We all know that it’s easy to let life get in the way, but taking care of our bodies and minds has never been more important. Improving your sleep, boosting brain power, decreasing stress hormones, weight control, building stronger bodies - the advantages of physical exercise are endless.
Making sure our homes have a bespoke area to focus on our wellbeing can help us to ensure we dedicate the right amount of time, space and energy on keeping ourselves in good mental and physical health.
The wellness space that’s right for you will vary depending on your needs as an individual, a couple or a family, and also on the type of activities you enjoy - whether it’s yoga, dance, boxing, swimming, strength training, or a multipurpose space.
Plus, having round-the-clock access to a gym or wellness area (even when the gyms are open), means you’ll have that added convenience and practicality right on your doorstep - and it will be suited precisely to your individual needs and lifestyle.
Make the Best Use of Your Space
Whether you’re transforming a basement, garage, outbuilding, or spare room, you’ll need to consider both aesthetic and function to ensure the space is not only tailored to your needs, but also exists harmoniously within the rest of your home.
If you’re using a spare room and it’s not on the ground floor, consider how sound-proof it is - especially if you’re planning on hitting the treadmill at 6am while someone is asleep in the bedroom next door. Remember too that some gym equipment needs plenty of circulation space (usually at least 2m) around them.
It’s vital to ensure that besides having the space, your home can also structurally support a home gym. If you plan to suspend things from the walls or ceilings (racks, storage or punch bags) then you’ll need solid block walls too.
Personal trainer Andrew Rose says: "Creating the right ambience is so important, as this will set the tone for your workout allowing your body to get in the zone and produce those feel good hormones from the second you begin your session."
Whether it’s flexibility, strength, cardio, or mindfulness, there’s a huge range of equipment on offer. Consider how equipment will look aesthetically, as well as whether they’re a good use of space.
Designers and companies are increasingly looking for new ways to maximise space and functionality. There are a number of new high-design alternatives to conventional free-weights - not just body sculpting, but sculptures themselves. Equipt’s range of U-shaped weights is both stylish and functional.
It’s worth investing in equipment that will be long-lasting and includes all the functions you need (heart monitors, training programmes, fitness app connectivity etc), so that you don’t have to upgrade in a years’ time.
If you already know what you want from your gym routine, let's consider what options are available depending on whether your focus is strength, cardio, or flexibility…
Cardio - Running, Cycling, Rowing and more...
Getting in the recommended 150 minutes of cardio exercise a week can be a challenge, especially throughout the cold, wet winter months.
There are plenty of innovative and stylish exercise bikes, treadmills and rowing machines on the market - check out our top gym equipment picks for inspiration.
If you'd rather save on space and use your home wellness area to mix up your activities, consider a punch bag, step bench (which can double as storage), climber, or even a trampoline. There are plenty of cardio activities that require minimal equipment, but still need a dedicated space in the home - think dancing, star jumps and burpees.
If you’re limited on space, multipurpose equipment such as The Mirror - an innovative almost invisible home gym - only require 2m of wall-space and offer a broad range of workout styles. Or a larger mirrored wall can be effective for checking form and technique across strength, cardio and flexibility exercises.
Strength - Free-Weights and Multi-Gyms
Whether you’re building muscle-mass Arnie-style or you’re just looking to tone up or improve your overall fitness, a good set of variable-size weights go a long way.
If you’ve got enough space, the multi-gym packs a lot of features, working all the major muscle groups with its various pulleys, bars, and levers.
Barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells can be space savers (especially if they come with their own storage systems) and might fit better with your aesthetic. Check out designers such as Versace and Louis Vuitton who now boast a range of gym equipment, featuring their customary branding.
Personal trainer Andrew Rose recommends: "Good quality equipment will reduce your risk of injury and with some of the amazing stuff on the market can also take your fitness results to a whole new level, with space saving versatile equipment like the strongbox, and the training mirror which offers great workouts and reduces risk of injury."
If you’re looking for a more personalised range, luxury gym equipment designers such as PENT and FYSIK offer handcrafted customisable pieces - elevating your dumbbells to functional art, which offers a more considered aesthetic.
PENT told us: “The home gym is often considered a utilitarian space, but it can still have an elevated sense of style with luxuriously designed equipment, like the COLMIA Dumbbells from PENT. Built from American walnut, stainless steel, and genuine leather, this thoughtfully crafted set is sure to make a design statement in any home gym. After all, it’s important to create an environment that feels inviting and gets you excited if you’re going to stay on top of your workout regimen, and the COLMIA Dumbbells will help to achieve exactly that."
Flexibility - During Work and Play
With the amount of hours at our desks increasing, flexibility, posture and joint health is a major consideration.
A good exercise mat is the staple for stretching your body, with designer options including Prada, Lululemon, Armani and eco-friendly and ethically sourced options including Sweaty Betty, With Every Atom, Fable.
You can also use resistance bands, rollers, exercise balls for both flexibility and strength training.
Consider how and where you work at home too, to make sure you’re not putting your body under too much strain crouched over a desk for hours on end. Fully’s office furniture aim to bring more movement, flow and well-being into your work day - and they put sustainability at the heart of what they do too!
Technology - Making Sure Everything Is Connected
Depending how you’re using your space, you’ll want to think about more than just where your plug sockets are. Lighting, sound systems, and other smart features will all help you make the most of the space and have it looking and feeling like your very own boutique fitness studio.
Whether it’s connecting your fitness apps or including an entertainment system for while you’re on the treadmill, there are plenty of tech systems and apps that can help you track your progress and keep you motivated. Connecting everything to your smartphone or voice control system (e.g. Alexa) will help with usability while you’re in a downward-dog yoga pose too.
It’s worth taking a look at your heating and air con options as well, to help control your body temperature as you’re working up a sweat and whilst you’re cooling down. Hot yoga is still an option at home and lots of celebrities/yogis are getting creative with portable heating solutions.
Mindfulness and Reflection - A Place to Unwind
It’s just as important to have a place to unwind, whether that’s after your workout or just after a day packed with working and home-schooling.
Saunas are a great way to unwind and reconnect the body and mind - the perfect indulgence at the end of a long day. Benefits of a sauna include relaxation by reducing nervous tension and anxiety, and detoxification as the body eliminates acids and toxins from the skin through sweating. EFFE and Nordic offer custom-built high-quality home saunas to suit individual needs.