Use Window Dressings That Encourage Outdoor Ventures.
It’s motivating to see so many people pushing themselves through exercise regimens. Driven to stay in shape for a host of reasons, what does it matter? As long as one can burn 500 to 800 calories a day, at least thrice a week, is a terrific plan, seeing as our lives are becoming more and more sedentary. As for me, it’s a whole new lifestyle – recently married, I’ve been confronted with a manic fitness schedule. My husband is a fitness freak, fiendishly regimented, wanting to break the obesity gene – his mother was obese, had always been obese, till she died of a massive cardiac arrest a few years ago, aged 48.
Obesity is a disease not to be taken lightly. The Body mass index (BMI) – a reliable indicator of excess body fat for most children, adolescents, and adults – is used to classify someone as underweight, at a healthy weight, overweight, or obese. In the US alone, obesity rates have more than doubled in adults and children since the 1970’s (National Center for Health Statistics, 2009). While recent estimates suggest that the overall rates of obesity have plateaued or even declined among some groups, obesity is widespread and continues to be a leading public health problem in the U.S. (Ogden et al., 2014; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2012; Wen et al., 2012).
It is important to find interests that take you outside the comfort zone that is a home – it’s so easy to veg out in front of the TV after a hard day’s work, or in front of the Xbox. But if you have a gym subscription, you’re forced to get out for exercise! One sure driver is when something costs you on a regular basis, you’re sure not going to waste it. If you have a treadmill or cross-trainer at home, chances are that it will catch dust in the basement!
Having come to Tucson for work (Gary is an accountant in a hotel downtown), we fell in love with Marana. More so because everyone here seems so brown, trim and fit; large numbers of people cycle to work, go jogging, hiking, and swimming. The weather is also conducive to outdoor activity though if one is not careful, one can get sunstroke! A cross country runner, the mood of the place captivated Gary; we decided to invest in a little place and make Marana our home. And the thing about Tucson – most people have homes that have huge windows and patio doors; everyone seems to have a patio leading to a backyard, and all seem to love outdoor parties, games, and barbeques. And though we were close to Phoenix, it’s not as hot here as it is there.
The angst of the city struck a chord with us; Gary also believes that houses with large windows give people an animated view of the outdoors that encourage them to be part and parcel of the environs; and it also motivates people to indulge in outdoor activities that improve fitness. And really, the architectural philosophy that makes for the inclusion of plate glass windows is just that! And while Gary would have been happy to keep the lightly tinted patio doors uncovered, I just wasn’t having it. Anyway, once he’s home, the doors are kept open for as long as possible, up till he gets back from his evening jog in the Heritage Park – it’s down the stairs and the short corridor that lead to the patio doors, into the backyard and out the gate!
Vertical Blinds vs. Roller Shades.
But I’m all for saving the planet – I believe that energy considerations are a responsibility not to be taken lightly, not least because one also ends up paying out huge amounts in utilities. Besides, the home just doesn’t have a finished look with bare glass doors and windows. I did all my research online and discovered that I don’t have to go looking from shop to shop – it was all there at the click of a button. And with seemingly infinite choices for patio doors, not just the vertical window blinds I was considering for them! Drapes were out! I realize that having shades attached within the frames of the glass panels is the most efficient way to conserve energy, or provide insulation.
The options were many – there were the mystical sliding panels, vertical wooden blinds, vertical sheer shading, and vertical cellular shades hat looked really cool! But I was endlessly seduced by the Roller Solar Shades and Roman Shades that I could have attached close to the patio door glass. But finally, in deference to Gary’s love of the outdoor view, I decided on the 14% LightWeaves Solar Shades from Graber with a color coordinated cassette valance that would add finesse to the whole system – four panels to fit the patio swing doors in a Pearl White that would serve to reflect the sunlight and its UV rays perfectly to create really cool interiors, and since the weave wasn’t so tight, it would also make for an excellent view of the outdoor when rolled down the glass. I couldn’t be more pleased with my choice as I got some stunning discounts from an online retailer called Zebrablinds, and no cost for installation as it was all DIY.
So, next weekend, on Gary’s birthday, I will have outfitted the patio doors with wonderful Solar Roller shades that preserved the panoramic view and begun on energy savings that would thrill his accountant’s heart! It’s also one step at a time, as the balcony doors upstairs need the same covering!