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Reinvent the Living Room – The Fit Living Room

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Traditionally, the living room has been a place of rest and relaxation. It was intended to be a  place to entertain guests and meet with friends and family. When television came along, that became the center of the living room and in most cases the center of the home. We’ve refined and advanced the art of leisure and comfort, making the living room a place that is bound to make us fat.

When most work was physically demanding, living rooms needed to be places of comfort. Rest and relaxation were the right treatment for physical exhaustion and sore muscles.  But for the average office worker, lack of physical exercise after the work day is done, just makes things worse.

The living room needs to change to meet the needs of a modern office worker. A person needs tools that promote movement and physical exertion.

Years ago,  I convinced my wife that we needed to put a treadmill in the living room. She rejected the idea at first as it would clash with her image of what a living room should look like. But I persisted and, her being a person who also needed tools to exercise,  she finally conceded. We have a big living room and while the treadmill was noticeable, the rest of the living room was traditional.

Over the years, I brought in more pieces of exercise equipment. A few small dumbbells were tucked discreetly in a corner. I was able to fit an exercise mat under the couch to be pulled out as needed. A medicine ball soon shared the same corner with the dumbbells. I brought in a small exercise bench that I claimed could be brought to the basement when guests came over.

Just last year, I was pleasantly surprised when my wife suggested we push a stationary bike in the living room as well. She explained that we could get rid of the recliner which neither of us used anyway.

We still have a couch and love-seat so our living room is still a place where we can relax and watch TV. More often, we each use either the treadmill or bike while winding down from work. Exercise has become our new form of rest.

While we’ve succeeded in making our living room a place of fitness, I’m saddened that most of the other living rooms I’ve visited are wasted opportunities. When we first started putting exercise equipment in our living room, we felt like we were a little crazy. Now I’ve come to realize that it is the rest of the world that is crazy.

There a saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Our society has new problems so we have to rethink how we do things and how to structure our lives to deal with these new problems. Except for the radio or the TV, the living room concept has not changed in centuries.

We need to reinvent the living room as a place of fitness.We need to stop squeezing our exercise equipment into basements, laundry rooms, garages and embrace the reality of our modern condition. Wouldn’t it be better to put the recliner in the out-of-the-way space rather than the exercise equipment?

I want to start a new trend – the fit living room. If it catches on, perhaps furniture and home goods designers will come up with new ideas. Perhaps they can design a coffee table that can store weights or a couch on wheels that can be moved to the side. At the very least, I’d like for exercise equipment in the living room to be consider normal and socially accepted.

 

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Written by Tim ThinkAuthor

February 13, 2014 at 11:32 pm