Image by Rene Cunningham
Is it the continual rise of membership prices? Or maybe the location? Maybe you’re embarrassed about starting out in front of all the muscly fitness junkies? Whatever your excuse for not joining the gym, fear not, there’s a great alternative that may work for you – your summer house! For many, any kind of garden building is just a form of storage for things that don’t get used for years on end, so why not turn yours into a personalised gym? Hire a skip, clear your summer house, and take those first steps to shedding the pounds.
Think About The Practicalities
Depending on what kind of machines you want, your gym equipment could need to be plugged in, so check the location of the electrical outlets. If your summer home doesn’t have any, you may need to opt for battery-powered machines instead of plug-in equipment.
What kind of insulation and heating system do you already have in place? Summer homes can be extremely cold in the winter, and although your workout will warm you up, you could be put from even starting. If necessary, you could contact the company that sold you your summer house in order to work out what additional systems to install.
Some heaters deliver both hot and cold air – also perfect for the warm(ish!) summer months. A good ventilation system is also necessary – you don’t want the smell of sweat clinging to the place!
If you’re upending a storage building, you’ll also need to consider where to relocate any items you otherwise keep stored in your summer home, such as lawnmowers and other large garden tools.
Choose Your Equipment Carefully
You’ll be limited on space and possibly on budget, so it’s important to choose your gym equipment wisely and pick what will be most beneficial to you. Gyms are full of different machines and weights, many of which won’t fit your exercise requirements. If you’re new to the gym scene, it may be a good idea to book an induction at a gym and ask a professional trainer for advice on what basic equipment you’ll need based on how you want to work out – they don’t have to know that you don’t plan on coming back!
No, I don’t mean you need to convert your summer home into a pretty space with flowers and rugs. But it may be a good idea to give the walls a lick of paint to brighten up the place and keep your energy levels up for workouts. It may also be worth investing in rubber mats to place underneath whatever machines you get, to prevent them from wearing marks in the floor or sliding out of place when you use them. If possible, putting in some floor-to-ceiling mirrors will add to the gym atmosphere – not only are mirrors a great way to monitor your form and check you are doing moves right, they can also make your shed feel larger and give the room a warmer feel.
Have a trial run in your gym to see what you may be missing – it could be as simple as an iPod docking station to keep you entertained during your workouts! A few motivational posters around the room could also help.
And the best things about turning summer houses into gyms? You can wear whatever you want, not worry about what other people think of you, and you can avoid the grimy gym changing rooms and walk back into the comfort of your own home to shower peacefully.
Have you set up your own home gym? Where did you do it and how are you enjoying your decision? Share your experiences in the comments!
Natalie Smyth is a budding journalist with a passion for feature writing and blogging and likes to write for Dunster House.