Gym Life Pros and Cons

As the weather progressively gets colder, running outside has become a little harder to deal with. Don’t get me wrong, it’s much easier to run in cooler weather, I do love it, but with Michigan’s fickle attitude toward changing temperatures, it’s hard to plan for a week of running outside when it can go from perfect sunshine, 65 degrees, to a chilly, torrential onslaught of rainy skies with 45 degree temps.

So I’ve resorted to running at the gym. I don’t mind the treadmill so much. It does get a little boring on my longer runs sometimes, because I’m technically staring in one direction. But I am able to complete my workout, plus I can add weightlifting to my training whenever I’m there (that is if I’m not intimidated by those who lift for life).

I work out at my local Planet Fitness. I’ve heard mixed reviews when it comes to Planet Fitness, especially regarding wights, but as I’ve mentioned before, I really only occupy the treadmill. I don’t consider myself a “gym rat.” I don’t go there every day, and my timing is always sporadic.

As a gym spectator and attendee, here’s what I’ve noticed while working out. It’s kind of like a pros and cons deal when you agree to doing gym life.

PROS:

1. People

Planet Fitness is known for it’s “Judgement Free Zone” slogan, and it applies to the normal people who aren’t naturally athletic, but care about their health. So when you walk into my gym, you get a mixture of everyone coming through. And with people, anything goes. Whenever I spend my long hours on the treadmill, I’ll occasionally do some people watching, observing how others may utilize their gym time. Most of the time people are there to work out. Most of the time.

But on occasion, I’ll see a person just walking around, picking up weights, putting them down, and then walking around again.  Physical exertion wasn’t being exhibited, and it makes me wonder why someone would pay $10 or $20 a month and just “walk around.” I can do that for free. But whatever floats your boat, right? I say, you keep walking dude, you keep walking. And you know what, pal, you’re keeping me entertained on my long runs, so thank you!

2. Equipment Heaven

Whenever I workout at home, equipment is very limited. I only own five and ten pound weights, so if I ever want to increase my weight lifting options, my gym allows that. The only thing I need to tackle now is being comfortable while lifting weights. Plus, gyms have other cool equipments that weights are attached to that help with all parts of the body.

3. Socialization

It’s fun to have a workout buddy! They hold you accountable, you get your workout in, and you can catch up on the happenings of each other’s lives while running the treadmill or doing those yoga exercises. Even better, you can laugh together as you both attempt to move from upward facing dog, to downward facing dog, to three-legged downward facing dog, and into the most favored child’s pose. Having friends at the gym makes the time go by faster and it’s more fun sweating and complaining about sweating when you have another person with you.

CONS:

1. Germs

This is pretty self-explanatory. I know there are rules at gyms where you’re suppose to wipe every equipment that you use. Unfortunately, some gym goers take these rules as suggestions. Nobody wants to hop on a treadmill, only to find it coated with dried sweat. Throwing away the paper towels after you’ve used it is another rule that people imply as suggestions. One time I found a used towel stuck in the drink carrier of one treadmill. I immediately moved to the next one. I’m not a germaphobe, just a normal person who likes to use clean equipment.

2. Gym preparation

GOODNESS, sometimes the struggle is SOOO real!! Preparing for the gym can sometimes be so tedious. You’re prepping clothes, keys, water bottles, hair ties, jackets, shoes, everything just to go to the gym. Gym days can be hard days. When it’s too cold for me to run or do any sort of aerobic training outside, I opt for the gym, obviously. But sometimes I don’t make it quite that far. On bad days, I’m easily wasting time at home, knowing I should be going to the gym, but finding every excuse not to. Prepping can be so annoying. I’d rather roll over and go back to sleep.

3. Introvert gets introduced to gym life

Have I mentioned before that I’m kind of introverted? Well, I am. And sometimes it takes a lot of self-encouraging to go to the gym. It’s definitely a lot easier when I go with a friend, because I’m more comfortable when I actually know someone. But when it’s just me, I try my best to avoid eye contact as I move rapidly toward the treadmill. I’m awkward, and I’d rather keep my awkward self away from normal people, haha.

And, as an introverted being, I tend to over think and worry about EVERYTHING. Sometimes I’ll question my running ability, fearful that I’m not doing it right, when in reality I am.  Fortunately for me, the more I immerse myself in the gym world, the more confident I am becoming. It gets a little easier every day, so that’s nice.

All in all, my gym life experience is definitely worth investing in, especially as Michigan’s weather changes from rain to snow in the upcoming months. I don’t mind so much because I’m staying in shape and loving the healthy feeling I experience every time I leave. It makes going to the gym worth it.

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