People exercise for many different reasons. Exercise can improve appearance, reduce the risk of illness, relieve stress or anxiety, and even help some time go by. Exercise is often a social activity, but as part of the social distancing guidelines in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, many people have been looking for ways to exercise at home.

Building a home gym has never been a more timely project, and such a project can still bring rewards as life returns to a semblance of normalcy. Here’s how to successfully stock a home gym.

• Find a dedicated space. A home gym is limited by the space that can be used for workouts. Possible locations for fitness rooms are a guest room, a garage, a basement or an enclosed terrace. Measure the space so you can choose the right equipment. Leave some space for exercise or mat activities.

• Keep the room bright. Darkness can affect energy levels. So invest in mirrors and adequate ceiling lighting to make the room inviting. Natural light can make the exercise area more comfortable.

• Look at the flooring. New floors can protect against damage and make an area more conductive for exercise. Rubber mats can compensate for echoes and reduce the noise when running on a treadmill or placing heavy weights.

• Use space-saving devices. A home gym probably isn’t as spacious as the space in a traditional fitness center. Fortunately, many activities don’t require a lot of space or equipment. Classic exercises like squats, lunges, pushups, and sit-ups require little equipment but still produce results. Find out which gear you like best and invest in two or three key pieces. Dumbbells with different weights, a medicine ball, and a yoga mat can be all you need for a versatile and effective workout. A TRX system and door-mounted pull-up bar are also great space-saving options.

• Have a TV connection. A home gym can benefit from a smart TV that allows you to stream exercise videos or catch the latest news while running the treadmill or using the stationary bike.

A home gym is beneficial year round and can be especially valuable when social distancing guidelines are in place.