Gyms and Fitness Clubs

Put Some Spark in Traditional Exercise: Do you want to be social or would you rather exercise by yourself?


If you want to be social, then join a health club! There is no better place to meet and talk with people with similar interests than a health club. At a club you can attend an aerobic or other type of group training class. Don't be afraid if you've never tried one before; many clubs will have introductory classes to help you get started. The atmosphere in a group class is exciting, exhilarating and filled with variety. In addition, people who get involved with group exercise tend to have a stronger commitment to exercise than when exercising individually.

If a group class is not what you are interested in, then take advantage of the other equipment a club has to offer. The variety of the equipment alone is worth the membership dues. I highly recommend mixing up your workout with various machines and equipment on a regular basis. One of the people I interviewed for a testimonial at the beginning of this chapter stated that it is the variety of equipment she uses that makes exercise fun. I truly believe this is the key to making exercise work for you. It works in two ways. First, you will find exercise more enjoyable because of the variety of equipment. Second, the variety will also help you see faster and more long-lasting results.

If the social atmosphere is the last thing you want and would like to exercise by yourself, then I would suggest a home gym or exercising outdoors.

A home gym can offer a fair amount of variety. This, however, comes with a higher up-front price tag. The more variety you want, the more you have to spend. Refer to Chapter 10 for details on costs and options. If you don't like to be around other people when you exercise, this is the way to go. You need to ask yourself, "How much is my health worth?"

Another option for exercising by yourself is to go outside for a walk, a bike ride or a swim. As mentioned earlier, there are many outdoor recreational activities to choose from. To some degree it depends on where you live in the country. You can participate in most outdoor activities by yourself. They are called silent sports.

Now, as I mentioned previously, outdoor activities only encompass one or two components of exercise, those components being cardiovascular and flexibility training. When exercising exclusively outdoors you are missing the strength-training component.

While many people prefer exercising on their own, consider this point. Studies have shown that long-term adherence to exercise diminishes when you exercise by yourself. This doesn't mean that it won't work if you choose to exercise alone. However, the odds are against you. That choice is up to you. You need to consider the good and bad of each and determine what will help you be most successful with exercise.