Home Bodies: Bringing the gym home

Trying to stay fit, but struggling to find time to go to the gym? Problem solved: bring the gym home to you.

How often do you find yourself watching an infomercial on television for a fitness product while you’re grabbing a quick snack? You stop, you watch and you reminisce about when you looked that fit. You catch yourself saying things like, “My body looked that good before the kids, before the career, before…” Your next thought is, “If only it were that simple. If only I had the energy or the time?” Most of us are not as fit as we would like to be. If you struggle with finding the time to get to the gym, why not simply bring the gym to you?

Keeping fit is more than just about looking good

When we make exercise a part of our daily rituals, our minds become sharper, our bodies are healthier, and we have more energy. Who among us could not benefit from having a little more energy and a sharper mind?

Working out at home is easier than you think

You simply need to design and decorate for a hard body.

  • Figure out the type of exercise you prefer doing: weights, running, yoga, Pilates, etc.
  • Decide when you are going to slot in the time to workout. If you are one of those “morning people” then perhaps getting up half an hour early, before the rest of the family rises, to do yoga will be most convenient. If you’re a “night owl” plan to do a late evening Pilates workout, or half an hour on the exercise bike while you watch your favorite soap.
  • Design a workout break that fits into your schedule and lifestyle best – one that you will be able to adhere to on a regular basis and one that you will enjoy.
  • Sacrificing half an hour at the beginning, middle or end of your day will reward you with more energy and you will no doubt make up that time with the increased energy you will gain from working out!

Your next job is to design the gym area. Don’t panic! A gym can fit anywhere.

  • My favourite spot to stretch is in the upstairs hallway in front of the mirrored doors on my linen closet. The light is great up there and the atmosphere peaceful.
  • Mirrors are a good addition to a workout area – we need to keep an eye on our progress. Disguise a workout mirror as a lovely framed wall mirror.
  • My husband enjoys 20 minutes on the exercise bike before work in the morning. The bike sits in  the kitchen looking out onto the River Valley. In the summer, move a stationary bike out onto the patio (cover it with a barbecue cover when not in use).
  • There are also many “fold away” gyms on the market today. These beautiful armoires open to reveal a treadmill or bike inside and can look great in a bedroom or a dining room.

Motivating extras

Music is a great motivator, so plan your workout space so that you have access to music, or a television set where you can watch MTV (all those gorgeous fit singers are great motivators) or where you can plug in your workout videos. Even if your “gym” only takes up a corner of your office, you can mount a ceiling bracket for a small TV or stereo.

Think colour

Red is for high-energy workouts such as weights or aerobics. Soothing blues and violets are ideal for yoga. You don’t have to paint the entire room, but you can add colourful floor mats and wall art that will introduce the appropriate workout colour.

Don’t forget scents

Scents can also help motivate you to workout – think calming jasmine for yoga and citrus for energizing.

Cheap, convenient and private

Working out at home makes it much more convenient for me to get my workout in everyday. It also saves me money on gym memberships as well as gas and parking to get there, not to mention the privacy and comfort. If you still need a little motivation, call the gym and ask for a list of personal trainers who will come to your home.

We should look as well designed as our rooms do. Design your life and rooms to include regular fitness. Half an hour 3-5 times a week is all that it takes to look great and feel better.

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