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Why set up a home gym for your heart health?

Ideas and suggestions for your ongoing cardiac rehab exercises and heart health - in the comfort of your own home!

Having a home gym means you can exercise whenever you want - morning, noon, or night. You don't have to go anywhere, battle the weather, or fight for parking spots. There are no barriers - and there are no excuses

Advantages

  • Privacy
  • Convenience
  • Available any time
  • Don't have to go anywhere
  • Time spent doing your work out - instead ofgetting to your workout
  • No waiting for other people to finish using the equipment
  • No time limits on use of equipment
  • No ongoing expenses or fees
  • Hygenic - only you (and your family) use the equipment
  • Play music you like, watch shows you like

    Disadvantages
  • You need to be self motivated to use it
  • You may not have the space to set up
  • Cost of set up can be out of reach
  • Equipment maintenance is your responsibility
  • Not as much choice of equipment as at a gym
  • No socialization - it can be lonely
  • No one to instruct or correct you

    Getting Started

    Ideally, you have a space you can dedicate to your gym such as a spare bedroom or a room in the basement. It should be convenient to access and pleasant to be in. My daughter set up a workout space in a small, dark, cluttered room in her basement. Not surprisingly she didn't use it because it just wasn't a pleasant place to be.If you don't have the space but you are committed to having a home gym you'll have to be more creative with your equipment (i.e. a fold up treadmill) and your storage. The risk is if you have to drag equipment out, set it up before using, and then put it away again when you are done, will you use it? For most people, the chances are it won't happen. I know it wouldn't work for me!
  • What equipment do you need in your gym?

    You should include both strength and aerobic workout equipment. A very basic set-up for a cardiac exercise home program would include a treadmill OR elliptical trainer OR exercise bike for cardio, free weights, a yoga mat, and a tv/dvd player. A large mirror on the wall is nice to have so you can monitor your form while you exercise.

    My gym (above) consists of a treadmill, bicycle mounted on an indoor training mount, aerobic step, exercise ball, yoga/pilates mat, free weights, Bodylastics, and a multi station resistance weight machine, a tv, dvd player, satellite connection, a stereo, and a variety of exercise DVDs.

    Consider Free Weights

    Free weights are not hugely expensive and they don't take up a lot of space. You can use them for a variety of simple exercises - see the program on our weight training page. You can get fixed weight dumbbells or adjustable sets. I prefer the fixed weight (although we have both) because I find them more comfortable to work out with, and I don't have to fuss with changing the weights. If you get fixed weight dumbbells you will want to purchase at least a small range of weights for different exercises.

    Buy quality.

    You get what you pay for. Cheap home gym equipment won't perform and won't last. But, buying exercise equipment doesn't have to break the bank. If you want a cheap home gym, check local thrift shops, classifieds, yard sales, and second-hand fitness stores. The good news is that many people buy quality fitness equipment with the best intentions, and then it collects dust and they end up selling it having hardly used it. Their loss can be your gain.

    My gym is a combination of new and used equipment. During my recovery I was so grateful to have a home gym - and I'm still enjoying it.


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