We decided to set up our Christmas tree a couple days before Thanksgiving this year, and our usual conversations about where to put it started. The few viable spots for a Christmas tree in our house have been reduced over the years with the location of my office in the Living Room, and since having children has added furniture and toys that take up precious floor space. Keeping some sacred open floor space for me has been a challenge, but I find it critically important for my peace of mind and ability to maintain a fitness routine, especially through the holidays.
The only room to set up our tree is the Family Room, and luckily, I have a good-sized room that allows for a few different furniture arrangements. In addition to the usual stuff (sofa, lounge chair, ottoman, coffee table, etc.), we also have a treadmill. It’s a big, hulking beast; a serious, full-sized piece of equipment and moving it is not easy. This was the one thing I really wanted after having my first child.
A little back story. When I first learned I was pregnant, my husband and I took a trip out to California. We met another married couple in a restaurant that had just had their first baby, and the wife showed us this fabulous ring her husband bought her as a gift for “giving birth.” Sort of like a consolation prize for having endured pregnancy and childbirth. We were…intrigued. My husband turned to me and said, “Baby, would you like a diamond ring as my gift to you for having my child?” And I said, “Darling, I want a treadmill.”
What can I say? Some women like diamonds. I like to be able to chase and play with my kids and wear skinny jeans.
Folding up the treadmill and rendering it useless until after the tree comes down was not an option for me. We found a way. The tree looks great, has plenty of room around it, and I can still use my treadmill.
I’ve managed to keep up a fitness routine by making my house work for me, and allowing opportunities for exercise to exist in it. I had a conversation with fitness guru, Alexandra Williams, regarding this subject recently (follow her on Twitter, she’s hilarious). I asked her for her opinion about whether or not she believed that people are more or less inclined to exercise based on how their house is laid out. You can click here for her answer. She has posted a great podcast, with her sister Kimberly, about this as well with the steps women (and men too) can take to keep the holidays from totally derailing their fitness goals. A lot of this has to do with keeping your home, and its interior design, conducive to a fit lifestyle.
For me, this means treating my treadmill as I would any other piece of important furniture in my room, and keeping it placed in areas where it will get used. If you locate your exercise equipment in your garage, without any climate control (aka air conditioning or heat) and surrounded by stinky, dirty garage stuff, I doubt you will ever use it. Put it in your bedroom, or your family room, or some other room where you can see out your windows, listen to music, or watch TV while you’re on it. The key is don’t hang crap on it and don’t put it away.
The other way I manage to keep exercise possible in my house is by having furniture that’s easy to move. I have two ottomans at the foot of my bed that have casters on the bottom. When I feel like doing a yoga or Pilates video at home, I just shove them against the wall and out of my way.
Who won the tree vs. treadmill kerfuffle? Me, and my health. Cheers to your health, your healthy home, and a very happy and prosperous New Year!