H&F: Bringing the Gym Home

What if “the gym” was no longer a place down the block packed with sweaty people and workout equipment?  Imagine instead, your dream home gym: perfectly designed to match your taste and to suit your workout goals. Instead of being down the street, it would be merely downstairs. Ahhh, that would be the life.

Robert Grider, owner of Fitness Equipment World, says a workout should involve the three main types of exercises—cardio-vascular, strength, and stretching—and ideally your dream home gym should have a piece of equipment that focuses on each of those areas.

Grider says one of the most popular machines for cardio-vascular exercises are ellipticals. “I sell more ellipticals than anything. Almost anyone can use them; they are easier on the joints. If you are having ankle, knee, or back issues, you can still do an elliptical,” he said. Treadmills are a good fit for those who like walking or running. Bikes are also another piece of cardiovascular equipment to consider.

If you have a high-end budget, consider treadmills and bikes with built-in flat screen programs that display dozens of thrilling virtual courses and simulate an outdoor ride. Some bikes are equipped with handle bars that turn left and right to add to the experience. You can even choose to compete against the person next to you.

Rick Hartline, Regional Market manager for Push Pedal Pull, says one of the most popular types of machinery for strength exercises is the functional trainer. “It is a tremendous core activity. The functional trainer will do more for your core than any other weight machine you can buy,” he said.

If you are ready to invest in strengthening equipment, Hartline recommends the brand Precor. “Precor dominates the industry. If you walk into any quality gym, hotel or resort, when money is not an issue, you are going to see Precor.” 

Stretching is the third type of exercise, according to Grider, and should also be part of the workout routine. Hartline agrees, suggesting people should stretch at the beginning of the day, at the end of the day, as well as before and after workouts. “After the age of 35, it’s the most important thing you can do to stay feeling young, and moving young.” He says if a person lets themselves stiffen up, then they start moving like an older person. “You can keep that from happening for years and years if you remain flexible,” he says. For stretching exercises, Hartline recommends the Precor stretch trainer.

Once you are done with the important equipment selection, concentrate on which room you’re designating as the home gym. Creating an enjoyable atmosphere is key to your success. “The best way to overcome the challenge of staying consistent is to do things that you enjoy and look forward to doing,” said Hartland.

That might be a flat screen TV on the wall or even a high-end hidden stereo system that allows you to rock out to your favorite beat. Wall-mounted flat panel screen televisions are a good choice because they wouldn’t use extra floor space.

Other things to keep in mind when you start building your gym are adjoining restrooms, storage for accessory equipment and wall mirrors.

An interior designer can help with the selection of luxurious accessories that can add comfort and glamour to the room, including a personalized water cooler, water bottle holders and towel racks. There are even colorful gym mats, engraved iron weights, as well as custom-made medicine balls and squat bars.

Flooring selections can add a specific feel, depending on your home needs—quality carpets for cushion, organic cork floors that prevent the spread of an echo sound, or an easy to clean hardwood, like the extremely durable, yet exotic Brazilian Teak. “You can use industrial carpet, or you can use rubber flooring,” says Grider, but he cautions Edmond residents to research because rubber made from recycled tires can have a strong smell, whereas refined rubber does not have the same odor.

Heartland says workout equipment manufac-turers have started using more contemporary, natural colors for the equipment that blend in with the home decor, such as beige, tan, lighter grays and earth tones, instead of the black and white or bright colors that are going out of style. 

“The bottom line is very simple, it all works equally well, as long as you use it,” Heartland said.

 “You don’t have to kill yourself. You can pick and choose, 30 minutes to an hour, 5 days a week, and you’ll live a long and healthy life,” he adds.

For more information or advice, visit www.pushpedalpull.com or call Fitness Equipment World at 405-715-1761.

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