Home exercise gear: To buy or not to buy


treadmillPurchasing exercise equipment to use at home can be super convenient and a great investment for your health and fitness. But heavy weights can easily turn into doorstops and treadmills can become clothes horses if you don’t use them often enough which is a bit of a money waster! So should you buy exercise gear for your home or not?

The quality issue

A couple of hundred dollars may seem like a great bargain for a cheap crosstrainer or treadmill, but will it be what you want and will you use it? When it comes to this kind of equipment, you generally get what you pay for. Gym cardio equipment is often more in the realm of thousands of dollars for a machine, so think about whether a cheap version will be adequate for you.

Can you use it for higher impact activities (i.e. running vs. walking for a treadmill)? If a belt snaps or an electronic keypad breaks, is it easy to get it fixed? Will you care if you can’t plug your music player into it? Will you be motivated to use it? Will it still suit your ability level as you get fitter and stronger?

Your budget may be better spent on a range of smaller items such as a medicine ball, some dumbells, a swiss ball, a resistance band and a yoga mat for a fraction of the price.

Establish an exercise routine first

Buying exercise gear doesn’t magically get you on track with exercising, and when there are so many free/cheap options for exercising at home it could be a good idea to see if you can start a fitness routine and stick to it before you go investing in expensive equipment.

Try getting your cardio fix by going for a walk or run around the block, go for a bike ride, head down to the local pools for a swim, or put on a dance or fitness boxing DVD. For resistance training, include some bodyweight exercises such as squats, lunges and press ups, or try doing some pilates or yoga.

If you can keep up exercising regularly for 4 or more weeks and you’re still keen to buy that expensive piece of equipment, it could be worth your while getting it. Just make sure you do your research on it first and compare your options when it comes to brands, pricing and models!

Is this definitely your best option?

Even if a pin weights station or treadmill is sitting in your home all the time, you will still need to find motivation to use it. Is purchasing the equipment going to be a better option for you than attending a gym, finding a personal trainer, taking up a sport or joining a bootcamp?

Being held accountable, finding a form of exercise that you love, variety of exercise, and often the inclusion of a social aspect (going it alone can be lonely!) are usually key to maintaining your fitness in the long term. Make sure you take all this into account when you’re trying to determine whether creating a training space at home will work for you.

Image / FreeDigitalPhotos.net – marcolm

Have you made a great (or terrible!) investment when it comes to home exercise equipment? Comment below and let us know!

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