The Best Home Exercise Equipment

Are you getting tired of paying gym dues every month, only to get aggravated every time you actually do make it into the gym? Many people have chosen to stop renting their workout and instead put together an awesome fitness center right in their own home. Here are some things to consider before you get out your checkbook.

You should first decide how much space you can dedicate to your fitness equipment. If you have an extra bedroom or corner of a basement, space probably won't be a major factor in equipment selection. If you need to put your workout gear under your bed when it's not in use, however, you should focus on a versatile weight set and maybe a jump rope.

Also consider how the workout space will be arranged. Since boredom sets in pretty quickly, think about putting a TV or at least a sound system in the room. Any entertainment is better than listening to your own grunts and growls. Some up-tempo music or a workout DVD can make your exercise time for enjoyable, and therefore more likely to actually happen.

You should divide your workout investment between strength, flexibility and cardio support. Strength building can be as simple as a small free weight set, or as complete as an "all in one gym" device. For free weights, consider an adjustable set of dumbbells. These modern marvels let you select the amount of weight for your exercise through a series of weighted inserts, making one small package serve a broad variety of strength-building exercises. If you have the space and the checkbook, take a look at the Bowflex series of home gym machines. There are numerous models, from $450 to $2,000 that offer a myriad of exercise options within a space about equal to an office desk.

For increasing your flexibility, balance and coordination, balance discs, Pilates balls and stretch-out straps are inexpensive, easy to use and don't take a lot of storage between workouts. This is an area where an instructional DVD can be a real help. Be sure that your workout area has enough free space that you don't rearrange the bookshelf every time you do your stretches.

Cardiovascular support is the third leg of the fitness stool. Building cardio indoors doesn't have to be hard. A jump rope is an amazing tool for increasing your endurance and coordination.  If you have the room, an elliptical trainer or treadmill is a great addition to your home gym.  Again, some form of entertainment will help to keep these exercises from becoming deadly dull.

Most people find that their home gym investment is recovered in their first year without gym dues. You don't have to give up the social aspect, either. Get a workout buddy (hint, hint: WannaBuddy is pretty helpful there) and schedule a regular get together for fitness and catching up on the neighborhood news. Having someone depending on you makes it much harder to just skip the workout when you aren't filled with enthusiasm.

How is your home gym equipped? Do you have a favorite piece of equipment? Click on the Comment button and give us your advice on the perfect home gym>

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