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Living Space: Personal gym brings workout home

June 30, 2011 at 1:30 a.m.

Workout where the weather is always good, and you don't have to wait on equipment -- at home. Positioning exercise equipment by window will keep your interest by providing a view.

By Kathryn Weber

In the quest for health, lack of exercise is often cited as the source of serious health problems like high blood pressure to less worrisome concerns such as those extra few pounds. But no matter the reason for adding more physical activity to your life, making a work out that works for you could be as easy as turning on the TV.

Besides temperature and weather concerns, or the preference not to work out on equipment that too many other sweaty bodies have already shared, a home gym makes a lot of sense. Beginning with a small corner of a room, or devoting a little used room to exercise, finding the space to workout is the first step in creating your personal gym at home.

OUTFIT YOUR SPACE

It's important to find a spot that will support your workout and your interests. If you're on a treadmill or using a machine, such as an elliptical, take a cue from an actual gym, and have a TV set up to keep you occupied on those long rides or walks. Or, if you have a window, position your machine to face the window so you have a view. If either of these aren't possible, add a simple basket of magazines and an MP3 player to help you through the miles.

To keep your footing sure and steady - and comfortable - add snap-together rubber or carpet squares (mygymfloor.com, rubberflooringinc.com). In addition to giving your feet some cushion, they'll provide a sound barrier and help delineate your workout space if you opt for a corner of a room. The tiles come in a variety of styles and colors ranging from wood tone to bright colors and the institutional gray and black, so you can find a style right for your home.

MAINTAIN INTEREST

Consider adding a large stand fan if your workouts are intense. Having good air flow will help keep you cool and your equipment dry. If you're easily bored, it might help to stock a variety of exercise equipment, such as a treadmill, small weightlifting bench, a variety of exercise DVDs and a few light dumbbells. This will give you a chance to change up your activities and keep your interest in exercising.

Having DVDs of exercise that ranges is also a help. Selecting some, such as yoga or tai chi, and then some more-intense aerobic workouts will give you something to do when energy is low or when you have energy to burn. If you run out of workout options, try purchasing wall posters of various exercises to prompt you when you've run out of techniques or exercise ideas.

LITTLE TOUCHES

If you have a dedicated workout room, then a small refrigerator might be a smart purchase to keep protein drinks and water handy. A small shelf tower that fits in a corner can hold towels. Working on a beach body? Hang beautiful beach posters to serve as a reminder and to help keep you motivated. Lastly, a standing wall mirror is a nice touch in a home gym to help your workouts without going to the expense and permanence of wall mirrors.

Kathryn Weber is a home and decorating columnist and publishes the Red Lotus Letter feng shui E-zine. For more information, contact Weber through her website, www.redlotusletter.com.

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