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The Where of Exercise (Part 2)

Updated: Sep 30, 2021

After reading my last post, did you drive or walk by a park on your way to school or work and see it in a whole different way? Are you and your couch still friends? I sure hope so. If the answer is yes, this blog is getting you excited about moving and on the path to a new you.

In Part 1, I shared how you can take exercise out of the traditional box gym setting and use what you have on hand or around the corner. Now let's explore the "yes I do need to go to the gym" side.

While exercising at home or park does change the format, it is usually done when no one else is around. For many, working out by yourself is fine if you have time constraints and want to avoid interruption...but are you really motivated or so self driven that this doesn't become boring or tedious after a while? Just how many different ways to the park did you find? Maybe you can only run so far before all the nearby cities and houses look exactly the same.

Yep! You guessed it! Going to the gym does have its benefits. Most have a good selection of cardio equipment, free weights and machines to get a complete workout. Some offer a wide variety of fun studio classes to suit members tastes. Many of the group fitness classes use music that make you want to move. Others offer upscale services such as cafes, child care, massage and tanning that you surely won't find in your home or outdoor setting and for which your own garage gym probably isn't large enough...

Speaking of size, if you were to try setting up your own home gym, where would the bulky equipment like treadmills and Body Masters go? If you have a multi-million dollar Hollywood sized mansion there's probably room in your guest bathroom, but if you live like the rest of us not so rich and famous, space is pretty likely an issue.

Say those cans you have in your pantry aren't feeling as heavy as they used to...then what? Wrapping multiple socks around your hands starts cutting off your circulation. You can't just pick up the entire pantry. The gym might just be the solution. Problem solved. Your daily walk has to get longer and longer because 5 miles isn't a challenge anymore and poor Fido can't keep up...ok...time for the big boy weights or sessions with your favorite rower or stair master to change things up a bit and get your sweat session going.

You have memorized every home fitness video you own and are getting bored of doing the same few workouts month after month. They were great at first but now lack the challenge and excitement of being new. Time to hit the gym and change things up a bit. With all the gismos and gadgets you'll find there, surely something will ignite your curiosity!

Multiple studies over the years have shown that people are more likely to engage in physical activity when they have a friend or partner join them. You become accountable to that person (as well as yourself) and can no longer make an excuse to skip it. So grab a buddy and go! Start by checking out the group fitness schedule and take a class. These are a great way to learn basic exercises that can be progressed later when you need a challenge. Who knows, you might even make a new friend or two. What are you waiting for?

None of your friends can go at the same time as you? No accountability partner? Another benefit of gyms is that they offer personal training services to help guide you to safely complete a workout. They can show you how to properly use the machines that once intimidated you and make you feel more confident while you're there. A home workout video usually doesn't have a system in place to monitor form so you can wind up injured if you are unclear of what to do. In most clubs, personal trainers are an additional expense though so watch for posted specials and check out each ones credentials before selecting them.

I have heard many times that the cost of being a member of a fitness facility is too expensive. My thoughts are this...think of what your monthly or yearly dues are and the amount of money you'd spend to duplicate having a setup that suits your needs or provide you everything a gym does. Granted, you only need one BOSU instead of six, but if you wanted to do a kettlebell workout, for example, an entire set is best and they can set you back $1000 or more and that doesn't include the storage rack. Throw in a set of dumbbells and anything else you'll want to try and you'll find out how pricey everything becomes. And what if something breaks or doesn't work the way you thought it would? Unless you're pretty handy, you'll wind up having to hire someone to fix your treadmill or replace it all together. While you're waiting for repairs to be made (which based on the availability of the parts can take a week or more) or a new unit to be shipped, you are now having to resort to other options which is another expense often overlooked when converting your garage to a workout studio. Personally, I have a lot of equipment myself (and more than one of most modalities) that I use both for personal and professional endeavors and believe me, it gets expensive (and I get the majority of it on sale or secondhand). In that regard, a gym membership is money well spent even if you only go a couple days a week.

While membership prices vary depending on amenities and services offered, most are a pretty good bang for your buck. I will say this though, if you aren't using a majority of what the club offers, consider selecting a less expensive membership or facility. Put your excuses in the closet (not your shoes) and off you go! You pay for it, shouldn't you get your money's worth?

In part 3 of The Where Of Exercise, the it depends will focus on personal factors to help you determine which format will best fit your lifestyle. Talk again next week. Toodles!

Think about this:

An average group fitness class can burn between 800-1200 calories depending on your fitness level, format selected and intensity at which you work.

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