Build the right workout space for your home

Dana Santas and her family built their home gym as a collaborative effort.

Story highlights

  • Dana Santas wanted more than a treadmill stuck in a corner
  • Her family created a home gym that's become their favorite "room"

Dana Santas is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, experienced registered yoga teacher and mind-body coach known as the Mobility Maker. She's the yoga coach for the Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies, Tampa Bay Rays, Atlanta Braves, Tampa Bay Lightning and others in Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association and the Professional Golfers' Association.

(CNN)Have you ever owned a piece of at-home exercise equipment that became a massive, expensive clothes hanger? I have. Like many who make good-intentioned commitments to working out at home, I set myself up for failure by going too big, too soon. After only a month, I lost the motivation to run in place on my treadmill, like a hamster on a wheel, in the corner of a room. Thankfully, I came to realize that a smaller-step, progressive approach is more sustainable, enabling you to match your budget and space allocation to your growing dedication and needs.

Start small: Accountability, interest and ease

A crate of workout tools in the bathroom helped Dana Santas stay accountable.
Many years after abandoning the treadmill, I recommitted to working out at home with a few cost-effective multipurpose tools: yoga mat, yoga block, dumbbells, kettle bell, mini band and foam roller. Although the crate holding these things didn't take up much space, by placing it conspicuously next to my shower, I saw it every morning. And when I used a dry-erase marker to write workouts on the bathroom mirror, they'd literally stare me in the face.