Colin and Justin: Small space, small waist – Toronto Sun

Colin and Justin: Small space, small waist – Toronto Sun

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You don’t need a huge space to make a huge difference to your health at home

Next to interior design, food, sans doute, is our principal passion. To this end, and since arriving home in Toronto for the winter season, we’ve made it our life’s work to bite into the city’s dining firmament, wherever possible.
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This last month, we’ve dined in the sky at Canoe, squeezed into Hole in The Wall at The Junction and chowed down on the city’s best burger at Alo on Spadina.

On our hungry quest to sate, we’ve darkened the yellow door of La Banane, st(e)aked out the menu at Hy’s and wielded chopsticks with ravenous aplomb at Yorkdale’s Yu Seafood which serves, as far as we’re concerned, the city’s best Chinese food.

At the same time, though, we’ve become mindful of, erm, potentially expanding waistlines. And hey, the demanding portraits in our attic insist we remain at our lithe, corporal best.

So it’s either give up the grub and the bevvy… or develop a new exercise regimen. Hmm. We choose the latter. Best of both worlds, huh? That’s how we roll. So our stomachs don’t…

Admittedly, there’s a gym in our condo, but it’s a frustratingly small affair, and overly busy at the best of times. And sardine style workouts don’t appeal to these modest Scottish boys.

To this end, we’ve been researching new home gym equipment so we can bust a sweat in private, and fend of the days of elasticated pants and corsetry for at least the time being.

Space, all things considered, is the pertinent issue. To this end, what we need are smart systems that allow us to flex our muscle without commandeering too much real estate.

Saliently, we’ll think twice before buying, mindful of our last, ahem, ‘investments’. A treadmill, for instance, that proved so clunky we ended up gifting it to a neighbour just to clear space.

And an ill-conceived exercise bike which quickly morphed to become little more than an expensive clothes dryer. We lived, and we learned… albeit un thinned.

To improve spatial balance, we ducked down the Google rabbit hole in pursuit of less cumbersome appliances. First up (at the market’s less expensive end) is the small but perfectly formed ‘One Two Fit’ mini exercise bike.

A portable pedal leg and arm exerciser with a simple LCD display, it’s available from and costs $119.05.

We’re also eyeing a compact step machine: the Motion C2 Mini Indoor Exercise Stepper from Canadian Tire. Priced at a whisper under a hundred bucks, it promises to tone pins and amplify stamina without consuming too much real estate.

At the same time, we’ve been researching ‘smart monitor’ wall mounted strength training systems that tune into Peleton style apps. With pricey initial purchase (and ongoing app charges of around $50 per month) the associated costs, however, are prohibitive.

One such system, ‘Tonal’, costs $3,500 USD (the device isn’t yet available in Canada) and whilst certainly state of the art, the required investment (even with LeBron James as brand ambassador) rules us out, for the time being.

Undefeated, we’ve also been researching the ‘Body By Jake’ Tower 200. Pegged at an eminently more modest $129, the sturdy appliance slots over any door to offer broad system upper and lower body resistance, with an impressive 200-exercise roster.

We recommend bagging the accessory kit for a further $57 (it includes bars, handles and ankle straps) but for a total of $186, you’ll have a great system that stores away easily when not in use. Check out for further info.

All in all, our compact choices promise optimal bodily care. And come on – for each calorie erased, we’ll feel less guilty about calorific indulgence, thereafter.

Result: the perfect recipe for a tightly tailored home, and tightly trimmed waistlines into the bargain. Now where’s that guide to the city’s best restaurants?

And where did we stash our classic Jane Fonda workout videos? Yikes: our lycra is creaking in anticipation…

Watch for Colin and Justin on Cabin Pressure and Great Canadian Cottages (Cottage Life TV) and on Cityline (CityTV). Find the Colin and Justin Collection in stores across Canada. Visit

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