Like most of America’s families my son Jim’s household has gone through the classic stages of size and role changes that we all endure as we go through life.  As their children grew and began to leave the nest, their parents chose to find new uses for the space that had once been set aside for child use.

My son is a craftsman, one who specializes in carpentry and woodworking.  As such he tends to take pride in do-it-yourself type home improvement projects.  When his oldest son announced that he would be leaving home to attend college, my son saw a unique opportunity to change the layout of his home.  He had always wanted to set aside a special place dedicated exclusively to health and fitness.  So after my grandson disappeared down the highway on his way to his college dorm Jim began converting that former teenager’s room into the new exercise and fitness room for the family.  It would contain at least one treadmill, and exercise machine, a rowing machine, weights, and a stationary bike.  And he saw that it had direct access to a bath where guests could shower and take steam baths to soothe aching muscles.

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In addition to all the fancy exercise equipment, lighting, steam and showers, Jay took advantage of some Groupons currently being offered to provide active wear for his family as well as guests who used the new exercise facilities.  Since you can get 25% off Under Armour athletic wear if purchased before the end of the year, Jim could assure that users of his new exercise room would have the latest and best quality active wear available when doing their regimens.  In addition, Jim went out of his way to see that the room was comfortable and well lit, with TV and music as well.

The result was a little more than he had hoped for.  Now his friends and guests show more interest in using his exercise room than in visiting to watch ball games, or even to party.  His wife has been known to grumble that he might as well have started an athletic club.  But the combination of exercise equipment and active wear has served to keep Jim’s home a focal point of neighborhood activity long after the young ones have gone off on their own.  It is one intelligent and creative strategy a family can use to assure that the home is adapted to the changes that take place as families grow.