Functional ways to decorate a home gym

Transform any room into an exercise room

A home gym isn't just something for the rich and famous. With a little imagination, you can turn any empty room of the house into a home gym that the entire family can use to get fit, stay active, and spend quality time together. A basement, spare bedroom, or unused garage space can be transformed into a useful exercise room that's conveniently located right in your own home.

Colors - To create an exercise room suited to your personal style, you'll need to determine how you want to feel when you walk in the room. Do you want to feel energized for a high-tempo aerobic workout? Or will you use the home gym primarily as a source of meditation and calming yoga purposes? The color you paint your walls will impact the overall atmosphere of the room.

Active Colors - If the goal of your home gym is to feel excited, invigorated, and strong, active colors will work best for you. Consider using red, yellow, and orange on walls, and on other accents in the room.

Passive Colors - If your home gym will primarily be used for yoga or meditation purposes, passive colors will be a better fit for you. Colors within this group include blue, green, and purple. These colors help calm the senses and promote relaxation.

Neutral Colors - For a home gym that will be used for multiple purposes, consider using neutral colors. Shades of tan, gray, white, and brown are easy to use when decorating a home gym, and support any activity that takes place there.

Equipment layout - Workout equipment, such as a weight bench, treadmill, recumbent bike, etc., are heavy and difficult to move around. Take measurements of the room and the equipment, and draw out a layout of the room on graph paper. Play around with equipment layout until you are pleased with the placement and traffic space around each piece. Then, move everything into place. There should be plenty of room around each machine, so that others can freely move around the room.

Mirrors - Walk into any professional gym and you'll see one element in each. Mirrors. Mirrors help encourage proper form, and encourage you as you work out. Large mirrors will also help to give the illusion of a larger space. For safety purposes, consider using acrylic mirror panels on the wall, which are shatterproof.

Soundproofing - So as not to disturb other while you work out, consider soundproofing your home gym. There are many inexpensive methods to do it, and it will help you stay focused while you exercise, as it will block out sound from other areas of the home. Use our recommendations for 'Decorative Ways to Soundproof a Room'.

Durable flooring - Vinyl and rubber flooring tiles are an excellent choice for a home gym. They will help cushion the joints during high-impact activity, and also help soundproof the room.

Entertainment - If you exercise in absolute silence, you will quickly dread entering your home gym. A workout should be fun, exciting, and entertaining. To keep motivated, install a wall-mounted television set on a swivel base. This will allow you to watch television as you exercise, and help keep your mind entertained as you strengthen your body. Connect a DVD player to the television so that you can watch exercise videos, or pop a show in for the kids while you work out.

More from Jennifer Wagner:

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10 Ways to Make a Room Look Bigger

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Personal knowledge

Jennifer Wagner - Yahoo! Contributor Network