For this Opelousas family, working out means never leaving the house.
Photo by Robin May
Monica Williams and family are serious about staying healthy. It's why they never have to leave home to make it happen. Upstairs in their Opelousas home is their own escape.
"We have two ellipticals, a StairMaster, a workout bench and an ab machine," Williams says. "We work out with DVDs up there. Use weights. We do some cardio and some strength training."
Williams hits the gym three to five days a week. And always has. An injury last year (broken ankle) may have benched her, but she's now working her way back into the groove. And her husband, orthopedic spine surgeon Ray Williams, doesn't miss a day.
"And the kids use it," Williams says of her three children, ages 13-21, from a previous marriage. She notes that her 21-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son hit the gym for different reasons.
"My daughter is into being skinny," she says with a laugh. "My son plays football so he likes to work out for strength."
She and her husband do both. And with both of them working, there is little time for trips to and from a gym.
"With our schedules ... we work so much that it's not easy to get away and go to the gym. It's a lot easier to walk upstairs and be in the gym. Kids are in sports, and there are long hours of work," she says.
The couple, married for six years, have always had a workout area in their home. And when they made plans to build their new home less than three years ago, the gym was a priority.
"We've always had it but not as much stuff. We've added more," Williams says. It's a choice she's glad they made. "We're happy with the lineup we've got in the gym. We've got the basics you're really going to use."
The family's regular exercise regimen leaves everyone with more energy and an overall healthy feeling. "You have to set yourself up on a routine. Make yourself do it. It's easier to make an excuse to not do it and not get started. When you're home you can set a routine," Williams continues. "For us, it's the evening."
And while Williams does still hit the gym away from home at times, it's great to have someone at home to work out with on a regular basis. "It's easier when you've got a partner," she says.