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


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

“It was insane. We had people messaging us asking if we wanted to sell the equipment from our gym,” Geelong-based gym owner and trainer Lena Moxon says. 

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

If you bought weights, a yoga mat or other at-home exercise gear, here’s how to make sure you keep using it as life returns to normal.

Make exercise decisions in advance

While it’s helpful to have equipment, you also need time and motivation — maybe even more so when you’re exercising at home.

Lena Moxon holds a dumbbell while exercising at home.
A good exercise regime is more about time management than equipment, Lena Moxon says.(Supplied: Lena Moxon)

Ms Moxon’s tip 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 put 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 that you’d normally train in, more often than not you don’t get to it.”

These “pre-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 like going to the gym: particularly in classes, a lot of the decision making is done ahead of time and it’s done for you,” Ms Moxon explains.

“Even if you do get motivated to stand in front of your equipment, if you’re not sure what to do, it can be overwhelming and that can be off-putting.”

Add variety to your workouts

If you’ve been running or cycling, you could try strength-building exercises using weights or a resistance band.

Or if you’re sick of push-ups and weights, you could try yoga or a high-intensity interval training (HITT) session from YouTube.

“I would literally be typing the name of whatever equipment you have into a search engine and looking up workout ideas,” Ms Moxon says.

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

For example, if you’re looking at an online fitness video, you might check the trainer’s credentials and read reviews and comments from people who have tried their workouts.

Finally, if you have a health issue or you haven’t exercised in a while, it’s a good idea to check in with your GP first.

Find an exercise group or community

If staying motivated is a challenge, consider exercising with other people who can keep you accountable.

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

  • Using 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.
  • Mixing home exercise sessions with the gym, yoga classes or other group activities.
  • Joining fitness groups and communities on social media.
  • Using YouTube videos for exercise tips and training ideas.

You can make money selling unwanted equipment

The key with exercise is to find something that you enjoy and that makes you feel good.

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

If you’ve got some unused equipment lying around, you can always sell it to recoup some of the cost.

“People are generally looking for bits and pieces to complete their home gyms. You would have to be looking for people in your area … [but] it’s never hard to sell gym equipment,” Ms Moxon says.

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

“If you can store it and keep it safe, it’s not going to depreciate, and it’s not a bad resource to have at your disposal,” Ms Moxon says.

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