To Gym Or Not To Gym–That Is The Question

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With the days gradually getting shorter, the temperature gradually getting cooler, and crazy-a$$ weather events going on around me (hello, an earthquake and a hurricane in the same week?!), I’ve started thinking about how to exercise during the long, cold months of winter.  Doing my shuffle-that-I-call-jogging at the local high school track or park isn’t gonna work when it’s snowy out or the high school decides that, ya know, they really want to have a football game during my run.  (How dare they?)

So, I’ve been eyeing local gyms and thinking about joining.  I have belonged to gyms before.  Many, many years ago I belonged to Gold’s Gym, but I wasn’t really committed to fitness at the time, and my membership only served to eat my bank account.  A few years ago I joined Lucille Roberts with a friend but we were both sidetracked by more delicious options on our way to the gym.  (Why did they have to put it next door to Johnny Rockets?)  This time around, I decided to wait awhile and see if I was really committed to this new lifestyle thing before I joined a gym.  I’ve been exercising for six weeks now and, amazingly, I still want to, although I worry that I will reach my typical two month slump in a few weeks and lose interest.

Another concern is cost.  There are a couple of local gyms and fitness centers that have amazing facilities, including indoor tennis courts, pools, rock-climbing walls, saunas, and rooms and rooms of weights and machines.  These gyms also cost at least $70 per month.  If I go every day, then $70 is a good deal–IF I go every day.  There is another gym (which I will call “Average Joe’s”) that gives you a month-to-month membership option of only $25 per month.  I toured Average Joe’s, and they have all the basic stuff I’m looking for, i.e., treadmills and weight machines.  They have a locker room but no sauna or steam room.  In fact, they advertise “free water and coffee” as their fancy  membership benefits!  It’s a clean, well-lit facility, and it’s open all the time.  They have a couple of fitness classes everyday, including “yogalates,” but these are usually offered when I’m stuck at work.

So, what should I do?  Should I hold off for a month or so until the weather really becomes an obstacle, and see if I’m really committed to fitness?  Should I jump in and get into the habit of going to the gym?  Should I go for the fancy-schmancy gyms and their alluring promises of personal trainers, massages, and steam rooms?  Or should I stick to the basics and get a month-to-month membership at Average Joe’s?

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5 responses »

  1. When thinking of joining a gym I think one has to be realistic. Some of the things to think about: is the gym on the way home from work? (if it is, it makes it easier to go by when going home) Is it open at times convenient to you? If you are to do aerobic classes, are the classes at a time suitable to your schedule? Are the fees within your budget?
    I have found that it has aways been easiest to go exercise on the way home from work BEFORE I get home. And to start off with, basic is best. All one really needs to do is exercise and then shower afterwards (and a towel can be packed in preparation). And at least basic will not blow the budget.

  2. I suggest sticking it out a bit longer and see if your workout regime sticks. If it does, I recommend the $25 option. From my personal experience, the gyms that cost more were usually the most intimidating as the gym-goers were there for more social aspects vs. working out.

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