3 Must Have Items for Your Home Gym

If you want to keep your New Year's resolution and lose weight, signing up at a gym will cost you about $500 a year. Gyms, though, can only help you if you are able to take out the time four or five times a week to make it all the way there - rain, snow or sleet.

Many people get out of shape precisely because they aren't motivated enough to take time out for exercise. If you are a little motivated, though, having a home gym can make a lot of sense. The fact that you save $500 each year working out on your own can be significant, too. You can use it to build a small, but properly equipped gym right at home. You just need to know what equipment to choose.

A treadmill should be at the top of your list

If you have no experience buying fitness equipment, try looking through treadmill reviews before you decide on anything. Reviews tell you all about the models that offer the best features and reliability. They can also help you decide what kind of feature set you need. For instance, if you are very heavy, you'll need a product that's capable of handling your weight. If you have a small home, a folding model that takes up little space could be important. If you're really serious about getting fixed, you could even consider a treadmill desk.

In general, a well-built motor is one of the most important things to look for in a treadmill purchase. Since it can be difficult to determine how good the motor on a unit is, you can try using another piece of information as a stand-in - the length of the warranty. Many models these days actually offer a 10 year warranty. This is kind of product you need.

Adjustable dumbbells should be the next item on your list

If you're building a home gym, you need to look for products that take up as little room as possible without compromising on the kind of workout that they can provide you with. Dumbbells - the small-sized weights that you hold in one hand - are a vital part of any gym. They let you perform a variety of exercises from curls to kickbacks. Many people make the mistake of investing in a full dumbbell rack with a separate unit for each weight category. It isn't necessary to spend your money in this way and use up a lot of space. Instead, you simply need to get adjustable dumbbells.

Adjustable dumbbells are like traditional barbells with removable plates, except that they are smaller. You just need to add or remove weights depending on the kind of exercises you need to do. These are ideal for home gyms that have just one person working out at a time.

You can't do without an exercise ball

The big inflated rubber exercise aids that you see at gyms go by a number of names - they get called phyisio balls, stability balls and exercise balls, among others. These balls are an excellent way to aid your push-ups, situps, crunches and aerobics.

Exercise balls come in three basic sizes - 55 cm, 65 cm and 75 cm. You need to buy the right size for your height. If you are anywhere between 5'4” and 5'11”- a sizing group that most people would fit in - a 65 cm ball should be a good fit.

This is all it really takes to set up a home gym. With these pieces of equipment, you will have spent no more than $1000 on setting your gym up. You'll probably get more out of it than you would spending $500 each year on a membership you never use.

Andrew King is a personal trainer. He loves to help his clients stay fit in their home gym and write for homeowner blogs.