January 22, 2010

Basement Conversions – Example Case Studies: How To Create a Home Gym in Your Basement

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Home Gym

Home Gym

With the New Year just passed, many homeowners have been mulling over the time-honoured tradition of making a resolution to get in shape yet again.  However, as most people already know, one of the most difficult parts of sticking to such resolutions is finding the time to make to the local health club before or after work.  Keeping this in mind, for many homeowners with a vacant cellar and a desire to stay in shape, the creation of a home gym in the basement is a great way to stay in shape while at the same time using unused cellar space.

The first thing that homeowners need to keep in mind when planning a project to convert a basement or cellar into a home gym is the condition of the basement itself.  Given the fact that homeowners are planning exerting themselves in their gym, which means sweating and breathing heavily, it is important to ensure that the cellar or basement is free from mould.  Finished basements should already be tanked, and include adequate drainage, making this less of a concern than it will be in an unfinished cellar, which will likely require a tanking and drainage system prior to the installation of a home gym.

Once the basement area is adequately protected from moisture, homeowners should consider the size of there basement relative to the types of exercises that they wish to use there home gym for.   Many types of exercise programs today are abandoning complicated fitness equipment, instead opting for exercises that use body weight for resistance, which means that an adequate home gym can come in a number of sizes.  In addition to floor space, when designing a home gym, homeowners should note the ceiling height of their basement, as well as the dimensions of the entryways and steps that lead into the basement.  Exercise equipment tends to be heavy and somewhat cumbersome, meaning that getting it from the driveway to the basement can be a workout in itself.

Having noted the floor space available, as well as the entryways and ceiling height, homeowners may want to consider purchasing a rubber flooring system.  Rubber floors meant for gymnasiums reduce the chances of slipping on a concrete floor wet from sweat, decrease the wear and tear on weights being placed on the floor, and are much better for the joints (especially knees) of the people using the gym.  Generally speaking, rubber flooring systems are available in half-meter interlocking squares which can be cut with a simple blade to fit any room.

With an appropriate floor in place, keeping in mind their space requirements, homeowners can now consider what types of equipment they wish to include in their home gym.  Treadmills, stair masters (for those with high ceilings), and rowing machines are all good options for those wanting a good cardiovascular workout, and jungle-gym machines that include a pull-up/dip bar and a few cable weight exercise options make for great weight training options.  Amongst the most versatile types of equipment are adjustable benches with a few dumbbells, an open space for a number of different exercises, a punch bag and a Swiss ball for core workout exercises.

Once equipment has been selected, homeowners should also keep ventilation and hydration in mind.  Oscillating fans are a good idea, as there will be little air flow in an underground room, especially with a sweaty person in it.  Likewise, a small water cooler will allow home gym users to keep hydrated, an important part of any fitness regiment.  With appropriate airflow and a water cooler in place, homeowners will be out of excuses, with a 24-hour fitness centre just a few steps away.

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