Set up a small home gym for those winter workouts!

Winter is coming, and the cold bite in the air can sometimes make us feel like staying indoors instead of heading out for that run. In other cases, we pay huge gym fees and only end up going a few times. 

Does this sound familiar? A simple solution is to convert a small room in your house or even a section of your garage into a home gym.

The perks of having a home gym

Kiwis love to exercise. In fact, over half the population (54 per cent) worked out for at least 30 minutes five days a week during 2011-2012, according to the Ministry of Health. But, it can be really hard to face the cold while cycling or running through the neighbourhood during the winter months.

The benefits of having a treadmill or cross-trainer tucked into a corner of a garage, or placed in a little spare room, mean that you don't have to leave the comfort of your house for a daily exercise routine. It can also be super relaxing to step into your own shower after breaking a sweat.

Instead of struggling to find a machine to use in an over-crowded gym, you can rest assured that you will always have the freedom to use your home gym at any time that suits you – and without any competition. 

You can also turn the home gym into a fun family space, adding some bouncy and colourful yoga balls and pilates mats to the floor. Add a stereo and turn the room into a funky dance floor to keep the kids fit and healthy while having a good time.

The decor 

Once you have the equipment in place, it's time to think about wall colours and decor. According to a study from the University of Rochester, seeing the colour red makes us react faster and stronger, helpful for charging a brief burst of energy or speed.

You can use such colour psychology to motivate yourself during work-outs by painting the wall opposite your machine in shades of red. Resene Memphis Belle is a lovely, bright red tone that you could use, or if you're after something a little darker, try Resene Havoc

Another helpful idea is to paint the back of the door with Resene Blackboard Paint and use it as a chalkboard for writing your fitness goals and keeping track of your progress. Think of it as your sweet, encouraging personal trainer and add some inspiring quotes each week, easy to rub off and change with some chalk whenever you feel like it!

Liven up the space with some energising wall decals of silhouettes jumping and break-dancing, sure to put you in the mood to move. Add hooks near their fingertips for hanging jump ropes or elastic bands, making the wall decal spring to life surrounded by your work-out gear. 

The furniture and lighting

A comforting touch is to add a small cabinet or book shelf with open shelves and place folded hand towels inside. These easy-to-access towels will make the room feel like a luxurious gym in a hotel. Dumbbells, weights or other small items can also be placed in the empty shelves. Adding towels in red colours can help work as an accent to the walls.

For some more comfort, roll in a tiny cart and place your chilled water bottles or scented face wipes for a refreshing post​-workout treat. Add dimmers to your existing lights so that you can have a bright, well-lit room for high intensity physical exercises or a dim and serene atmosphere for yoga. Light some scented candles and you're good to go!

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