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Sunday, December 4, 2022

Working (Out) at Home

In 2008, when Cindy Nevins and her husband, Howard, moved from Newburgh’s Victoria Manor to Boonville, one of their house-hunting priorities was space for a home gym — a longtime staple in their residences. Two elliptical machines, a treadmill, a stationary bike, and plenty of weightlifting equipment fill a window-lined space in the family’s rural Warrick County home. Joining the setup is a Pilates reformer, which uses pulleys and springs to create resistance in exercises that aid core strength and flexibility.

The Nevinses and their two adult daughters, Breann Ellis and Courtney TenBarge, are “all into running,” Cindy says. This January, she’ll travel to Orlando, Fla., to run her first half-marathon, the Walt Disney World Half Marathon, with TenBarge.

The experience will be all the more significant after Cindy’s breast cancer diagnosis in 2007. “I always was into exercise,” she says. “It just made me more vigilant and aware that you need to keep going.”

Family Fitness Suite

When Dr. David and Doris Kim moved into their East Side home, the brick-floored, dark-paneled basement was “very rustic,” Doris recalls, “almost Byzantine.” The couple spent a year transforming the space into a family entertainment hub with a bar, a pool table, a home theater area, and a gym.

The gym occupies a space the Kims debated using as a home theater or a fitness room, but “we thought looking after our health was more of a priority,” Doris says. A treadmill, a Cybex recumbent bike, a weight machine, and a bench with free weights custom selected by Gilles Cycling and Fitness fill the room. With an adjacent dry sauna and a spa-worthy bathroom with marble floors and counters, the space totals approximately 700 square feet.

The couple designed the gym around their workout preferences. David, a radiation oncologist, enjoys running and lifting weights. A former competitive swimmer and tennis player, he’s “an all-around athletic guy,” says Doris, who prefers the stationary bike and Universal weight machine. With its wrap-around mirrored walls and ample floor space, the gym also is a haven for the Kims’ three daughters, ages 10, 5, and 3, who love to dance. “We pump up the music,” Doris says, “and they just go wild.”[pagebreak]

Relaxation Room

The previous owners used the space above the garage as a home gym, and the long mirror left new homeowner Debra Talley with little recourse when planning the room’s use. (Evansville Living featured the home in “Regal Redux,” January/February 2002.) But Talley has never been one to pump iron. A yoga, meditation, and ballet enthusiast, she kept the room rather empty except for two eight-foot Oscar statues, leftover props from an Academy Awards party she once hosted.

As an Evansville Dance Theatre board member, Talley holds weekly classes for other adults with a ballet hobby. The athletic activity keeps Talley in shape; plus, “it also is very relaxing,” she says.

Inspired by a luxury spa treatment she had with her daughter at a Mexican resort, Talley brought crystal bowl sound therapy to her home. The resonating sounds from mallets tapping against crystal bowls provide a sense of relaxation. Talley is a believer, and she bought a CD with the soothing sounds. The skylight offers tranquility, Talley says. “It’s just a relaxing place to go,” she says, “without all the outside noise to distract me.”

Mom Cave

Her husband and son may have claimed the home theater room as their “man cave,” but Kirsten Wagmeister has staked out her own “mom cave” in the family’s Victoria Manor home. Toile window treatments add a feminine touch to a functional space that’s home to a treadmill, TV, and armoire that holds files and gift-wrapping supplies.

Every morning after her children leave for school, Wagmeister hits the treadmill. She admits that running isn’t a lifelong love. Instead, she committed to exercise the year she turned 40, telling herself, “OK, girlfriend, you have to take charge of your heart health.”

Wagmeister’s husband, Dr. Lee Wagmeister, is a cardiothoracic surgeon who touts the benefits of exercise. A further motivator is her family history: At age 35, Wagmeister’s brother almost died from heart problems. It took her six months, she says, to be able to comfortably run a couple of miles. But what once seemed a daunting challenge now is part of her daily routine. “If I don’t get moving,” Wagmeister says, “I have no one to blame but myself.”

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