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When mornings are hectic and you can't find that extra hour to go to the gym, exercising can be difficult. This is especially true if you're exhausted from work and can't muster the energy to hit the gym, especially once winter starts to set in.

Instead of having these internal battles, consider creating a compact home gym. With a small investment, you can outfit your home with all of the essentials for a great workout. Although you'll need to cover some costs upfront, you'll likely save money on gym memberships in the long run. For instance, a one-time purchase of a dumbbell set, yoga mat, and weight bench may run you a few hundred dollars. However, if you use these regularly and have them for several years, you'll end up saving considerably compared to what you would spend at the gym.

What You Need for a Compact Home Gym

The first thing to do is identify where you want to set up your gym. Survey your home and find a spot that feels comfortable — one that's easily accessible, has a comfortable temperature, and will allow you to move in some equipment without making your living space feel cluttered.

If your home is pretty full, see the space as it might be. Oftentimes, people overload their basements and other storage areas with boxes and unused appliances. Decide whether there's anything you're willing to donate to charity to clear some space. Even an hour or two spent rearranging may reveal more room.

Then begin choosing your equipment. Think about the types of exercises you enjoy the most. Do you love a good squat session with resistance bands? Are you partial to lifting weights? Buy a few essentials to get started, such as a dumbbell set or some resistance bands.

Paying for an At-Home Gym

Now that you know what you need, you'll have to decide how to pay for it. Here are some options:

  • Buy Used: Check out sites such as eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace. You may be able to find used equipment that's in great shape and will cost far less than you'd pay if you buy new. If possible, bring along a knowledgeable friend who can vouch for the equipment's quality.
  • Ask for Gym Gear as Gifts: You may not want to add pricey workout machines to your holiday list, but if there are smaller items you'd like, add them to a wish list. This will help you build out your home gym space without overspending. Besides, friends and family will be happy to support your health.
  • Search for Deals: Compare prices at different stores, look for promotional codes, and find out whether retailers have any upcoming holiday sales. Some fitness companies offer zero-interest financing on their equipment, so be sure to look for those perks as well.
  • Consider a Zero-Interest Credit Card: If you don't have the cash to cover your at-home gym needs and don't want to wait several months while you save, you might use a credit card that offers a zero-interest promotional period. Just make sure to pay it off before the interest rate kicks in — all of the money you're saving on your gym membership can be put toward the balance, keeping costs manageable.

Creating a compact home gym is easier and more affordable than you might think. If you've been struggling to maintain a consistent gym habit or you're tired of paying high gym fees, an at-home workout space can help you meet your fitness — and financial — goals.

This information and recommendations contained herein is compiled from sources deemed reliable, but is not represented to be accurate or complete. In providing this information, neither KeyBank nor its affiliates are acting as your agent or is offering any tax, accounting, or legal advice.

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