Finding the time to get to a gym can be difficult with busy work and family lives. In the winter it can be especially difficult to find the motivation to go out on a cold, dark evening after work. Trying to fit round gym opening hours can also be tricky for people that work shifts or nights. For these reasons, it is often too easy to get into a lull and not work out enough.
Creating a dedicated gym space at home can be a great solution, and can eliminate all those reasons or excuses for not working out enough! But if space is at a premium, it may be difficult to envisage where to put treadmills, bikes, weights and other gym equipment.
The answer under everyone’s feet
A dark, damp basement may not seem like the most logical solution to creating a home gym. But basement finishing project can transform these under-used spaces into bright, ventilated spaces that work perfectly as home gyms. This kind of project makes optimal use of otherwise largely redundant space. It can also add a lot of value to a property when it is time to sell.
Not only do basements make ideal gyms because they are usually cooler than the rest of a property, but the space is relatively concealed from living areas and bedrooms. This means that early morning or late night workouts are unlikely to disturb the rest of the family with the noise of workout equipment, music, or cooling fans. On top of this, basements can be easy to vent naturally with street level vents or windows.
All-in-all, a basement offers the perfect solution to achieving the best of both worlds – being able to workout even from the comfort of home.
Getting started with a gym basement finishing project
With the right approach it is possible to turn almost any shape or size of basement into a fully-functioning home gym. Deciding on the right finish, flooring and equipment to round out the space can make it a fun project. With well-planned basement conversions, it is also possible to integrate modern, stylish storage solutions.
Working with a basement finishing specialist ensures that the right waterproofing and insulation is installed from the start. Basement renovation specialists are well-versed in the right flooring, ceiling materials and wall coverings to suit each space. This will avoid the common damp and mould problems associated with basement environments. It is also a potential money saver further down the line by not having to carry out remedial work.
One of the main decisions to make is on the flooring. Much of this will come down to personal preference depending on how people like to work out. It is important to combine style with practicality where possible depending of course on the budget available.
A simple concrete floor can be an option, as can a short haired carpet. But it is also important to consider the look and feel of the space. Practicality can also be an issue with carpet. It gives a nice feel underfoot, but gyms can of course be sweaty, humid places.
Even in relatively small spaces, it can make sense to separate the flooring into areas. A section with foam tiles makes for pleasant yoga or Pilates sessions for instance. For areas that will hold weights benches, sturdy rubber mats are a better option. Or for a more versatile option across the whole space, vinyl panels are easily cleaned and can comfortably hold heavier gym equipment. In this configuration, temporary mats can then be used for stretching style exercises. Interlocking rubber tiles across the whole room can also be a practical choice that also gives a forgiving surface for floor-based exercises.
Let there be light
There are also innovative ways to make even the smallest or darkest space more fresh and light. This can provide a more invigorating and inspiring workout experience.
Mirrored walls are the perfect way to make the space seem bigger. They are also a useful tool for checking posture during stretching or weights sessions. Also be sure to include plenty of light. Where possible utilize as much natural light as there is within the space. Failing that, use strategically placed artificial light to reduce shadows and create a more inspiring workout environment.
One of the most fun parts about planning a gym basement renovation can be thinking about the finishing touches. From some relaxing plants to well-positioned water coolers or mini refrigerators, it is possible to create a truly professional gym environment in the home. In small, downtown spaces it is also advisable to consider air conditioning or at least fans for hot summer months.
One of the best tips is to keep other clutter to a minimum to enable full relaxation and focus on workouts. That said, some storage space may be necessary on a practical level without an actual basement space to work with. For this, built-in cupboards and corner units can work well. For weights, dumbbells and other workout accessories, small floor-standing racks keep things tidy without taking up too much space.
It is also wise to ensure home gyms are well equipped with some entertainment. After the initial buzz of the new space has ebbed away, some stimulus will be required for workouts. A wall-mounted TV is a good touch, and smartphone holders on treadmills and bikes makes life easier towards the end of long sessions.
A few motivational quotes or pictures are also a good touch to keep things going during particularly gruelling gym sessions. A pinboard or whiteboard can also be a welcome touch to help plan workout schedules.
Converting a basement into a home gym can be a game-changer both in terms of personal fitness routines but also for the resale value of a property. Even small basement areas can be opened up into bright and inspiring personal workout areas. Working with a basement finishing expert can help deliver the dream home gym space into any home.