Posted on July 29, 2020 by Gordon Smith

Home gym for older people

Home gyms often need to accommodate the needs of several generations living under the same roof

Home gyms are trending right now. When lockdown began, there was a spike in interest in all things home gym, caused by the closure of gyms and fitness centres, and the ban on going outside to exercise.

All that energy had to be burned off somehow, so our focus has turned to adapting our homes into exercise and wellness centres.

In our previous article, we looked at how professionals go about building a home gym. We learned that pros take a wide-ranging look at your fitness wants and needs, taking into account the whole family, from kids to seniors.

Home gyms are trending

Late March and early April, when lockdown began, saw a spike in interest in home gyms

It’s about maximising the space without being cramped, making sure each user has their own area, ensuring light and air flows around the space freely.

Now let’s dig a little deeper and find out what equipment is needed in a home gym.

The right equipment for the job

Home gym equipment often has to fulfil a number of roles depending on who will be using it, and why. Let’s look at four different types of gym and see what type of equipment we would recommend for each.

Wellness oasis

Fitness and wellness are often confused, but really they are quite different. Fitness means an overall healthy and strong body, fit for life. Wellness is a holistic approach to fitness which has mental well-being, the ability to cope with life and freedom from stress as a central goal of exercise.

Very popular wellness activities include yoga, Pilates and meditation. The first two are both very focussed on breath control and deep breathing, which is a great stress-buster and meditation also includes deep breathing and extreme focus on stillness and freedom from thought.

These activities all call for a calm, low-noise home gym with plenty of light. Natural elements such as indoor planting, picture windows overlooking greenery and fresh air are important in wellness gyms.

The types of equipment we’d look at will often include a Pilates reformer, yoga mats, fitness mats, ballet barre and Pilates brackets. Adding plants and mirrors will finish off the space.

Functional gym

This gym type is for people who want their exercise to have a purpose. Functional training helps to improve your ability to carry out daily tasks – everything from walking and running to participating in favourite sports, to simply moving around with better balance and confidence.

For this kind of gym we would consider rowing machines, bikes such as the Octane Fitness Airdyne, a wall-mounted weights rack, dumbbells, a heavy-duty punch bag, and multi-gym equipment. Plus kettle bells, medicine ball, slam balls etc.

Cardio zone

For gyms focussed around family members who want to improve their cardio, we’d go for equipment that raises the heart rate and keeps it in the cardio zone for safe periods of time. This would include treadmills, ellipticals and cycles. It would also include the usual dumbbells, kettle bells and maybe an adjustable bench and fitness mats.

Where cardio work is being done it is crucial to get air flow and air temperature correct.

Family fitness centre

The family-oriented home gym aims to ensure that family members of all ages are equally able to get fit and stay strong. Many households are inter-generational with up to three generations of people living under the same roof. These types of households need equipment which meets the needs of children, adults and older people.

Kids gym equipment

Kids exercise

Kids learn to love exercise by copying the adults. Why not start a family competition?

For the kids, we focus our attention on fun and safety. The aim is to instill a sense of achievement and well-being from keeping fit. Early exposure to the joy of exercising can last a lifetime.

Kids’ exercise needs to be done in short doses, usually with parental supervision. Goals are not as important as regular effort – (but family fitness goals can be loads of fun with dads and daughters pitting their skills against mums and sons).

Copying the adults is a big motivator for kids, so equipment which mimics the strength training equipment of the mums and dads, but in a low-impact and kid-friendly way, is the way to go. This can include stationary bikes, kids barbells and weights and step machines. More obvious choices include indoor trampolines, exercise balls, skipping ropes, gymnastic balance beams,  and workout mats in bright, kid-friendly colours.

Feeling inspired?

So, what kind of gym would you choose to fit perfectly with your lifestyle now and in the future? Will it be a kid-friendly exercise zone, a high-octane cardio workout space, stress-busting oasis of calm or will you go for the more functional approach to exercise?

Whichever type of gym suits you, it’s a great idea to get an experienced, professional team on your side to advise and plan. Take a look at our home gyms pages and contact us to get your dream home gym project underway.