If you thought working out effectively means that you MUST invest in a gym, then this article is for you. It is fairly easy and inexpensive to build a gym at home. But before you get all excited about this, make absolutely sure that a home gym is right for you. There are a few questions you must ask yourself. Are you highly motivated to work out? Are you finding the travel to the gym and back tedious and cutting into other aspects of your life? Does being in a group setting working out do nothing for you? Are you finding it difficult to accommodate several sessions a week at the gym due to the demands of your job? Do you think you are paying through your nose for your gym membership? If you have answered yes to all these questions,then building a home gym may be right for you. However, If you draw motivation from being in a group, enjoy being in a like-minded group discussing ideas and tips for training, find the gym adds to your social scene or lack the motivation to workout on your own then you must not invest in a home gym. The equipment might just lie around gathering dust only to be discarded years later!

Now, if you are ready to take the plunge then some space and a small investment is all you need. Let's get started.

Step 1: Decide where your home gym will be set up. Since space can be a constraint may times,plan for a small nook that can be a part of the rest of your home, maybe your bedroom or the living room instead of being tucked away in a spare or guest room.The more often you see the gym, the more likely you are to use it. 

Step 2: Make it as appealing as possible so that you are motivated to use it. Keeping your home gym light and airy with good natural light makes it very conducive to being used to a maximum. Putting up pictures of celebrities who inspire you to reach your fitness goals goes a long way also. Keep the space clutter free and distractions except for the TV if you are planning to use it for the workout.Plants and music enhance the ambience beautifully. Mirrors according to me are at a must since paying attention to form is most crucial to avoid injuries.Mirrors also can make the home gym appear larger which in turn makes you feel less cramped during your training.

Step 3: Now let’s stock your home gym. Yes the idea of fancy bulky equipment sounds great but it may not be very practical for a home gym. Especially because you could reach your fitness goals easily with smaller inexpensive equipment.

Here’s some of my must-have’s!

Cardio: For cardiovascular exercise, doing jumping jacks, ‘surya namaskar’ and jump- ropes(skipping ropes) are excellent for quick cardio. Just make sure to land light to avoid too much impact on your knees. For additional cardio, going for a run outside, taking the stairs or walking can be utilized. 

Strength and conditioning: Adjustable weights are great to use for weight training- you can chose the weights according to your goal- toning,bulking or strengthening. I love using resistance bands and resistance loops since they offer such a wide variety of exercises that can be done. Using varied resistances for different exercises can help you push yourself. If you have space, you could use stability balls, Bosu and TRX equipment as well. Balance discs are excellent for lots of different workouts as well.

Recovery: Foam rollers, yoga mats and stretch ropes are essential to finish your workout. Without a proper cool down, you are basically inviting injuries and also sabotaging your next workout. Foam rollers are such a versatile tool that you could even use it as a part of your workout to do your core training and strength training.

Start with these basics and as and when your goals change you could keep adding more equipment being mindful to space.The last thing you want is a home gym cluttered with tons of equipment making it appear cramped and eventually gathering dust!

Step 4: Figure out your workout routine. This might be harder that you thought. Functional training, crossfit, TRX etc are the options to choose from. Since having a certified fitness trainer is very important when you begin your fitness journey, you should consider doing a session or so to understand proper forms of exercises. The fitness trainer can also design a program for you that suits your goals. If you have any painful niggles, speak to your sports physiotherapist before beginning any fitness routines. I am not a big proponent of online workouts but if you do pick an online fitness routine, do some research on the credibility of the instructor. Only a well certified trainer or fitness specialist is qualified to teach fitness routines so be sure to do your homework!

Step 5: Use your home gym. Now that you are all set up- go for it. Invite a friend, alike-minded buddy or just go for it solo.