Setting up a home gym can be one of the smartest fitness decisions you make. You save the time and expense of traveling to a health club, and even if you stock your gym with new equipment, you may still save money in the long run by avoiding membership fees. No matter how nice your workout area is, you may still get a yen to run outdoors. Don’t fret. You can blend the two workouts seamlessly and still achieve your fitness goals.
Combine running and a workout routine into a circuit. For example, select some basic gym exercises you can perform at home, such as pushups, crunches, dips and pullups -- if your home includes a pullup bar. Perform a specific number of reps of each exercise, then dash outside and run around your home once or twice to complete one circuit. Repeat the circuit for a total of 15 to 30 minutes of exercise, depending on your fitness level. If the weather is bad outside, running alternatives include a home treadmill or running up and down stairs.
Perform your strength-training exercises before you run, if your goal is to burn fat. Perform 20 to 30 minutes of strength training -- it doesn’t matter whether you’re lifting free weights or performing body-weight exercises -- then run with sufficient intensity to burn fat, which typically means keeping your exercising heart rate at around 65 to 75 percent of your maximum heart rate.
Maximize your strength gains by performing strength-training exercises before you run, because a challenging cardio workout can leave you too tired to use good form and train effectively. If you’re more comfortable running before hitting your home gym, take a break after your run and replenish your body’s glycogen supply with a sports or electrolyte replacement drink. Since you’re working out at home, keep your refrigerator stocked with your favorite drink and have it handy whenever you make your pit stop.
- Studies published in 2012 from both Canada and Sweden indicate that performing cardiovascular and resistance activities on the same day do not reduce the benefits of either form of exercise.
- To calculate your heart rate, women should use 206 minus 88 percent of their age.
- Check with your doctor before setting up a home gym, to determine which types of exercise are suited to your fitness needs.
M.L. Rose has worked as a print and online journalist for more than 20 years. He has contributed to a variety of national and local publications, specializing in sports writing. Rose holds a B.A. in communications.