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The Where of Exercise (Part 3)

Updated: Sep 30, 2021

Hello again! Glad you have stayed with me up to this point! Hopefully you are finding these posts informative, interesting and fun.

Now that we have learned some of the options of where to exercise, the next step is to pick a plan that works for you. Deciding on a place to exercise is dependent on several things: 1) availability, 2) cost, 3) fitness goals and 4) mood.

I have briefly touched on most of these already so let's go a bit more in depth as to the factors that determine what meets your individual needs. We are all born with genetic factors and traits that make us beautiful and because of this please understand there is not a one size fits all strategy or right or wrong place to get in a workout.

In choosing where you are going to exercise you must look at the area in which you live. Do you live in or near a large metropolis? Are there multiple fitness facilities competing for your business? Or are you not a city dweller and prefer to reside away from the hustle and bustle of major hubs? Maybe you are a nomad traveler and have a home on wheels? These all play key roles in where you might exercise.

Those preferring suburban life will probably have lots of options to change up where your workouts take place, whereas someone who lives in or (ding!) freely and/or frequently travels throughout the country will have fewer so switching between home (hotel) and outdoor exercise would probably be the best fit. Most clubs offer day or several day passes to explore what they can offer you so if you take lots of business trips, this is a viable option as well. Try not to spend more than half your workout time getting to it though. For example, if you will only be working out during your hour lunch break, make sure it only takes 15 mins or less to arrive at your destination.

Another item to consider in the selection process is cost. As I previously stated, gym memberships are, for the most part, a good deal. Some individuals may not be able to afford a luxury club while others can. Remember the more amenities offered, the higher the price tag. Also keep in mind that while you may be able to afford a top notch facility, if you don't need or use a majority of what is offered, you probably should select a cheaper gym or membership to get the best fit. If you cannot feasibly budget a membership in on top of all your other expenses, it may suit you better to exercise at home or the local park.

Fitness goals can be both short and long term. Short term are those that can be achieved in under three months. If you're brand new to fitness, you should start to notice improvements in how long it takes your body to fatigue, the number on the scale may have dropped a bit, or you're looking more toned and/or feeling better overall. While these may not seem significant, they are usually considerable milestones that can happen with minor adjustments to your daily routine. Any exercise regimen...home gym, local park, or big box club can achieve these results. Just being more active in general can play a role in becoming more fit. Strive for 30 minutes of movement daily at first then work up to more intense activity or longer durations as your fitness level improves.

Longer term goals usually require more than a three month commitment and oftentimes changing your routine entirely or making progressions to an existing one (whether it be an increase in resistance or using a different piece of equipment) or both are facilitated by having a gym membership or hiring a nutrition specialist or personal trainer. A few examples are mass building (bulk), diet modifications, or participating in a Spartan race. Due to their specific nature, individualized programs with a professional can be helpful in reaching long term goals by keeping you focused on the targets you set and tracking progress made along the way.

You woke up this morning and aren't feeling a workout. I'm pretty sure we've all been here at some point. Where do I go today? Gym? Can't I just stay in my pj's today? Maybe I'll do a home workout later if I'm not too tired...if I could only take a break from work...This is the most challenging part of the where. Types of days like these do happen and depending on why you're not in the mood for anything could determine if you even should exercise or not. Injuries suggest backing off a certain body part or taking a day off all together. Muscle soreness...well then...a walk to the park in the fresh air, chores, getting in a pool, or doing a hobby is your workout for the day. Making a to do list and checking off items one at a time gives the sense of accomplishment and can drastically contribute to overall health. Movement alone is a great way to start feeling more motivated. Recall how the ADL's I mentioned in my "The What Is Exercise" blog a while back were exercise? As long as you are moving you're burning calories and releasing endorphins which actually enhance mood. With that being said, pick something you enjoy and do it instead. Who knows? Because you feel better, you might find yourself sweating as if you were in the middle of an intense workout. But if not, don't worry so much about missing a day because even something like going to the mall can earn you 15,000 steps. However, if you consistently feel this way, consult a doctor or therapist because there might be a more significant issue.

So in closing, exercise can occur wherever you are in your fitness journey or path in this thing we call life. In the next blog, I will cover when is the best time to work out. Hope to see you then. Until next time, I'd love to hear your thoughts:

Where will your next workout take you?

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