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Essential for family fitness, home gyms let you “sneak some extra in”

by Sarah on October 18, 2010

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When it comes to family fitness, home gyms can be key


After the birth of my first child, we went treadmill shopping.  I gritted my teeth, hating the idea of pounding away indoors while the outdoors beckoned.  And I didn’t like the idea of shelling out over $1000 either.


         But that treadmill has been the best thing ever!


See, while family fitness together hinges on finding ways to have fun and be active together as a family – from sit ups with your wee one to bike rides with big kids – as an adult sometimes you need to get a little extra workout in.


And truth be told, it’s not necessarily because kids have less physical capacity than adults – quite the opposite.  I’m always amused by a story I heard years ago of a NFL football player trying to keep up with a toddler for a full day.  Believe me, this highly trained professional athlete was ready for naptime when it came.


Just watch your little ones.  When mine were little they were constantly moving – annoyingly so (“Would you just sit still for a minute!”)


As adults, we get very sedentary.  No jumping down steps just because it looks fun.  No squeezing in a few pirouettes as we go down the hall.  No drumming our feet against the toilet bowl as we sit on the potty.  And we certainly don’t watch the tv as we flip and roll around on the couch like a seal at Sea World.


Our kids are usually way ahead of us when it comes to activity.  So we need to supplement our family activity with some extra oomphs. 


But that doesn’t mean that you need to do a huge chunk of running for an hour.  And it certainly shouldn’t require you to schlep everyone over to the gym.  That can add up to at least a couple hours out of your day, not to mention money out of your pocket.


Instead invest in some equipment that makes it easy for you to sneak in a little here and there.


Two essential components for family fitness – home gym equipment recommendations: 


  1. Some way to get some cardiovascular in – a treadmill, elliptical or exercise bike. 


A short fifteen minutes of interval sprints on the treadmill will keep you in fine shape if combined with the other family activities. 


  1. Weights – either free or a machine – for strength training.


As I explain over and over again, strength training is essential for preventing injuries and helping your other fitness activities count that much more.    I often squeeze in a few leg sets between writing stints these days.  Or do a few squats before a game of tag.  And you can do curls while watching tv.


These are two of the basics but there are plenty of other items – from exercise balls to videos – that can make your home a place ready for action.  You can read my reviews and recommendations here.


The point is to set up your home so you can sneak a few minutes in here and there – whenever you have a spare moment (which I know can be rare).  But this is at least so much easier than, like I said, packing everyone in the car and going to the gym.   Bring some of the essentials for fitness home, gym be darned.  And get more exercise in.

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