Save your money, people!

Pam and I are commuting by tandem on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  She changed jobs (back to her old one) with the local health system she works for a little over a month ago.  After a six-year stint on the south side of town, she’s back at the hospital/clinic that’s only two blocks north of my office, which makes it pretty easy.  The days we ride together, we go in early to the fitness center at that same location, lift weights together, then she heads for the fitness center locker room while I pedal the bike solo to my office.

After work, I pedal the bike back to the fitness center, park it against the wall and do something that I do quite well.  I sit and enjoy myself while I wait for her to get off work and get changed for our ride home.  Depending on how her work day went, my wait can range from just a few minutes to more than enough time to take a nap.

The other day while I was sitting in the shade waiting, I had an epiphany.  I don’t have those very often, so I remembered this one.  Here’s what I figured out while I was watching people come and go from the fitness center and from all the hours I’ve spent inside one.

More than half of the people passing me looked like they were wasting their time and money going to the gym.

You could tell by their contenance as the approached the door or left the building.  They were either dreading going in or hated every minute of time they spent inside.  The sad thing was that those very people who looked like they hated it were the very same people who looked like they needed it the most.  I suspect that same level of enthusiasm was put into their workout.  Here’s the second part of the ephiphany.

It’s probably not gonna do you a lot of good to drag your tired butt to the gym after work and put in 20 to 30 minutes on the treadmill or elliptical machine.

Even if they managed to hit the gym two or three times a week, most of them don’t really get enough of a workout in to burn off that fast food lunch they had.  These are the type of people that gyms and fitness centers make their profit from.  They pay their money, go a few times, maybe try a class or two, but don’t really ever get consistent.  If you buy my theorie’s so far, here’s the last part of my ephiphany.

They would be much better off, both physically and financially, if they would find an outdoor physical activity they enjoyed and do it a lot!  Perhaps, walking, tennis, golf, or maybe even cycling!

That’s what got me hooked.  I found something I liked and did it a lot.  When I first started cycling, it didn’t take me long to figure out that it was way more fun than slogging away inside on a treadmill or other machine. I can burn a lot more calories and keep it up for a much longer time without making myself miserable in the process. 

That’s not to say that I don’t find the gym to be valuable to my fitness routine.  I work out a lot, but I don’t go to the gym a lot.  I go there (either the fitness center or my home weight room) twice a week for around 45 minutes at a time to lift weights.  That’s all.  I could probably accomplish the same thing in my back yard or the park a mile from my house with no problem.  Who knows, it might even be more fun!

God bless…


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3 Comments on “Save your money, people!”

  1. Steve A Says:

    As I tell people, cycling saves a lot of time at the gym and makes the time I spend there more fun. My gym is about 20 minutes away by bike and the bike rack is usually empty when I get there. Maybe we goofballs are thinking alike!

  2. PaddyAnne Says:

    I agree, people need to find something they enjoy doing.

  3. Michael Says:

    I’ve often thought about riding to the Y to take a spinning class, just for the humor of it.

    I do yoga a couple times a week and go for the occasional swim, it’s well worth the 50 buck a month. But, you’re right. I do it because I love taking yoga and going swimming.

    Most of the folks I see at the Y would probably be better off staying home, fixing a healthy dinner, and going for a walk around their neighborhood.

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