Create an Outdoor Gym

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If you have a decent amount of outdoor space and an outbuilding, paying monthly gym fees might be an unnecessary expense. Lifting weights requires little more than its own, dedicated space, and benches are cheap. Home treadmills and cardio equipment can be cheaper than the annual costs of the gym and in summer, the garden is the perfect place to work through some circuits, without getting too hot under the collar.

For cardio

What could be better than enjoying the convenience of running outside on a treadmill, with the fresh air and natural air conditioning? To set up your cardio equipment outdoors, you’ll need a treadmill mat, a shady spot, and a flat, dry surface. Decking is ideal, but a patio with good drainage or a solid balcony will also work. When you aren’t using them, running machines, cross trainers or exercise bikes should be covered with a waterproof tarpaulin, and remember to wipe down after each use to keep it them in top-notch condition. Over winter, and rainy weeks, store in the shed.

For strength

You don’t need much room for a serious weights setup, and buying a workout bench can be a highly economical alternative to paying to use the weights room at your local gym.For the most comfortable workout space, you’ll need good ventilation, a heavy duty carpet on the floor, and an electricity point into which you can plug a convector heater to warm up the space in winter months. If your outbuilding or garage has strong, reinforced beams, you can even consider the options of a pull up bar or punchbag!

For conditioning

To avoid the boredom and frustration of reaching a plateau in your workout, it’s critical to change up your routine with something different once in a while. The shed is the perfect place to store your workout novelties, from kettlebells and hula hoops to resistance bands and skipping ropes. You can even bring your laptop or tablet in and follow some workouts on Youtube. The beauty of working out in the shed is, no-one can laugh as you experiment with stretches on an exercise ball, or attempting to perfect that tricky Pilates pose for the first time!

For convenience, accessibility and even long term financial benefits, building your own, customised home gym in the garden might just be the perfect solution to your fitness. Not to mention the health benefits for you, and your family. After all, fitness begins at home.

Image by MilitaryHealth, used under Creative Commons license