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Fitness at home

Abhilasha Ojha | September 27, 2003

A hi-flying corporate career could also mean endless hours of hard work in front of the computer with little or no time left to exercise.

Does that mean bidding adieu to your favourite gym only because you cannot find the time to flex those muscles and trim your body?

We don't think so. Here's a ready reckoner for anyone who wants the luxury of the neighbourhood gym in their own residence.

For a start, remember you will probably need a personal trainer -- at least to begin with.

Says Ranvir Chauhan, personal gym instructor to Lalit Khaitan, chairman, Radico, and his family, "Even if a person has been to a gym for a long time, it takes time to get used to the new equipment that is installed at home."

He adds, "The instructor should keep coming home till the time the person is comfortable and knows how to manage the fitness routine."

But what should your exercise routine be like? Most fitness trainers feel that an ideal exercise routine should be a combination of warm-up exercises combined with cardio-vascular exercises and finally weights that assist in toning up the muscles.

That's one reason why people setting up a personal gym ideally go in for a tread-mill and a multi-purpose home gym.

A tread-mill is usually preferred by most people as it is easily the best fitness equipment that assists in cardio-vascular exercises.

You can jog, do brisk walks and even time yourself and calculate the miles done on a daily basis. A tread-mill can cost anywhere between Rs 12,500 and Rs 150,000.

But if you don't mind spending half a million on a tread-mill, check out the one at Delhi-based Grand Slam, a company that not only distributes health and fitness equipment but has also helped a lot of corporate offices and individuals to set up their gyms.

This fancy piece of equipment has a book-holder, a water-bottle holder, pulse censors, an emergency key that automatically stops the machine and a cushioned walking platform -- remember a soft surface is considered best for walking or jogging -- and it also has a television monitor.

So while the fitness freak in you is doing cardio-vascular exercises you can also surf different channels.

One really doesn't need too much space to install a personal gym at home -- around 200 sq ft of space is usually recommended by most of the professionals who help to set up home gyms.

Anil Nagpal, for instance has installed a multi-purpose home gym at his residence. A businessman by profession he and his brother have a hectic lifestyle that gives them little or no time to go to the neighbourhood gym.

"The multi-exercise home gym," he says, "offers over 20 weight training exercises in one workstation."

Both he and his brother Gaurav Nagpal wanted to concentrate on toning each and every muscle in their body and this equipment offered a variety of actions to take care of not just biceps and triceps but also leg exercises, chest, abdomen and the back. At Rs 12,500, Anil Nagpal feels it's hardly a price to pay to stay fit.

Samarjeet Malik, owner of Nova, a tyres and tubes company, has other plans however.

He will soon be turning one room into a home gym complete with parquet flooring -- usually recommeded for gyms -- with mirrors installed on all sides and will thereafter add a tread-mill along with a multi-exercise home gym and light weights that he has at present.

Raman Sood of Grand Slam explains that usually the cost of setting up a home gym is anywhere between Rs 60,000 to 100,000.

However, there are people who walk into his shop and ask him to set up a home gym worth Rs 150,000 to Rs 20 lakh (Rs 2 million).

"It all depends on how serious a person is and how much one is willing to spend on the fitness equipment."

At places like Grand Slam and Leisure and Lifestyle, another fitness equipment store, people can simply walk in, choose and speak with the executives to assist them in setting up a home gym.

Generally a home gym can be installed within a few hours but depending on the number of equipment and the renovation involved it can even take 15 to 20 days.

While a tread-mill or simply a multi-exercise home gym can be the favourite of a majority of individuals, Chauhan says, "A cross-trainer machine -- a bicycle-like machine -- can be extremely beneficial for those who want to combine the movements of both, arms and legs. This is also a must for those who want to lose excess body fat."

A good cross-trainer machine costs anywhere between Rs 20,000 and Rs 36,000.

Another equipment in this category is an exercise bike, which is used to tone the muscles and burn unwanted calories.

"A cross-trainer requires a person to stand in an upright posture which can be tedious for those who have a back problem. For those people who have such physical problems yet want to lose excess calories, an exercise bike is an excellent option," says Sood.

Horizon Fitness, a fitness equipment manufacturer from the US has in fact recently launched an exercise bike, priced at Rs 36,900 that is helpful even for arthritis patients.

The technology incorporates a cushioning system that protects the user's joints and knees besides allowing the user to adjust the handle-bars and the seat height to ensure correct exercising positions while providing comfortable back support.

With so many options available for a home gym, clearly there's no excuse now for missing out on those much-needed work-outs.

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