Where is Your Home Gym?

supercat_gardenerJune 13, 2007

In a an attempt to do something about my ever- decreasing bone mass, I just started working out with a personal trainer. I'm meeting him weekly at his studio, but of course I need to work out on my own at least once, preferably twice a week. So far, I've amassed the following equipment: three sets of dumbbells, (stored under the bed)and a resistance band (easily tucked away wherever). I need to get: a small bench and a stability ball. My 2nd bedroom already serves as a computer room, music room (w/a small keyboard) and an ironing space. Now it looks like I'll need to make it into a home gym as well! Desperate times call for desperate measures so I'm thinking of using the bench for my piano stool. The stability ball can be stashed under the desk when not in use. Utilizing the resistance band is the greatest challenge, as there is absolutely no place to hang or wrap it upstairs. The bottom level of my raised ranch tests slightly over the limit for radon, so I really hate to spend much exercise time there, but there are posts I can use for the band, so I may have to unless I want to take it outside and wrap it around the deck! I also thought I might put in a couple of smallish hooks upstairs so I can use it there.

Has anyone else run into this problem with their small house and if so, what did you do?

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Outdoors: mowing 1/3 acre, weeding - kneeling/up/kneeling/up, lifting bags of dirt, planting :-)

I do have osteopenia, so exercise is necessary.

DH and I go round and round about this as he doesn't like to see me work so hard - HUH??? I love doing it tho it isn't a passion, and I sure can't justify paying someone else to do it and paying to go to a gym at the same time. I will have to join the "Y" for the winter as we have no sidewalks on our intersecting heavily traveled roads and it gets too darn cold with a lot of snow.


Here is a link that might be useful: Osteoporosis and gardening

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 5:14AM
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With a personal trainer you are going to see more requests for exercise equipment. What you are describing is only the beginning of a program. Your'e growth, etc.

Isn't there enough room for the band in your office with other exercise equipment....connected to the closet door or entry door. Oh, just thought I didn't have a door on my office, so that is a problem. But you could also put up the wall a hook to connect it to.

Perhaps get one of those mesh bags used for kids toys. All, even the ball can be put in it. Was glad you posted as I just answered my own question which was being "bounced" around. I'm going to do this and hang it in the office closet...or behind the door.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 8:09AM
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"Outdoors: mowing 1/3 acre, weeding - kneeling/up/kneeling/up, lifting bags of dirt, planting :-)"

wanttoretire ~ I had to laugh when I read your response. When I read the title of the post the same response immediately came to mind. Thanks for the great link. It just proves what I've suspected was the reason for my good health and vitality. Gardening rocks!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 8:42AM
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Hi - another garden athlete here :-)
My only other workout is yoga, and I use the living room as my gym.

I would consider how you are using the space as a whole. If the keyboard is the only musical item, could that perhaps be moved to the living room? I've seen some pretty keyboard stands at Home Decorators Collection.

Do you do a lot of ironing? Would it be possible to do the ironing in the laundry area? Or to get a cabinet ironing board that folds out?

Often you can get your computer and all its peripherals tucked away into one nice cabinet or armoire.

Good luck with your training program!

Here is a link that might be useful: keyboard stands

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 2:37PM
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Thanks everyone...I really appreciate your responses as they've given me some great ideas.

Wantoretire, I do work in the garden but not as much as I could due to my passion for bike riding in the warm weather mos. Unfortunately, bike riding is not weight-bearing exercise. Thanks for the very informative article you provided. Based on that info, I will try to get out there more often this summer.

emagineer, I have both an entry and a closet door in that bedroom, but they're hollow core and rather flimsey. Not that I could do much serious damage to them at this point in my weight-training career, but I wonder how they'd hold up to repeated stress over time. I did think about installing some hooks in there (my personal trainer has some unusual hooks in his studio shaped like people exercising!) and will probably go that route as soon as I figure out how to ensure they stay in the drywall. BTW, I think that any additional equipment will probably be limited to more dumbbells, at least I hope so.

postum, thanks for the link to the keyboard stands. I had no idea that such decorative pieces were available. Finding the space in the living area might be challenging, but it may be worth a try. I've also thought about re-arranging the computer setup so that it takes up less space. This would include making room for the rather large sub-woofer for my speaker system....I love to listen to Internet radio when I'm in there.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 5:15PM
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How about working out outside until you can figure out the best use of your indoor space. A patio or deck would be a good place.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 6:35PM
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I nearly forgot; I DO have a small deck (slaps forehead with palm of hand). My memory has deteriorated along with my bone density. I didn't think of the deck as a possibility until you mentioned it. Thanks mrsmarv

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 9:26PM
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With 2 acres, in the summer I walk behind the lawn mower. In fall I chop wood (3+ cords) In winter I bring in the wood for the woodstove and a couple times a week I shovel the 100 foot driveway. When the snow is over 6 inches deep I use the snowblower. When we had 31 inches last february I was forced to shovel it all. Took most of the afternoon. Here in VT "Chance of accumulation" is anything from 1 to 8 inches. In fall I rake leaves.
At 60 years old I have a personal trainer. MOTHER NATURE! And she also supplies the gym.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 9:52PM
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"The bottom level of my raised ranch tests slightly over the limit for radon, so I really hate to spend much exercise time there[...]"

Have you actually gotten some bids for radon remediation? It might not as expensive as you think to get that fixed and return that space to full usability, and if you are a good DIYer you may be able to do some of the work yourself. Sometimes all you need is a simple exhaust fan!

As for the home gym, well, we eventually got rid of our home equipment and signed DH up with a franchise gym (Planet Fitness) that has very nice facilities close to his office and is only $20 a month, although sometimes they have special discount deals where you can pay as little as $10 a month! He likes to use different kinds of equipment - weight machines, treadmill, arc trainer, elliptical, stairmaster - so he does not get bored or injured, which would cost a big fat wad of cash and take up lots of space. We had a treadmill for a few years, it cost us about $800 on sale and lasted about 5 years before the motor died. It was huge even folded up, and also used a lot of electricity - when we got rid of it we noticed a good-sized drop in the electric bill! He is what is called a "Clydesdale" runner (heavy and slow, but can go on forever) so he needs a high quality treadmill; our first treadmill was cheap, a couple of hundred dollars, and lasted only a couple of months before the platform cracked. We considered buying a used one but you don't get a warranty/service plan - we had to have DH's repaired several times while we had it, thank goodness we had coughed up for the extended warranty! His favorite piece of equipment, the Cybex arc trainer, is over FIVE THOUSAND dollars... he could go to the gym for twenty years for that much! He does not run outside because we do not have a good safe location for doing so - no sidewalks and people drive like loonies on our road - plus the air pollution is just crazy if you exercise on heavily trafficked roads, especially if it is muggy. He used to come home wheezing. Let's not even talk about running miles in the snow or freezing rain, it sucks bad. But if he runs exclusively he gets shin splints and can barely even walk, so it would need to be supplemented with a gym anyway.

A side note you might find interesting... Depending on their height (diameter), you can often use exercise balls as office chairs and you might even want to try using it at the piano if it's tall enough. You use your core muscles to stabilize your upper body and your legs to steady the ball so you can get a surprising isometric workout just sitting at your desk. A strong core will make your weight-bearing exercise easier and more effective. Start with only 15-20 minutes to start because it is more tiring than you might think.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 3:19AM
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I smiled seeing the title of this thread and my first thought was, my gardens, like others of you have said. Even now when the heat and humidity are horrible, I get out early in the mornings and then go out again sometimes in the afternoons.

Carol ~ Thanks for posting that website. Great info there. I really enjoy gardening and hope I'm able to for many years to come.

Supercat ~ I hope you get things worked out for the best for you in your home with exercising space.


    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 11:50AM
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Johnmari, I have not gotten any estimates for radon remediation, although I probably should. Part of the problem is probably the cracks that exist in the cement floor. According to the home inspector, they are caused by "frost heaves" and possibly an improperly poured/prepared floor. BTW, I am most definitely the farthest thing from a DIYer you've ever seen; it's just not one of my talents. You should see the brackets I put up for my drapes; they're all a little off!
I did have a Y membership before starting with the personal trainer because I didn't want to have to buy equipment and thought I'd be more motivated in that atmosphere. But the bathrooms there were grossing me out....rarely cleaned and disgustingly messy. And while I have nothing against kids...honestly, I like them....parents would bring them in and let them run rampant over the gym equipment. I resented having to wait for a treadmill while it was used as a toy.
The trainer has offered to come out to my house to assess how I can better use the space, equipment-wise. He did this for my friend, but she had a lot more house to work with. I think he's in for a challenge with my place.
(I WILL try using the stability ball as a piano stool).

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 8:28PM
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We currently have a third bedroom that we use as our home gym, which works fine -- we've got an exercise bike, treadmill, and very large weight machine crammed in there. Eventually, we're thinking of finishing our garage (i.e. putting in insulation, and drywall), and moving the equipment out there. It's feasible for us, since we live in SoCal, and can easily leave our cars outside.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 6:24PM
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Well, I ended up marrying my personal trainer 3-1/2 years ago ... and then we both decided we prefer eating Mexican food and drinking margaritas to working out, so we've both gotten out of shape. I recently revamped our spare bedroom, which houses our elliptical trainer and weights. It also serves as a guest room, with a daybed. I wanted a tropical theme to inspire me to workout harder to be swimsuit-ready for our vacations at the beach.

This pic shows the room as it was still in progress (we hadn't yet gotten around to hanging the lamp, obviously!):

And here's the other side of the room:

It's a very small space, but adequate for sweating, which is what counts I guess. ;-)

    Bookmark   July 1, 2007 at 2:53PM
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In the garage............

    Bookmark   July 1, 2007 at 4:26PM
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auntjen, your 2nd bedroom looks similar to mine, which is only about 9x11. Good thing sweat doesn't require much space!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2007 at 11:37AM
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Posted this yesterday, but it didn't go through, I guess. (probably operator error...lol) Anyway, I have my home gym in the basement, which also had radon when we looked at this house. The sellers had to do remediation, which consisted of sealing floor cracks and installing a "French fan" that (almost silently) pulls air from the basement constantly. The piping has to go outside and above the highest point on your house. I think they paid about $1000, but it's worth it if you can do it...it will give you another area of your house back. We would be seriously short of space without it. We got married and moved two houses of 'stuff' together...the basement area still has lots of things neither of us could part with...and we have parted with a LOT! Of course, I still have some of my weights and my stability ball floating around upstairs depending on season and latest level of commitment to exercise. Good luck with your trainer!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2007 at 2:44PM
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I am a trainer specializing in medical issues such as yours among others. All the activities mentioned are wonderful forms of exercise, but it is crucial to incorporate weight-bearing and compression exercises to prevent further bone loss, and even reverse some of what has already occured.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 6:09PM
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Hopesprings...you have me thinking about maybe sealing the cracks in the basement floor and finishing one side of my basement to make room for my home gym. I have a contractor coming out 7/20 to do some other work...think I'll ask for a rough estimate.
pattiem93, that's my understanding as well. I garden and bike, but my Dr. has reminded me that cycling is not weight-bearing exercise and gardening is also not very efficient in that area. It would be wonderful if I could reverse some of the decrease in bone mass I've already experienced, but I'll settle for halting any further deterioration if it can be done through weight-training.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 1:20PM
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It's that oblong shaped thing in the middle of the bedroom with all the pillows and comforters on it. (Requires a personal trainer to operate.)

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 9:25AM
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sigh, mine is in the diing room which is off the living room, my eliptical runner faces the TV, i have some weights hidden in the wall unit, and my tae-bo videos. i wish they would make an elliptical runner with oak trim at least it would match the dining room set. one day when the basement is finished i will put it down there. if you are honoustly going to work out everyday put it somewhere exessable, if you have unfold and dig stuff out eventually you will get tired of doing that and stop. GOOD LUCK!!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2007 at 12:23PM
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Couldn't resist updating this thread :-/ The area of exercise has moved to the driveway and walkways, behind a snowblower, 4 TIMES LAST WEEK, and now again as soon as it gets light.......I don't know where it's all going to go soon. My snowblower only shoots so high. Hope this last batch is a little lighter than the last one.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 5:12AM
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My 'home gym' (one pretty good treadmill) is jammed into my 'laundry room' (one tiny space with a tight W/D nook, a baby crib mattress for my husky, a bookcase and about 2 sq' of leftover space to enter/exit the place. I must move stuff off the t-mill to use it, and do so when the dog's out as there's no room to put the stuff otherwise, but need it on the t-mill to keep the dog off the belt. Then again he provides exercise (walks) when it's not icy/snowy/cold outside!

    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 6:34AM
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Wantoretire ~ Your exercise is different than mine at this time of year. Just don't do too much, if you know what I mean. How heavy is a snowblower?

Yesterday it was pretty dang warm down here and I was sweating while I worked outside, up and down a ladder with my hand clippers trimming the inside of our front hedgerow. I started getting tired and 'tripping over a blade of grass' as DH laughingly said yesterday. That was almost the truth. I finished up what I was doing and came inside. I was hungry too and no wonder it was almost noon. I had been at it since 8. I need to mow, and there is more trimming around the property to do, but that will be another day. Down here it's never ending, a 365 day a year possibility of working in gardens.

This morning it is COLD here, so I was racing around before leaving for work, covering a couple of garden areas because it is supposed to go down into the 30's tonight and feel like it's in the 20's. I did bring orchids and some other things indoors, some which are in the shower. : -)

Gardening is really great exercise and even though it does wear me out at times I love it. The rewards are great!

Happy gardening/exercising.


    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 12:30PM
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My gym is outside. On the advice of a Physical Therapist, my only exercise is walking, and I do plenty of it. I actually go crazy (stir-crazy) if I can't get outside.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 10:49PM
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I was surprised to see this thread coming alive again...I'll add my own update:
I'm still meeting weekly with the personal trainer, but am not doing anything inside my house other than free weights. Although it's winter, I've been getting down to the beach aprox. weekly for a good, long walk. I'm also riding my road bike...did a 19 mile ride yesterday. And snow shoveling is definitely on the agenda as necessary. So basically, I'm trying to fit in as much exercise outside of the house as possible.
There's a nice ranch for sale in my neighborhood and one of the attractions is a finished basement with plenty of space for a home gym. However, I have a few issues with the location that will probably stop me from actually buying it.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 9:35AM
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Don't ya'll have basements?

That's where ours is; boxing rink, weight machine, NordicTrac, treadmill, Spinner bike.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 6:50PM
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