There’s a guest blogger at Cranky Fitness today talking about five good reasons to quit the gym. Not surprisingly, the overriding theme is our relationship with exercise. In going to the gym, writer Monica Shaw says, we become so focussed on the numbers – how many calories we’re burning on the elliptical, how many reps we can manage on the lat pull, etc., etc. – that we lose sight of one of the key ways to make fitness a way of life: finding something we enjoy doing.
While I don’t dispute the fact that hitting the gym can feel like a chore, for me it’s a necessary evil. As I mentioned a couple of days back, I found a strength-training class that I’m actually willing to go to twice a week – no small accomplishment. Going to the gym for that class alone makes my cost per visit higher than if I did all my workouts there (sadly my gym doesn’t have a per-visit plan), it’s the only way I’m willing to do weights, and that is worth the steep monthly fee. When it comes to cardio, I try to take it outside as much as possible (as a non-skier, I admit that’s been a challenge the last few months!). There’s no more enjoyable day to work off stress than to hit the running path near my condo. I don’t bring my iPod – I just let myself get lost in thought or focus on the smell of thawing ground or how I’m breathing. Even if I’m not in the mood while I’m lacing up my shoes, I usually feel good before I’ve finished my first kilometre.
So what about you – are you a slave to the gym or do you find other ways to stay fit? And how do you get yourself to go on days where the gym is the last place you’d like to be? Share your opinions here.