Can’t decide on a gym membership?

Posted: February 10, 2010 in Fitness, HIIT

Victoria is known to be the fittest city in Canada.  We have a good climate, beautiful natural surroundings, and one gym for every coffee shop.  At the same time, we also live in a world where intense physical movement is no longer required for basic survival.  In fact many of us survive behind a desk and twice a week we push a shopping cart around in a grocery store.   We suffer from the ailments of a sedentary life:   pain, headaches, depression, fatigue,  and a general lack of confidence in our physical appearance and abilities.

We are designed to move, but we don’t OR we do but we don’t feel like we are doing it “right”.  We are inundated with mixed messages:  be skinny, be muscular, be fit, workout everyday, no three times/week, cardio every second day, a little fat is healthy, fat around the belly is deadly, strength train MWF, 10 sets of 12 reps, no 15 reps, no 10 reps, do yoga, don’t overextend, running is excellent cardio, running is bad for the knees, you should, you shouldn’t, etc..

With all those choices and mixed mesages available to us, it can be really difficult to decide what to do with our fitness dollars.  Do we buy a membership at the Y and show up every day to run on the elliptical for 1/2 hour following up with upper body/lower body days?  Do we take up spinning classes and commit to a block of eight?  Do we join a yoga studio?  Set up a home gym and hire a personal trainer?

My suggestion is to work backwards.   Start your thinking outside of the gym.  The gym is only successful insofar as it provides you with the basic conditioning for living an active life.   The money you spend at the gym is an investment into your health.  Cliche, but true.  You will know whether you are getting a good bang for your buck if the time and energy you spend at the gym reward you with even more time and energy outside of it.

Ask yourself a few questions:  What do you want to feel like?  What activities to you enjoy?  Where do you feel weak?  Do you like working out alone or with others?  Are you competitive?  Self-motivated?  Do you feel like you need personal attention?  What about supervision?  Do you get bored easily?  Is music important?  Community?  How much can you afford on gym memberships?  What options are out there?

Do your homework.  Not every gym or studio is created equally.  I happen to know that there are gyms out there with big hearts, extremely competent trainers, amazing systems and incredible value.  🙂

Till next time, Sandy

  1. Bob says:

    My favorite observation is the person driving up and down the parking lot, trying to find a spot closest to the door before heading inside to run on a treadmill.

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