Let me start by saying that I wasn’t always a huge fan of the gym. Growing up I played numerous sports competitively, was super active with my friends and never felt that putting my body through vigorous weight training would be beneficial for me. It wasn’t until a sports hernia injury at age 18 that made me think twice about the effectiveness of weight training and getting stronger leading to better overall me!
The years following that, I made a huge effort to include weight training into my daily routine. Bouncing from varsity practice to the gym was becoming habit. Years later, going to the gym was still a daily event, even as I was getting into my mid-20’s, starting the day off with some cardio and weights was so crucial to a healthy and positive life. Then COVID hit.
Going to the local gym was not as easy. Between the concern of spread and the provincial health and safety guidelines, the gym was not as viable as it once was. Wanting, no needing the exercise that had become such a huge part of my daily routine, I needed to figure something out. So, with the limited resources we had, a few resistance bands, some lower free weights, and the great outdoors I began developing some programs that I could do from home, until the pandemic would provide a little more clarity. Month after month went by and things did not change, it was becoming apparent that this new home gym could be more long term that originally thought. The issue was, I was not the only person struggling to find ways to adapt at home.
The cost of home gyms and equipment continued to rise as the demand was insane. People were selling equipment online for ridiculous prices, and they were only staying live for minutes. Finding additional equipment for a home gym was becoming almost impossible. For me, cardio – running and biking was slowly becoming some of the only things I could do along with body weight exercises limited my ability to focus on some muscles groups that I had thought were so simple many years before.
As we approached 6 months into the pandemic, retailers became aware of the need and more and more equipment became available. My fiancé and I began looking into financials of what the cost of a gym membership compared to a home gym would be. Not only were there benefits of having a home gym; we would not have to drive anywhere, we could shower in our own shower, no waiting for equipment, the time we would save with a home gym. It became apparent that it made so much sense for us to begin, I mean we had the space for it so why not!?
We began accumulating free weights, a bench, various resistance bands, TRX system and then splurged on an ever so popular exercise bike for Christmas. We had taken a small stack of resistance bands into a fully functioning gym for the two of us in only a few months. The possibilities were endless.
It had finally felt like we were back in our local gym (kind of), as we had everything we needed in the once dining room, now exercise room in our own home. Living with a home gym has been amazing, being able to literally roll out of bed in the morning and hop on the bike to being a workout has been a lifesaver. Not only for physical healthiness, but mental health as well. With not many sports facilities open these days, our home gym really has been our escape and has kept us sane through all of this.
To anyone out there struggling to find a way to exercise during these times, all you need is a little push, some space and very limited equipment to start. If you have the will, you can make it happen and the benefits physically and mentally from having this escape is priceless.