How to make sure your pandemic home gym equipment doesn’t go to waste

As the pandemic raged last year, it wasn’t just toilet paper people were hoarding: gym and fitness equipment was nearly impossible to find.

“It was crazy. People messaged us asking if we wanted to sell our gym equipment,” said Lena Moxon, owner and trainer of the Geelong-based gym.

But now that the novelty has worn off, that expensive piece of equipment you bought may be sitting idle in the garage or closet.

If you’ve purchased weights, a yoga mat, or other home exercise equipment, here’s how to make sure you keep using it as life returns to normal.

Make exercise decisions in advance

While it helps to have equipment, you also need time and motivation, perhaps even more so when exercising at home.

A good exercise regimen is more about time management than equipment, says Lena Moxon.(Provided: Lena Moxon)

Moxon’s advice is to schedule your home exercise sessions much like you would a trip to the gym.

“It can help to do it at the same time [every week] – it can help to fit it into your schedule, even if you’re just walking to the garage,” the 35-year-old says.

“If you miss the window of opportunity in which you normally train, more often than not you don’t make it.”

These “advance decisions,” such as committing to a particular workout at a particular time, can help you stick to the plan on busy days.

“That’s why people love going to the gym: especially in classes, a lot of the decision-making is done beforehand and it’s done for you,” says Ms. Moxon.

“Even if you’re motivated to stand in front of your gear, if you don’t know what to do, it can be overwhelming and off-putting.”

Add variety to your workouts

If you’ve been running or cycling, you can try muscle-strengthening exercises using weights or a resistance band.

Or if you’re tired of push-ups and weights, you can try yoga or a high-intensity interval training (HITT) workout on YouTube.

“I would literally type the name of any piece of equipment you have into a search engine and look for workout ideas,” Ms. Moxon says.

Ms. Moxon says it’s important to check the credibility of the source.

For example, if you watch a fitness video online, you can check trainer credentials and read reviews and comments from people who have tried their workouts.

Finally, if you have a medical condition or haven’t exercised for a while, it’s a good idea to check with your GP first.

Find an exercise group or community

If staying motivated is a challenge, consider exercising with others who can hold you accountable.

There are ways to connect with the community without joining a gym or class. You could try:

  • Use exercise apps to track your fitness goals and connect with like-minded friends and strangers. There are apps for cycling, running, strength training, and other activities.
  • Mix home exercise sessions with the gym, yoga classes or other group activities.
  • Join fitness groups and social media communities.
  • Use YouTube videos for exercise tips and workout ideas.

You can make money by selling stuff you no longer want

The key to exercise is finding something you enjoy that makes you feel good.

And for some people, that might not mean working out at home beyond lockdown.

If you have unused gear lying around, you can always sell it to recoup some of the cost.

“People are usually looking for spare parts to complete their home gyms. You should be looking for people in your area… [but] it’s never hard to sell gym equipment,” says Ms. Moxon.

Of course, you can always keep the equipment handy, especially if working out at home has made the exercise more achievable for you.

“If you can store it and keep it safe, it won’t depreciate, and it’s not a bad resource to have around,” Ms. Moxon says.

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