Organizing Fitness Gear

Do you hit the gym a few times a week? If you’re like many Americans, you switched it up during the pandemic, working out at home more than in public places. And if you’re like a lot of us, that means you now have a bunch of fitness gear in your house. Sales of home fitness gear more than doubled in the first year of the pandemic, hitting $2.3 billion dollars from march to October of 2020. Treadmills and stationary bikes sold three times as much as they normally do, leaving shelves empty.  Dumbbells and workout clothes spiked, too, along with other types of exercise and individual sports gear.

Do you need to organize it?

Buying exercise gear is not the same as using it. Fewer than one quarter of Americans actually work out as much as experts recommend, according to the CDC. So tucking those dumbbells and step boards into your closet might not be the best plan.

Many people find that leaving their running shoes by their bed encourages them to put those shoes on and get out of the door in the morning. If you have to go to a lot of trouble to find your workout clothes and gear before you work out, you might be more likely to skip the whole thing.

On the other hand, you probably don’t want a welter of dumbbells, kettle balls, and foam rollers decorating your bedroom. Organization will help.

Choose a rack

Purpose-made racks are the best way to store dumbbells. Small, inexpensive A-frame racks will hold three to five pairs of weights. Check the maximum weight they can hold before you buy, and do the math. For example, a rack that will hold a maximum of 35 pounds can hold an 8 pound pair, a 5 pound pair, and a 3 pound pair — but not 10, 8, and 5 pound pairs.

Splurge on a larger rack and you can also keep kettlebells, yoga mats, and exercise balls in place. Typical sizes can fit behind a sofa or next to a TV, taking up about as much space as an entertainment center or a small bookcase.

If your workout runs to resistance bands and jump ropes instead of weights, consider a wall-mounted rack. These take up less space and hold lighter objects securely.

Box it up

You might be tempted to leave small home gym collections — say a fitness tracker, massage ball, core sliders, and a stopwatch — on a shelf. It’s hard to keep that kind of collection from looking messy, no matter how neatly you arrange the items.

Instead, choose a storage box that will fit on your shelf or under your bed or sofa. It will still be convenient to grab the gear you need but it won’t assault your eyes whenever you walk in the room.

Keeping things tidy reduces stress and makes it easier for you (or your cleaning service) to clean your surfaces.

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