Things you need to set up your home gym (Photo: iStock)

A home gym is a great way to get all the benefits of going to the gym without the stress of getting ready and commuting. It also gives you the added benefit of privacy, so you can literally dress as you please and enjoy your workout without feeling self-conscious.

To create the perfect home gym, you need more than just a room. Yes, you need to find an area where you can work out, but the most important thing is to get the right equipment.

With so much equipment to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. What you ultimately choose will depend on your needs and fitness level. Here are five key essentials to get you started:

Workout mat

Workout mats are specifically designed to give you support and comfort. They prevent injuries while you do floor exercises, they are more hygienic because they wick away sweat and are easy to clean as well.

With just a workout mat, you will have added the number of exercises you can do and won’t only be limited to standing workouts. This is a great place to start as you build your home gym slowly.

Weights

Working out without weights is not a problem but having them is even better. The resistance from weights helps to build stronger muscles faster and this is what separates gym results from at-home workout results.

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You can research and consult on the types of weights to start with while building your collection. You have the option of getting dumbbells, kettlebells, weighted vests and ankle weights to give you a variety of workouts and better muscle building.

Resistance bands

Resistance bands are also another great addition to your home gym. These will come in handy as you advance because they also engage your muscles more than just your body weight.

People also include these items in their collection because they’re easier to store and transport, and, they have a reduced risk of injury as compared to solid weights.

Cardio equipment

Having cardio equipment like a treadmill or cycling bike in your home is a game changer. They’re super convenient because you can get some cardio anytime, which also makes it perfect for people with busy schedules. The other main benefit is they are suitable even for older people who need less strenuous exercise.

There is a wide variety to choose from and you can even find some great affordable ones that are just as effective in shedding calories.

A fitness journal

Part of the gym experience is being able to see and track your progress. In the gym, you have access to a trainer who can guide you and give you advice while you’re on your fitness journey.

Now that you’re planning to work out at home a lot, you should take charge of your own progress by having a journal. This is where you will note down your eating habits, weight changes and other key things you need to remember.