The RentSeeker Real-Estate Blog

News and tips for Canada's renters, home buyers, home sellers and property managers.

5 Feb 2013

If you are like thousands across the country, you have made a resolution to get fit this year. Your options are plentiful, but going to the gym is not always financially feasible. So you’ve decided

If you are like thousands across the country, you have made a resolution to get fit this year. Your options are plentiful, but going to the gym is not always financially feasible. So you’ve decided to buy some fitness products that you can use in on your own time in the comfort of your own home. But what products are suitable for apartment life and what products would be better left to the actual gym?At Home Gyms for Apartments

Invest In a Mat:

A workout mat – yoga, Pilates, or otherwise – will go a long way to muffling the noise that can be created by a fitness routine that involves plenty of jumping and dancing. For high intensity workouts (P90X, for example) there is simply no way to completely mask the noise. In these cases, it would be a good idea to let your downstairs neighbours know that you workout and that they can expect some noise.

Try to stick to a regular workout routine so they can know when to expect the noise to start and stop. Perhaps they work late and need to sleep in longer in the mornings – it is good to get this feedback from them so you can schedule your workouts appropriately. If you wouldn’t want to be woken up by someone’s workout routine, then return the favour to your neighbours. Opening a dialogue goes a long way to making a harmonious and friendly community in the building!

Bringing Out the Big Guns:

We’re not talking about your arms here! Big, bulky equipment can be an issue in apartment buildings for several reasons. The first is the logistics of simply getting it into your apartment, especially if you live in a building without an elevator. Secondly, big equipment can cause considerable noise when being used (treadmills, elliptical machines and the like). If you do have one of these machines, it is prudent to once again speak to your downstairs neighbour and fill them in on your workout plans. If you don’t have one, it’s best to leave them for the gym only.

A Weighty Issue:

Weights are probably your best bet when it comes to apartment fitness. They are quiet and no one will even be bothered by you using them (unless you drop them, but that is another story altogether!). Hand weights, ankle weights, even a barbell all work for apartment living.

No Equipment – No Problem: Better yet, why not do workouts that require no equipment whatsoever? Push-ups, crunches, stretches, yoga – all can be done without having to purchase potentially loud equipment. Your neighbours will be none the wiser, but you’ll be getting fit in no time.

Here’s what Wikihow has to say about making your own at-home gym:

Making Your Own Stepper

1. Find six old telephone books.

2. Glue two books together for your right foot step and two for your left. Keep the other two books for the time when you are ready to increase the intensity level.

3. Cover the books with any non-slip covering. For instance, that old towel you were just about to throw out. Or any old piece of clothing.

4. Put your beautiful looking new ‘steps’ side by side in front of you – as if they were your new skis or snow shoes.

5. Test out your stepping routines.

6. Now for sideways stepping: Put one step in horizontal position, that is so that you can fit both feet on it, side by side. Stand with each foot on either side of that ‘step’ to do your sideways stepping exercises.

Making Your Own Hand Weights:

1. Take two 750mls (just over a pint) plastic bottles and fill them with water. You now have two hand weights that are just under a kilogram (about 1.6lbs). A good weight for your warm-up or if you’re a beginner, it’s an excellent weight to start your new muscle-toning-without-injury program.

2. Carry your hand weights to walk your 5kms around the lake, or ten minutes around your garden or apartment or house.

3. Use them to do bicep curls, tricep dips, shoulder presses.

Making Your Own Barbells

1. Buy a steel bar about 1.5 metres long – about 5’5″.

2. If you’re just starting out, sew a little pillow a bit bigger than the size of an average hand. Fill your pillow with 1kg (2.2lbs) of sand, rice, wheat.

3. Glue that little cloth pillow around each end of the bar.

Working out in your apartment is possible, but keep in mind that not everything you do will be quiet. Always speak to your neighbours to let them know when to expect noise. You never know – maybe they want to start a New Year workout regime, too, and you’ll find a fitness buddy to encourage you and keep you going!

The RentSeeker.ca Team