBike Classic, Black is what we use.
It’s no secret that a regular yoga practice has many health benefits and stress reduction is one of them.
The combination of stretching, controlled conscious breathing, meditation, mental imagery, physical movement and sounds makes yoga a fantastic technique to manage stress.
A yoga mat is all you need to start and I believe this Gaiam mat is the best investment.
The Gaiam mat is thick and provides great grip as well as cushioning. I love the patterns and colour options too.
A foam roller is so important to relieve stress and tension in the body. Stress doesn’t have to be mental or emotional discomfort, it can present as a physical symptom as pain in the body.
Using a foam roller as part of stretch program can increase blood flow and mobility as well as a preventative decreasing the risk of injury.
I have a pink one with raised areas and dents which provide the benefits of acupressure at the same time!
Aerial Yoga Swing
One of my favourite things….swinging. Everybody loves a hammock and the aerial yoga swing can be used for aeriel yoga or just sitting in to relax.
Hanging upside down! Blood rushes to your head and you instantly feel alive, excited, happy and the opposite of stressed! It’s great for training your deltoids too!
These gymnastic rings are super strong and like the yoga hammock can be easily removed. The rings are a gorgeous wooden material which look really elegant and stylish, and feel amazing.
Gym equipment doesn’t have to be expensive and though the initial start up cost is high the benefits outweigh the cost.
Tips To Help You Fit In Exercise
1. Invest in your home gym
2. Keep your yoga mat out so it’s a constant reminder
3. Exercise when your kids nap, daytime or night
4. If you’re short on time try and HIIT workout on the mat
5. If you get bored of the gym, try going outside for a power walk
6. Include your kids. Kids love yoga!
7. Include your kids. Pop the baby in a stroller and go for a run together
8. If you know you struggle with resistance and motivation do it first thing in the morning! Get it out of the way!
9. Grab an exercise partner. Motivate each other and hold each other accountable.
10. Set and intention of how you want to feel. What are your goals? Pin it up somewhere so you are reminded.
11. Create a great playlist.
12. Sort out your exercise clothes before and always have them visible as a reminder
13. Watch youtube videos for inspiration and short exercise routines
14. If a group atmosphere is more fun for you, join a class
15. Use your baby instead of weights and squat with her in a baby carrier or sling.
16. If you get bored during exercising, watch a funny comedy show while you’re on your treadmill or exercise bike.
Last Thing You Need To Know
BONUS TIP: In general you should say to stay away from cheap, flimpsy or sometimes even foldable products and instead go for more heavy duty equipment. Exercising will be safer and more fun.
Training at the gym can feel so different if you have your own home gym. I feel so free in my own gym and love the flexibility.
After each pregnancy and also during my pregnancies I can feel a bit self conscious in a public gym, mainly because lot of people stare at me slightly concerned. I carry my babies all out front and I think men especially worry that I am going to topple over.
Having the privacy of our own gym at home in our garage means I feel more inclined to exercise regularly.
My favourite is the rowing machine and weights as well as the mirror!
It’s definitely the best investment we have made in our home, lifestyle, health and relationship.
Our kids see our gym and understand that we prioritise a healthy, active lifestyle and hopefully they will model that behaviour when they get older.
We are happier and healthier due to our regular exercise routine and freedom. As a result our kids are happier too. Happy parents, happy kids!
Do you have a home gym yet? What will you invest in first?