A note from the author: Coronavirus halted the publication of this book by four months. While it was ready to publish in March, and definitely needed, making your home healthier is even more relevant now that we know our homes are where we will be until further notice.
Many of us are reluctant to have tradespeople in our living spaces now, especially if there are vulnerable residents or if they’ll disrupt work from home or distance learning.
You can still create a fitness area in your existing rooms. I did that with a yoga mat, rolling the ottoman to one side of the living room to hold a laptop for Zoom workouts, and free weights tucked into a corner when they’re not in use for Kilimanjaro training.
I wasn’t always good at taking care of myself. When my marriage crumbled, I was 48, obese and sedentary. I knew that had to change or I’d have a heart attack or stroke. In journeying from couch potato to training for a Kilimanjaro trek for my 60th birthday this December, I learned some lessons about fitness. After winning a Spartan Race entry, I learned that training and fueling myself for athletic events was much more engaging (especially for someone always chosen last for any school team).
I also discovered that my home could support (or sabotage) my health goals, from making my kitchen more meal-prep friendly to optimizing my bedroom for quality sleep to adding a handheld massaging showerhead to my bathroom for post-trail bliss. My South Bay townhouse (aka Chez J) became my “secret weapon” in my well-being.
The following is an adapted excerpt from my new book, “Wellness by Design: A Room-by-Room Guide to Optimizing Your Home for Health, Fitness and Happiness,” sharing some of what I have learned.
You want to start an exercise program, but most gyms are still closed and you may be living with multiple family members while they work or participate in remote school. You still have options, many of them home-friendly. The first step is to decide what type of workouts make sense for you and what is involved. And definitely talk to your physician before starting any new workout program.
Your ability and motivation to get started are factors, but so are time, space, and financial commitments. If you’re looking at getting into strength training, for example, you’re going to need instruction on how to use the equipment safely (ideally with a certified personal trainer), space for a bench and weights, money to buy the gear, and time to train on it.
If spinning is more your style, you’ll need the right bike and room to use it. The models that come with built-in training programs…