I am linking up again today with Skinny Meg for Workout Wednesday!!!
I want to talk today about gyms and my thoughts in regards to them.
I am very fortunate and have a gym at work. My days are usually chaos so I am not always able to make it there during the work hours but I am able to slip into my yoga pants around four thirty and know that I don’t have to drive anywhere. I can just walk, no matter how many feet of snow we have.
This is a total bonus of my job and a completely brilliant choice by my company but before I worked here I belonged to many public gyms.
I almost don’t even want to mention this because I cringe at the thought but technically we still belong to a gym about twenty minutes away (money down the toilet). When Jacob and I started living together we signed a two year agreement at the fanciest gym. This month is FINALLY our last month there, or not there if you get my drift. We don’t go because it is in the middle of the city, insanely crowded, and the parking is a J.O.K.E.
I am not even kidding you. You have to park at one lot between the morning hours. One garage between the afternoon hours. You have two options at night, which are usually full, and some other crazy far lot on the weekends. <ONE> I cannot remember that shit. <TWO> Can you imagine a less motivating reason to go to the gym? At first this didn’t matter because we only lived blocks away, but now we have to drive there (20 minutes) and then put up with that crap so as you can imagine how often we go. Never.
So anyways this got me thinking and today I wanted to talk about 3 reasons I think we need to ditch the gym.
1. Have you noticed the popularity of studios opening? Crossfit, Barre, Combat, Boot Camp, Yoga...I seriously feel like the days of the quintessential gyms, meaning big sweaty rooms filled with soul eating cardio machines, are limited (was that dramatic enough for you?). I am actually a huge supporter of this new trend and I can imagine others are too. I won’t lie. I am initially attracted to the newest version of a machine (cardio or weight) but at the end of the day classes and instructors, that keep you accountable, are absolutely more valuable and often produce the results we want more efficiently. I totally recommend finding a studio you love by using Groupon or Living Social. It is how I found my Hot Yoga studio and nixed some others that I wasn’t so fond of.
2. When I started running you can imagine I stopped going to the gym as much. At first it felt weird. I almost felt like I couldn’t count my runs as workouts because I didn’t have a little screen that populated all of my statistics. I couldn’t prove how far I went or how many calories I burned to myself. How unhealthy is that??? That was probably the first gift that running gave me. It broke me up with the gym and all the unhealthy numbers that the gym comes with. I can’t concentrate on how far or long the person next to me is going. I can’t see a scale out of the corner of my eye while I am breaking a sweat. I am not staring at a clock using it either as an excuse or a punishment.
Now I do have a Garmin but it’s different especially because I started using it after I got my head back on straight. I realize now that I enjoy going to a class or running outside or doing a Jillian Michael’s DVD wayyy more than staring at a little screen that validates my workout to the crazy side of my brain.
Now I work out and think about the work out. My form. My breathing. And most importantly the world around me. I am not stuck inside a sweaty gym every time I want to burn some calories and half the time I don’t even know how much I am burning. I can almost guarantee I am burning more because I am not concentrating on it. So my second piece of advice, go outside and live while you work out. It makes a huge difference.
3. Gyms are expensive. We depend on them too much to get a workout in. Society pressures us to think this. If you do not believe me, stop in a gym on January 3rd. It is disturbing. It is full of people who just got an insane deal on a new membership and they all truly believe that this is the year they will get to the gym every day and change their lives BUT two months later they are held up at work or need to get home and they start missing their workouts.
Here is what I want to tell them… You can change your life in your living room, in your back yard, & pounding the sidewalk in your neighborhood. If you love the gym and it works for you AWESOME! But don’t neglect the fact that the world is full of fun free ways to be active. And remind yourself that you ARE burning calories even though a little screen isn’t there blinking a number at you.
Where are you working out today??? Do you love your gym?