Mom transforms living room into gym

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Staying fit always has been a part of Melissa Bowling's life, but she recently turned her passion for fitness into a family gym.

When Bowling's boys were young, she would tote them to the different gyms in town.

But as they got older, their interest in fitness compelled her to invest in workout equipment for her home.

"It was too expensive for all of us to be members (of a gym)," she said.

"And the hours they were open just didn't work any more."

Bowling began thinking about converting her living room into a home gym.

"We spent more time in the kitchen and our bedrooms, so I didn't think we would really miss it," she said.

She then started collecting gym equipment at yard sales and second-hand stores. By last summer, her living room -- now the gym -- was full.

"The couch is about the only thing left, and it will go if we get any more equipment," she said.

Bowling said each member of the family of four uses the equipment for about an hour a day.

"And so do all the boys' friends," she said.

Bowling said her sons have a group of friends who come nearly every day to use the equipment. She said that, despite having to chase the boys out to make time for her own workout, she is happy that they have something to do.

"The kids are always complaining that there is nothing to do," she said.

"This does keep them busy and focused for a while."

Bowling said she doesn't miss having a living room and enjoys the equipment more.

"My work schedule varies so much that having the availability of a gym at home has made a huge difference in how often I can work out," she said.

"Really, the gym is much easier to keep clean," she said.

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