We all want to be fitter, but finding time to go to the gym can be a challenge, especially if you have young children or have a long commute. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and to feel better about yourself, so why not bring the gym to your home? Turning your cellar into a home gym is easier than you think. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune and it could add value to your house too.
Converting a cellar into a usable space could be much easier than a loft conversion. First take a look at your basement and check for suitability. If it looks damp or needs some repair you might want to bring in a contractor who specialises in basement conversions.
Usually basement conversions don’t require planning permission unless your house is listed or if you’re digging a new one out – here’s an article that explains things in more detail. Also measure the basement to make sure you have enough space, and take stock of the plug outlets and the lighting. The flooring is very important. You want something non-slip like rubber or linoleum. Carpet or wood flooring won’t be as suitable for a gym.
Before starting the conversion, you also want to think about the types of exercises you might want to do and your workout goals. The best exercises are the ones you enjoy – working out shouldn’t be a chore. It should be something fun you look forward to. Try and think about a mixture of different types of training for a well-balanced workout. The exercises you choose will have an effect on how you lay the room out. If you want to do weight training you’ll need to have mirrors to check your form. If you want to do cardio on a stationary bike or a treadmill then make sure you have enough space and the available outlets.
After your cellar is ready, kitting out your home gym can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it be. One of the best pieces of home equipment you can buy is a simple exercise ball. A chin up bar is also a great, low cost addition to any workout. If you do want to buy a weight machine or a multi-purpose machine, look for ones that allow you do several different types of exercises. This way you can vary your workout and keep it fresh.
If you’re thinking about a treadmill, a stationary bike or a cross trainer, bigger is not always better. Keep in mind your workout goals and how you’re going to use it. If you want to run seriously, you’ll want a treadmill with a more powerful motor than if you just want to do a bit of walking. You should always buy to your needs.
However you want to kit out your gym, an important piece of equipment is a TV or stereo. Even the most committed gym goer can get bored sometimes. Having music or television can really help motivate you.
The cellar can easily become the forgotten room in your house, but by spending a little money, you can create useful extra space. A good conversion could potentially add to the value of your home when you come to sell it. A loan may be a convenient way to add this versatility to your home. Remember to get the most out of your home gym, work out regularly and make it part of your routine.
This guest post was written by James Perry on behalf of Money Matters, the Sainsbury’s Bank blog.