Hi there fit people!
So I was talking to my mother who said a statement that I have heard time and time again "I don't like gyms".
This statement always stays with me because the statement itself is BAD FOR YOU. You heard me-simply stating that you do not like gyms cuts out the option of going to one. Think about it-if you say you do not like something-how likely are you going to be to try it. NOT AT ALL, that's how likely.
This statement might as well be "I don't like heels". If you do not like heels you do not wear heels. If you do not like gyms you do not go to gyms.
I am going to divulge a secret to being fit-you have to go to the gym.
Running outside is helpful but not always weather-friendly. Free weights at home are good but sometimes limiting. And if it is not limiting then it is an 'at home gym' which counts as 'a gym' and therefore you have a gym.
But let's go over what people do not like about public gyms and then let's break down some of the thoughts that we have about them.
1. People stare/judge/are looking at me/ are talking about me.
a. They are not. If they stare at you-then they are either admiring you or competing with you in their head. Some people need this kind of motivation. Also-are you staring at other people in the gym? No-you are concentrating about what you are doing and trying not to look at everyone else. You are also actively worrying about other people staring at you. Which is (guess what) what every other person is doing.
b. Even if they are staring at you or looking at you or judging you-what are they going to do about it? Their thoughts are quiet in their heads and cannot change your workout. And even if they talk about you who cares? What can they possibly say? What's the worst they could say? You may fumble on a machine, you may be able to do more or less that everyone else. But at the beginning of working out-every single person is worse than everyone else, and everyone is at different levels of their own personal fitness goals. They cannot change you. Their words are words of a self-conscious person in the gym just like you. We often forget that we are just like everyone else, we are human and have human instincts and reactions just like everyone else.
2. We are not good at working out/we do not what to do.
a. If you are reading this blog, you have probably used the internet to see what to workout at other times too. You know your body right? Start with a treadmill, run or walk-the buttons are self explanatory and then figure out what you want to strength build. After you do your cardio on a treadmill or an elliptical (also self explanatory) go to the machines which will most likely be in the same room (or in a room nearby-do not hesitate to ask someone who works there, they get questions all the time and are paid to do so). The machines will actually depict to you what to do. They have pictures and instructions as well as a guide to what muscles the machine will work out for you. It is simpler than everyone expects.
b. No one is good at working out. Not at first-and besides, how can anyone be "good" at something that tailors differently to every person? Some people react well to yoga, some to weight lifting, some to running, some to swimming etc. I myself am not a good swimmer, and I am thought of as someone who likes working out and keeping in shape by my friends. But when it comes to swimming I need as much help as I can get.
c.Everyone starts somewhere. Every buff dude or wire-y woman you see at the gym started somewhere. They were at one point the awkward new guy on the treadmill and trying on different work outs before finding what was right for them.
3. The locker room/ paying $$$ for a membership/ making time for working out
a. The locker room: All locker rooms come with lockers (you may have to provide your own lock-as the front desk about this. They may have some you could buy or they could come with locks already. There are also stalls and changing areas where you can change privately if you are self-conscious about being exposed, or if you are religiously required to stay mostly covered. Turst me-everyone is having the same thoughts as you and are not staring at you =)
b. Money: There are gyms that have sales for ridiculous prices (hint PLANET FITNESS can have sales as low as $1 a month with a down payment of $20). Even the cheapest gyms will have treadmills and free weights. The only things you are paying for with a big, fancy gym membership are food bars and extra rooms. Some do have classes you can attend and sports rooms and lessons from personal trainers. However as a college student I am very happy with my free membership at my school gym (students and people with gyms in their place of work check this option out!) In my school gym there are treadmills, ellipticals, weights, machines, sports equipment, etc. There are so many resources even in the least expensive of gyms. In smaller gyms with very few resources and equipment there are usually dedicated members who know how to make due with what they have, and are in great shape with very little money.
c. Making time: Most people come home late from work and go into work early in the morning and have class etc etc. I am going to tell you something-there is no excuse not to take care of your health. Once you start going at the times you can go-you will start feeling the energy to go more. Even if you have to go to the gym late (there are 24-hour gyms ex: PLANET FITNESS)your body over the course of as little as a week will start reacting well to getting the exercise it needs. There will be energy and a drive to go more (at the times that are available for you). Even if it's just going for a late-night run it will be worth it at the end of the day.
Well I hope this helps people of fitness. Remember: you are the only one with your fate in your hands. No one else (not at a gym, not a parent and not a boss) can change your body. Only you can do that, and if you make the time and make the drive you will.
Happy fitness my friends!