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Gear Up Your Garage for Weight Loss

garageWhen you set out on a weight loss journey you need to survey your home almost as if you were a homebuyer going through a house assessing its strengths and weaknesses. You must evaluate each room with a critical eye, discerning how well it meets your needs.

In terms of creating a healthy lifestyle, you want every part of your home to reflect your values.

Of course, when we’re talking about weight loss, the kitchen is your first line of defense. The pantry (“Pantry Purge” and “The Proactive Pantry”), the fridge (“Refrigerator Rehab” and “Refrigerator Reset”), and the freezer (“Franken-Freezer” and “Frozen is Fabulous”) all play critical roles in supporting a food “safe haven,” where only good choices can be made. And as we saw in “The Oxygen Room,” having space dedicated to fitness at home makes fitting in exercise (nearly) excuse-proof.

The final frontier of healthy living space is your garage. I know, it’s a mess out there. So’s mine. Every time I hit the garage door opener I recall those classic sit-com scenes when somebody opens a closet door and all the contents come crashing down. I’m less concerned about garage organization, more interested in the fitness equipment you’ve got stored out there.

As a baseline, let’s take a look at what’s in mine (besides old paint cans and duct tape, that is):

My pride and joy is my bike. I took up cycling after knee surgery curtailed my running pursuits and I have never looked back. As much as I love cycling though, it’s a sport with a high cost of entry. When I bought my bike a couple of years ago it cost more than my car was worth – which really isn’t saying much since I was driving a 13 year-old minivan at the time, but still. Bikes are expensive; fortunately, cycling enthusiasts are always buying something new which means their hand-me-downs are available at sources such as craigslist and

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We have more than a few racquets in our garage (tennis, badminton, racquetball) and all the balls that complement those racquets, though admittedly we’re not much of a racquet sports family.

Mostly because I am the mother of four children, my garage is filled with baseballs, basketballs and soccer balls in every size, shape and color imaginable. Less so now, but when my kids were younger all of this stuff (and the pads, helmets and other related equipment) was rattling around in the back of that minivan, too.

Like most families, we have roller blades and ice skates in many sizes in various bins, as well as Frisbees, kites, lawn darts, bocce balls and a croquet set. To be perfectly honest, much of that is collecting dust.

Though not in our garage, many families have invested in ski equipment, kayaks and water skis. Albeit not strictly exercise equipment, lots of families also have camping gear in their garages as part of their active lifestyle.

The point of all this is to do more than just create an inventory of stuff competing with my car for floor space. The point is really to reveal the potential for great family activities that you can find right in your own backyard … er, garage.

A guiding principle in my new healthy life is “if I can move, I will move.” Exercise should be more than just slogging away on cardio machines at the gym. For fitness to become an integral part of your life, it must be fun, engaging, challenging, and accessible. Your garage is the launching pad for that active lifestyle.

The sun is shining, my friends!

Let’s take advantage of the warmer weather and dust off that gear we’ve got stowed away out in the garage, and maybe even invest in something new this year. Who knows, if you play your cardios right (sorry, bad pun) you might even get hooked on fitness without realizing it!

Losing weight is hard, but it gets easier when you gear up your garage for healthy activity. And you’re so damn worth it!

Let’s go get it!

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