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Pumping up at home

No gym is no excuse to avoid getting fit

Jennifer McPhee
Northern News Services

Iglulik (Aug 26/02) - Bobby Foster's friends call him constantly wanting to come over.

Although the Iqaluit resident is a likable chap, that's not why they're so eager to visit.

They want to use his well-stocked home gym. Joining a gym in the North is often expensive and many remote communities don't even have one.

Foster owns a couple of benches, an exercise bike, lap machine, about six dumbbells and 250 pounds of plates. He keeps his equipment "in my living room, hallway, laundry room."

A single dad, Foster often waits till his daughter goes to bed before working out.

"Normally when she goes to bed I start moving the furniture around so I can work out."

He bought some of his equipment in Ottawa and then acquired the rest over his years in the North.

"Just cause there's really not much up here," he says.

Foster started an inexpensive gym, open to the public, at Arctic College when he lived in Rankin Inlet.

He says the equipment a person buys should depend on their goals.

"If you are just looking to lose weight, I'd say buy a treadmill at home."

"If you are looking to build muscle mass, you could buy one of those combination gyms in the south."

They are fairly inexpensive, he says. "You can get it sent by sealift -- it's the cheapest way."

Foster says he has not always worked out.

After his separation and subsequent divorce, he dropped 45 pounds. It was then he started getting in shape.

Putting himself back on the market?

"Basically," he says laughing.

Equipment easy on the knees

Iglulik RCMP officer Const. Rod Rudiak also exercises at home using a stair glider.

"I mainly bought it for the reason that you can't jog year round up here," he says.

He recommends the stair glider because it's low impact.

"A simple treadmill is hard on the knees, all the pounding in one spot," he says.

"This is more of a rotation motion as explained to me by the salesman. He was a very good salesman."

Rudiak also lifts weights at the detachment gym. "I'm a believer in the saying healthy body, healthy mind. And since I work shift work I always find when my body's in shape, I'm more awake and alert."