Making Space in the Home to Exercise

Having a home exercise space dedicated to fitness is a great motivator. Get back in shape now!

Most people have quite busy lives but still want to take the time to keep in shape. Gym memberships are expensive and people have to take time out of their day to show up and work out, necessitating gym bags, exercise clothing and all the other things needed just to show up at a gym. When people talk about working out at home, usually the first thing out of their mouth is, “I don’t have room for any exercising!”. Setting up a dedicated space for exercise can seem daunting at first, but depending on what type of workout you’re looking for there might already be space in the house that you aren’t using which would be perfect for a home gym. Having a dedicated space in your house, no matter how small, will make you think about trying to keep in shape every time you walk by. 


Everything Used to be Done at Home

Many old school fitness buffs did everything at home. That was a time that a gym was something that only schools had, and strength training was something that came from hard work around the farm or the yard. As our culture progressed, people that were interested in fitness and wanted to incorporate that into their lifestyle developed exercises that could be done anywhere. However, to progress in their fitness regimen they needed to find a central place to set their equipment up or to be able to fully extend themselves for calisthenics and floor exercises. Early on, many were drawn to places like Muscle Beach in Venice California where everything was done on the beach. Lifting weights, aerobic training, and contests of strength, like seeing how many pretty women you could stack on your shoulders, were part and parcel of those fitness buffs. 


Muscle Beach in Venice Beach


How Much Space Is Necessary?

The average individual who lives in a modest home or apartment probably doesn’t have the inclination or permission to stack people on their shoulders. So setting up an area to exercise will all depend on where you live and what kind of exercises you want to do.  A good strength and stretching routine can be accomplished with yoga. Hatha yoga is a set of exercises designed to align your body by using postures that open what practitioners of the art call channels. These series of exercises can be done in an area that fits a person’s body. There should be plenty of clearance to lay down a yoga mat and for more difficult exercises there should be an area against a wall for headstands or support while a beginner. These exercises require no weights or other accessories except for a comfortable mat to lay on. For weight lifting or other types of anaerobic exercise a set of dumbbells and a sturdy chair are sometimes all that is necessary. Usually if there is a spare garage or basement this type of exercise space can be set off with rubber padding or carpeting to absorb any shocks from dropped weights along with the stress of the bench itself on the floor.  


Fit young lady practicing yoga at home - Warrior pose


Love Your Exercise Space

However, in some cases the environment of a garage or basement does not inspire a person to use the space. If the exercise area is out-of-the-way or cold and smelly it is doubtful that a person, unless extremely dedicated, will continue to use it. Looking at spaces that a person enjoys spending time in can help you find the right spot in the home to set up shop for your exercise routines. If individuals like to watch workout videos, then a living room or family area with a TV could be the perfect spot. Stay away from highly traveled rooms or other areas of the home such as entry foyers and hallways, as traffic in those spaces can disrupt your exercise routines. Within shared spaces individuals need to have storage areas for their exercise equipment that makes it more inviting for other people. This allows everyone to enjoy the area and also it eliminates clutter that can result from equipment being in the wrong place. 


Yoga video woman training in home living room


Exercise Machines

For extended workout sessions using aerobic exercise machines like bicycles or treadmills several things need to be addressed. One is the space necessary to fully use the machine, and the other is how will it be stored. Modern treadmills come in various sizes, some are powered and some are not. If the treadmill or exercise machine needs to be plugged in, an area near electrical outlet is imperative. It can be very disruptive to the house to have extension cords laying all over the floor while exercising.  


There are a lot of jokes about treadmills and bicycles making good clothing hangers, but there is truth to that tale. If getting to the exercise machine is a hassle, more than likely it will not be used. If the exercise routines must have large equipment, then the space should be planned accordingly. Most fitness experts say that the simplest exercise space is the best but the results of using equipment like this cannot be discounted. If you feel you need this type of exercise, space has to be made for regular use. 


Exercise Room


The Benefits of a Home Exercise Space

The benefits of exercise have been scientifically proven. Gym memberships have skyrocketed, yet our culture is still struggling with health and fitness. To exercise a person needs a place that they feel comfortable and in control of their workout. That’s where having a space at home to exercise can actually be better than having to wait for the equipment and be distracted at the local gym. Not only can a person have their own routine, but they can actually set up whatever equipment they have, however they want. This can make an exercise routine not only more personalized but more readily available to you when you want to exercise. Setting up exercise space in the home can be healthier, and save time and money.  


Healthy people doing balancing exercise at home

Images used with permission, courtesy of and

Next: Ignite with Light: Proper Lighting for Your Setting