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                    HOME GYM
AS THE FITNESS AND WELLNESS CRAZE                                                  building your home gym can be easier
continues to sweep across North America,        Ready to commit yourself           and less costly than you think.
we continue to see gyms opening up in                                                 The first and most important rule when
cities and towns throughout the country.         to finally getting off the        building your home gym is to purchase
Depending on your schedule, however,                                               equipment that you actually need and will
joining a gym might not be right for you.
                                               couch when you’re at home?          use. Over the years, there have been a
    As our days become more and more             Then building your own            plethora of all-in-one machines on the
filled with events, obligations, children                                          market, yet they usually cost too much and
and work, there is less time left to do the     home gym may be exactly            are rarely used. Everybody has had a piece
things we need to do for ourselves. The                                            of equipment that ends up collecting dust
mere thought of working or taking care         what you need to shed those         or becoming one heck of a clothing rack.
of the kids all day, then getting in the car                                       They key is in knowing which machines
to drive to the gym at six or seven, mus-       few extra pounds… and it           are necessities and which are not.
tering up the energy to actually have a
decent workout and finally arriving home        might just be easier than          GET YOUR HEART PUMPING
at eight or nine at night might be a little                                        To begin, every home gym needs some
too much for some people.
                                                         you think!                sort of cardiovascular machine. This can
    So what are your alternative options?                                          be a treadmill, an elliptical, a stepper, a
Well, because of the hectic schedules so                                           stationary bike, etc. Regardless of chosen
                                                    By A D A M T H E O D O R O U
many of us face in our go-go-go society,                                           activity, your body knows it’s in motion
there has been an increasing demand for                                            and reacts to the level of output you are
home gyms. Contrary to popular belief,                                             generating with an increased heart rate.

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As long as you use a machine that boosts                                                       with even the most basic set should be
your heart rate to the desired level, a ben-                                                   more than sufficient to facilitate a
eficial workout will be achieved.                                                              response in your muscles. You will also
    There are other factors you can consid-                                                    need an adjustable utility bench to per-
er when choosing a good cardio machine,                                                        form most of your exercises. These can be
however. If you’re someone who suffers                                                         found in all fitness stores and are relative-
from week knees, sore hips or a bad back,                                                      ly inexpensive.
equipment that generates a low amount
of impact (e.g., the elliptical or the step-                                                   HIT THE MAT & HAVE A BALL
per) is a good choice. These machines were                                                     The third and final component of your
designed to decrease impact (the stress an                                                     home gym should be a floor mat and a
activity puts on your joints) while still                                                      stability ball. Much emphasis is put on
raising your heart rate.                                                                       core strengthening today, and for good
    When looking at the cost of various                                                        reason! If everybody did abdominal and
equipment, it’s a good idea to shop                                                            lower back exercises on a regular basis,
around to do some price comparisons.                                                           most back problems would cease to exist.
While researching different products, it’s                                                     Many of us suffer from chronic discom-
important to keep in mind that a seem-                                                         fort in the lower or upper back due to
ingly good deal might not be the best                                                          weak core muscles. These are the muscles
value for your dollar in the long run. The                                                     that are responsible for keeping our bod-
better quality machine you buy, the                                                            ies erect and giving us proper posture.
longer it will last with the least amount of                                                   Without strengthening these, we run in to
problems. I have found that people who                                                         all sorts of problems. Both the floor mat
upgrade to a semi-commercial line prod-                                                        and stability ball open the door to hun-
uct end up paying a little more at the                                                         dreds of different exercises that help
beginning, but have far fewer headaches                                                        strengthen core muscles.
in the long run. You get more bang for                                                             Now that you are set up and ready to
your buck!                                                                                     start working out in the comfort of your
                                                                                               own home, just one problem remains:
A WEIGHTY CHALLENGE                                                                            what to do and how to do it. If you’re
The second thing we need to examine is                                                         someone who is yet to seek professional
your weights. As good as cardio is for pro-                                                    input, this is the perfect time to do it. It’s
moting the ability to burn fat and shake                                                       always a good idea to hire a professional to
off excess pounds, weight bearing exercise                                                     come to your home to design a program
is the only way to increase your lean body mass (LBM).                 specific to your needs and equipment. Not only will this save
    Your lean body mass is composed of muscles, body fluid,            you time in getting the results you want, it will also give you a
connective tissues and bones. It is also directly responsible for      better grasp on what to do and how much to do in order to avoid
the amount of calories you can burn within a given period. For         injuries. Most injuries occur in executing an exercise incorrectly as
example, a person who has a LBM of 150lbs burns far more calo-         opposed to working with too much weight. Your body will also
ries doing the exact same activity in the same amount of time as       respond better to exercising correctly and thus isolating targeted
someone who has a LBM of 100lbs. When we raise our LBM by              areas. You wouldn’t get behind the wheel of a car without driv-
doing weights, we make our bodies more efficient and better            ing lessons, so why would you try to work out without learning
calorie burners.                                                       what to do first?
    When purchasing weights, you will need to buy enough to               Putting together your home gym can save you time and
safely challenge yourself and then some. Having just a little more     money. By investing just a little effort in finding the proper
than you are comfortable lifting in your home gym provides             equipment outlined in this article, you will already be on your
inspiration to continually push yourself towards improvement.          way to getting on the health and wellness train…all in the com-
    Your body has a remarkable ability to adapt to demands that        fort of your own home. Remember to always start slow, ease into
are placed on it. When you start working out, a 15lb dumbbell          any program and good luck as you begin your journey towards
might seem heavy at first. If you stick with a program for a couple    a happier and healthier lifestyle!
months of consistent workouts, you’ll find that 15lbs doesn’t          Theodorou & Associates Personal Training & Wellness Centre is located
feel quite as heavy. Therefore, you will eventually need to increase   at 7050 Woodbine Ave., Suite 104, Markham, Ontario L3R 4G8
the amount of mass you’re working with. This can be achieved           To contact Adam Theodorou, call (905) 771-5000. Adam can also be
by incrementally adding weight to your dumbells. Working out           reached via email at:                                                                                                                      53

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