The following is a guest post by Mark J. Stables, founder of Benchmark Group and Movement Haus. Benchmark Group is a team of health and fitness pros dedicated to providing a full range of in-home coaching and consulting services. Their project, Movement Haus, provides “functional design” solutions for today’s urban condominium fitness amenity. Mark is a fitness and wellness expert with over 15 years of experience in the industry and a passion for architecture and design.

Each January, millions of Canadians embark on a resolution campaign, promising they’ll shelve the Doritos, opting instead for a healthy apple and to move more by taking the stairs instead of an elevator.

A very select few Canadians will shift their health habits permanently, eating well and exercising for the rest of their lives. For others hoping to become more attractive to the opposite sex and complete an Ironman in 2012, maybe a single workout will signal the beginning and end of their health goals this New Year.Fortunately, achieving health and fitness goals in 2012 is easier for Canadians living in condominiums that house a fitness amenity. Today’s competitive marketplace and health-conscious purchasers demand the very best in condominium amenities. One amenity that continues to shine in the spotlight and receive the most use (especially in January) is the gym.

But imagine taking the elevator to your condo’s new gym and discovering the only available treadmill has an out of order sign on it. The equipment hasn’t been delivered or worse, the room hasn’t even opened. All of those drinks you had at the bar on New Year’s Eve while you discussed your resolutions to look like a Men’s Health or Shape magazine cover model by spring, don’t even begin to measure up to the dose of reality you feel now.

Can you imagine paying hundreds of dollars in maintenance fees each month for access to your condos fitness amenity and then learning that it’s not what you were led to expect from the glitzy sales and marketing brochures you drooled over when you bought? Unfortunately, fitness amenities that are poorly designed are out there — from thoughtless equipment layout to equipment selection that is sorely lacking.Enter Movement Haus.

Now imagine walking into your new condo gym. You open a set of double doors and discover the sublime: soaring ceilings, hardwood floors bathed in natural light, expansive windows facing south (affording a beautiful view), an abundance of fitness equipment that is oriented in a flow that seems to feel right (and is in working order). Congratulations, you’ve walked into a Movement Haus fitness amenity designed by Benchmark. Designing each gym is a painstaking process and we ensure each minute detail is addressed with the architect and interior design firm, so you can focus on what’s important, moving optimally in a space (in your haus) to achieve your health and fitness goals for 2012.

We ensure that your Movement Haus gym is truly bespoke, offering the best in fitness equipment technology (iPod docking stations, internet-ready for browsing), lighting and mirror selection that makes each muscle look bigger, toned and more defined (well maybe not, but that’s coming next), design and safety considerations that welcome you. It creates an experience rather than a boring trip to the gym.

When you purchase a condominium that has a Movement Haus gym designed by Benchmark, you can rest assured that you have been given all the exercise tools and services you’ll need to discover your best health ever in 2012 — motivating and beckoning you to return each time in pursuit of your New Year’s resolutions.

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