“Should I buy a Peloton bike?”
“Should I buy a treadmill?”
“Should I buy a kettlebell?”
Want to know how to approach a potential investment in home exercise equipment?
There are six considerations to go through.
- There’s no magic bullet
Let’s start here. It’s easy to get stuck thinking that there’s one thing that will miraculously solve all of your problems. That’s not how this typically works, though. So, take a more playful approach that asks the remaining questions.
- Will it use be low-friction?
Will this purchase live happily in the place you want to use it? Or will you have to bring it from one room to another? Does it require setup—or is it always good to go? Is it weather-dependent—like a bike or trampoline—or can you use it rain or shine?
None of these are deal-breakers but the more of them you have, the less likely you are to exercise. Understanding friction will help you determine what might get in the way of using the equipment with its intended frequency.
- Is it proven?
If you’re an old hand with kettlebells, buying a new one is a known quantity. However, if you’re enthusiastic about something but inexperienced with it, you may want to move right onto #3.
- Have you found a free or cheap option?
So, while that full set of kettlebells or new Peloton might be looking pretty appealing, You might not really have enough experience to know whether it’s a keeper . Your objective is therefore to ask yourself whether anything else could get the same job done for less. For example, if you are simply missing bike riding, could you buy an old 10-speed and see if that will do the trick? You can always upgrade later.
Please note that this isn’t advice to buy things because they’re cheap. The world needs less crap. It’s just to explore low-commitment options first so that you don’t need to love the equipment.
- Be experimental
With the above concepts in mind, play around. Try new things out. Figure out what success would look like and give yourself the opportunity to experience it. Unlike the Apollo 13, failure is totally an option. Not only is it an option, it is incredibly informative. Knowing what you don’t like and what doesn’t work for you will guide your future choices and save you a lot of time.
- Set it up for success as a habit
For your habit to take, you need to find a way to integrate your workouts with the anchor of an existing routine. For example, if you had a bathtub treadmill (not a real thing), you could get up, go to the bathroom, run, and then shower. It’s a silly example but you can see the flow. If you get a kettlebell, where will you swing it? Do you visit that place at least once a day?
Success also means starting tiny. Don’t commit to 60 minutes of daily exercise. Commit to something really small. Counter-intuitively small. You can always do more but only if you feel like it. The magic is in never missing the opportunity to start. It’s your consistency that lays the foundation for everything else.