Saturday, April 9, 2011

You Too Can Go to the Gym!

So I am guessing that if anyone actually thought I was going to be productive today.....well....they, me, you and we were wrong! Here I sit...thinking and blogging! What a dangerous combination for a mind such as mine. More all are just going to have more to read today. You will read....right?!

I was thinking that exactly one week ago at this time.....I was happy. REALLY happy! I was teaching my free college day courses at BCCC in Andover.....and I was feeling good. Things for one brief moment seemed to make sense. Move the clock forward  a couple of hours...and all that feel good, make sense stuff started to dwindle. Suddenly there was a car which seemed okay up front, but then there became all the unnecessary family involvement which drove me stark raving mad and all of this culminated into this blog post. Suffice it to say my week was not stellar and I did not handle it with any sort of patience, maturity or good coping skills at all. What I did was throw an emotional tantrum and punish myself further for something that was not my fault in the first place. I did not work out (not one day last week) and I did not eat right. Granted....I did not eat as badly as I could have....but i had a horrible I don't care attitude that was really difficult to shake.

And to Dana who emailed me and asked me if I had lost any weight this week.....the answer is....I don't know. I was not able to go and weigh this week as the dr. scheduled an EEG for David and I did not get back in time to go to WW. Most of you know that I have a strict policy about not weighing anywhere but WW and next week we will not be having a meeting I won't know for another two weeks just what I have done. Hopefully I will have time to turn myself around....get back on track, and start making some good progress. I do have some rather tough goals for myself and I am hoping not to disappoint. There is lots of working out in my future this week. Look out're gonna be an achin'! That goes for you too abs, arms and thighs!

So yesterday while I was at the gym with the intention of working out 90 min. and only managing 60 (can anyone say wimp?) I was thinking about the people that might read my blog  and need or want to take some action in their lives of the exercising/gym nature, but are afraid. Okay....maybe afraid is not the word. Maybe the word is nervous, anxious, or possibly down right terrified. I am amazed at the number of people that lived through the 80's and still have never stepped inside a gym. Or perhaps the case just haven't stepped inside a gym since the 80's! Whatever the case....maybe I can help you.

Now I go to the DRC which stands for the Derby Recreation Center. It is set up as most YMCA's are. There is a track, a pool, and a really nice workout area with a weights side and an equipment side fully stocked with ellipticals, treadmills, stair climbers and many other get in shape goodies. They also have a large (most likely regulation) basketball gym. I can confidently tell you....I have used it all and there is not part of it that can't get you on the right track to being a healthier you. If your issue is that you don't want to go because you feel too large or clumsy and don't want to feel like others are looking at you and judging....not to worry. There are people that work out that are all sizes and shapes and all age and skill levels. If your issue is you wouldn't know where to begin....most gyms as at the DRC, have a help desk and the people behind those desks (trained professionals on each piece of equipment that their gym houses) can walk you through the equipment and help to familiarize you with it for no extra charge.

If price is a factor...then check out the Y's or local gyms in your area. Many times Y's have sliding fees to join based on income....and smaller gyms like the DRC, offer special pricing to those who live and work within the city limits and/or school district. Perhaps what you are looking for is motivation which you don't feel that you can provide yourself. Most gyms have personal trainers on staff that for an additional hourly rate, will work with you and you alone to help you get yourself on the right training track and help you to start heading down a healthier path. And finally....maybe you think you might feel better amidst a group of people training along side you....rather than trying to do it yourself. Most gyms hold classes 2-3 times a week on everything from yoga and stretching, to step aerobics, regular aerobics, pilates, body sculpting, zumba (very fun might I add), spinning, and boot camps. Classes are a great way to blend in and still get a great work out.

My suggestion to you is....whether you are a novice who has never stepped foot in a gym or someone who just hasn't visited one in a while....NOW is the best time to start getting your work out on. 

Before hitting the gym, be sure and check with your dr. Make sure everything checks out A-OK and ask him/her if they have any guidelines on how you should start a workout program. Then put down the remote and the computer mouse and get off that couch or out of that chair and get moving. Start out slow and gradually increase. It has been proven time and time again that exercising just 30 min. a day can lower both blood pressure and cholesterol, help digestion, give you a better nights sleep, help to keep you from having the mid afternoon sleepies.....and give you an over all healthier body.

Also...don't stick with just aerobic exercise (i.e. treadmill, elliptical, walking, zumba, etc) also add a little weight to your workout. Give yourself a day or two a week where you add weight machines or dumbbells to your workout to help build muscle and burn even more calories. If you are a woman and worry that weights might make you look too bulky when all is said and done....don't. Use lighter weights (10#'s or under) and do 10-12 counts with no more than 3 reps per time. This will give you the tone, unflabby arms you want without looking like She-Woman!

Bottom line most cases regardless of our weight, health issues, or stamina.....there is usually some kind of exercise we can do to increase our health benefits and move forward in a healthier fashion. Hopefully these words from a seasoned gym rat (you will get that reference only if you were a mall rat of the 80's and 90's), might just be the motivation you need to give a workout facility a try. Remember....there is nothing to fear but fear itself....oh.....and tight spandex!

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