Tuesday, July 24, 2012
The results of gym free living (an important wake up call)
As some of you know, I went on an adventure of "gym free living" starting in early March. I thought that since I wasn't making the best use of my (then) gym membership that I would do just as well using other options. I wanted to experiment and see how I'd feel in the end by being more creative with my fitness routine. My plan was to use various Groupons/deals that I had purchased, to start running again, and hope to get in great shape without the gym.
-Yes, I did start using (some of) my deals and have enjoyed them. I've developed a love for Pilates. Sassy Fit has pushed my body and helped me gain strength and endurance.
-Yes, I did start running (roughly once a week) and spending more time outside.
-Despite trying new things, I did not feel stronger or in better shape
-Working off of the online deals provided variety but not enough flexibility with my schedule
-I gained about 5 lbs
-I lost muscle mass
-I felt blah and sluggish in general without my morning workouts at the gym
Conclusion: BOO. DISAPPOINTING.
Key finding: having a gym to go to whenever I want (whether it's rain or shine in Seattle!) and working out in the morning is KEY to MY fitness personality and success. Over the years I have always thrived off of of working out in the morning before work and have felt healthier in general.
Two weekends ago, I decided to go on a gym search without any expectations. I searched all the gyms that were closest to my home and mapped out four that were close enough to consider as possibilities. Convenience is big for me, so I knew that the gym had to be a relatively quick drive from home, and from work.
I had heard about Sound Mind Body gym in Fremont, but never seen the gym. I decided to just be spontaneous on a Sunday morning and head on over for a tour. Let me just say that I could NOT have been more impressed! Sound Mind Body (SMB) is one of the most beautiful gyms I've ever seen. The location is INCREDIBLE. It's situated along the water and the Burke Gilman trail. There are constantly rowers, bikers, and runners passing by as you workout. All floors have beautiful windows with excellent daylight access and you have the most lovely view (the above picture should sum it up).
Yes, there's more: SMB has three floors, 3 separate fitness studios (for yoga, group classes, and spinning!) with classes scheduled all day (including in the morning!) with yoga on all week nights. Their locker rooms are wonderful (hello sauna!) and make you feel at home. Lastly, SMB has its own full sized gym where basketball and volleyball games go on (my hope to play a few pick up volleyball games).
Fortunately, SMB was offering a first time membership trial for roughly $30.00 when I stopped by, which I decided to go for (total steal for this quality of a gym). My plan is to see if it's a good fit for me, and go from there! As far as a real deal membership goes, it's about $60.00 per month. For those of you who might be thinking "wow, $60.00 sounds expensive," here are two thoughts: 1) Health is always worth spending money on (if you make use of it). 2) Do you ever go out to dinner with friends? On average, how much is your meal? 20 bucks? $30? What about lunch during the week? Lattes at Starbucks? What about that $10.00 book from Amazon that is still sitting on your book shelf on in your cart, waiting to be purchased? Could you go without a few of these "essentials" this month? If yes, there's your gym membership!
For the past two weeks, I've been working out almost every morning before work. It simply feels AMAZING. There is nothing better than starting your day with a workout. The first action you take is for no one other than yourself. After my workout I take time to stretch thoroughly and spend several minutes in silence, being present in the moment. When I leave the gym, I feel stronger, healthier, and so proud of myself for making ME a priority.
...More later on my Summer Health Challenge results thus far!
What is your fitness personality? What makes you feel the happiest and healthiest?