For those of you who’ve been following my columns, you know that I’ve been hitting the nutrition side of health and fitness pretty hard. I think now that it is time to get back into the exercise side and especially so with the arrival of cold weather and holiday eating. More than any other time of year, it makes sense to put some time in at the gym.
Before we jump into the meat of this article, it is important to acknowledge my target audience. There are various approaches to exercise, but here are the major categories: 1) “I hate exercise”. Okay, I’m not wasting much time on these folks. Your motivation must come from within. If you ever see the light, we’ll talk. 2) “I know I should exercise but I just can’t seem to motivate.” Read on. You may find this useful. 3) “I already exercise on my own, why do I need you?” Also, please read on, you may find this useful or not.
For you exercise haters, all I can say is that you know that there are many health benefits to regular exercise. Cardio health, weight control, increased strength, stamina and balance, along with stress relief are all plus factors to be gained. On average, you would lower cholesterol and blood pressure and improve your longevity, mobility, and quality of life through regular exercise. If these aren’t good enough reasons to get you going, then there is nothing more to be said except that maybe you haven’t yet found that enjoyable activity that will get you fit. A month’s gym membership is less than a doctor’s exam. A trial membership is not that expensive relative to the possible gains.
For the folks that know they need to start a program but just cannot seem to motivate, paying to go to the gym (getting your money’s worth) is an additional incentive to be regular in attendance. More important though is the individual attention and guidance that you will receive to get started properly. In fact, before you join a facility, you should be able to completely tour the facility and have explained to you exactly how you start out there. At RTowne, I always start by asking people what their personal objectives are. If they are just looking to take off a few pounds and “be in better shape”, then it is a rather standard program of cardio and weight machines. If they tell me they want to run a 10K, then that requires a more specific program. And if someone wants to gain 20 lbs. of muscle, that will require an entirely different program. Any facility that doesn’t accommodate your specific goals should be passes over.
This leads us to the third group. To be perfectly honest, not everyone needs a gym membership to be in good physical condition. If you are very self-motivated and knowledgeable about exercise and have enough of the right equipment for your specific program, then you’ll be fine on your own. Before I became the RTowne trainer, I was doing just fine with my own weights, bike, and running schedule. But over the years, I have observed that it is a fairly small minority of people who actually stick to that sort of regiment over time. Also, many of you exercise “do-it-yerselfers” would really benefit by a change of routine and some professional guidance. For example, I have some running buddies who are in great cardio shape, but could really use more upper body and core strength. Folks who play hard in the summer (golfers, soft ball leaguers, etc.) will resume their sports in much better playing condition, with less chance of injury, if they come into the gym for regular workouts.
From my way of thinking, the real question is, “why wouldn’t you join a gym?” Sure, it costs a little money, but the benefits are so great that they more than offset the costs if you think in terms of lifetime health care expense. We here at RTowne Fitness in Lakeville are ready and able to get you started down the path of a lifetime of health and fitness. Come in to check us out or visit us at www.RTowneFitness.com. You won’t be sorry.
Fred Miner, Gen Mgr/Personal Trainer, RTowne Fitness, Lakeville, NY