Today I’ll be discussing 5 benefits of owning a gym membership. Being a part of a gym the last 6 years has challenged and changed me for the better. I continue to learn new things and grow out of my comfort zone. Being a sport and exercise student, going to the gym is also actually very relevant and enjoyable for myself (never thought I’d say that!).
Let me clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with not going to the gym either. Being able to enjoy the outdoors or conjure up creative home workouts is incredibly amazing and rewarding! You don’t have to worry about money, location, or accessibility. In fact, personally I love adding as much outdoor exercise as I can to my routine.
Maybe an outdoor workout will be in an upcoming post. However, today let’s focus on the benefits of owning a gym membership!
1. Increased amount of workout variations
I don’t know about you, but I don’t own a rowing machine, leg press or a lying hamstring curl machine. I don’t own any equipment that increases the variety of my workouts at home or offers me the resistance that I need.
If you love walking, you don’t need to come to the gym just for the treadmill. But the gym is so much more than that! It is so important to train with resistance, from muscle growth, to mental health. Most standard gyms would offer a range of free weights and fixed machines that cater for every area of the body. And as your strength increases, they will have the heavier resistance to cater for it. Not to mention some gyms provide an array of fitness classes too!
2. Greater access and motivation to workout
A few years ago I switched gyms, changing to an inaugural (at the time) 24/7 open gym format with worldwide access. Wow! Everyone has lives and are busy, but having access to a location near me (be it near home, work, or a friend’s place) has been game changing!
In terms of motivation, when I do cardio at the gym, the machines are like a personal trainer. I love going for a run (sometimes, anyway) outdoors, but when I start to get tired, I may unknowingly ease up a bit on the effort. Whereas, equipment like the treadmill or stationary bike will tell you your effort, such as revolutions per minute (RPM) or heart rate. It’s easy to stay motivated by aiming to keep your heart rate above a certain point, or cycling faster to maintain a high RPM rate.
3. Guidance through personal trainers and equipment instructions
There is definitely truth behind people feeling intimidated to go to the gym based on the perception that people may judge them, or lack of confidence using the machines. And that’s ok! It still happens to me walking into a weights room full of men lifting heavy weights. Ahh!
In this case, there’s a few action steps you can take to make the most out of your gym membership.
- Hire a personal trainer (PT)
- Ok, this one costs money, but it is invaluable time spent with a professional who will help sky rocket your gym knowledge and thus confidence when hitting the weights. Some gyms offer free introductory PT sessions, so make use of that if it’s available!
- Read the instructions on the equipment you’re using
- All equipment should come with easy instructions accompanied by pictures that will take no more than 1 minute to read. As well as this, the pictures will highlight the exact muscle group that the machine works, so you’ll know where you should be feeling it!
- Remind yourself you are at the gym for you!
- Really, everyone is at the gym to become better versions of themselves, not someone else. In dance classes I need to remind myself of this, too. No-one really cares about what YOU are doing, and if for some reason they do, just remember that is a problem with THEM, not you!
4. Health benefits!
It’s a well known fact that exercising everyday has major benefits on our total health. Weight-bearing activities is very beneficial for gains in strength, visible size of muscles (hypertrophy) and even fat loss.
In older people, resistance training (done safely) can reduce muscle atrophy, increase bone density, increase confidence, and aid functional movements. This is just a small list of how resistance training can benefit a variety of groups.
5. Nothing can stop you!
Rain, hail or shine – you can go to the gym! Provided there’s no sever weather warning and common sense is used, the gym is open under most weather circumstances. Whether you’re escaping rain or feeling too lethargic in humid weather to exercise, owning a gym membership gives you guaranteed access to a perfect place to workout and combat those negative feelings or conditions.
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