Home Gym on a Budget

Some people swear by their local gyms, with the variety of equipment and fitness classes to choose from. But if going to the gym is not for you, there are multiple things you can do instead, like setting up a home gym. You might ask yourself, isn’t setting up a gym expensive? Yes, you can easily spend thousands of dollars on equipment like treadmills and elliptical machines, but you also can follow these tips to set up a home gym without breaking the bank.

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Goal setting

Before you start buying any equipment, ask yourself: What are my exercise goals? That answer will determine what equipment to buy. Besides trying to improve your blood sugar levels, are you trying to lose weight, increase your strength or improve your cardiovascular fitness?

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Fitness room

Find a space in your home that you can turn into your exercise refuge, where the equipment fits and you won’t be interrupted. Equip your room with rubber mats ($10), a stability ball ($10) and a full-length mirror ($20), so you can watch your form and technique as you exercise to avoid injuries.

Right weights

Every home gym should have free weights, like 10- and 15-pound dumbbells ($40). If you want to add more weight, consider buying adjustable dumbbells, which can cost from $60 to $200.

Resistance bands

They seem low-tech, but resistance bands ($20) are deceptively useful for strength training. Attach a band to a door or table, and it’s a low-cost version of a universal machine.

Exercise machines

Before you rush out and drop $5,000 for a shiny treadmill or elliptical machine, ask yourself if you really need one or can you live with a stationary bike, which is significantly less expensive. For some, having the equipment indoors may help make it easier to stick to a routine. In that case, Google “used gym equipment” in your area. Some stores carry refurbished exercise equipment, but make sure they offer warranties before you bring it home.

With a nominal budget, you can create a beginner’s home gym and add more equipment once you add more exercises to your routine. Whether at your home gym or if you prefer a local gym, the goal is to define an exercise program that works for you and find a space that makes you comfortable and more likely to stick with your routine.

Want to learn more about exercise and diabetes? Read “Exercise Myths and Facts” and “Picking the Right Activity to Meet Your Fitness Goals.”

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