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to gym or not to gym

Hello PTs. All weekend I have been debating with myself about joining a gym. I thought I would ask for some input from all of you.

I have lost 22 pounds here at PT, though I still have plenty more to lose (I weigh 228 pounds and I'm 5' 6"). So far, I have gotten myself more active in my daily life and have used walking and an exercise bike and rowing machine. I have DVD workouts that I could use (but haven't lately), and dumbells ranging from 2 to 10 pounds. So I can make the argument that I could just use the resources I already have on hand to become stronger and more fit. It would cost me nothing.

On the other hand, there is a gym down the street from me. It would be easy to get to. They have a lot of machines and free weights and trainers. Since I would like to build some muscle, using the machines sounds really attractive. And a trainer could presumably help me to develop my physical capacity but not hurt myself (I have some issues with a formerly broken ankle and foot). And there is something to be said for the fact that joining a gym would feel like a declaration to the world that I am invested in my health.

But the gym will cost a monthly fee, plus I will need to get some workout clothes (at home when I work out, I wear things that I would never wear in public). And joining a gym is scary because I have never belonged to one.

So I keep going back and forth about whether it would be worthwhile to join this gym.

So what do you all think? Do you love your gym? Or are you just as happy working out in your den with some hand weights?

Sat. Jul 15, 2:58pm

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I didn't start exercising seriously until about 5 years ago. I was a size 24 (now a 12/14). Yoga DVDs at home, then at a studio, then spinning at a gym, then a new gym, then an even better gym. I LOVE IT! I go to the gym 5-6x per week. This is MY time and I don't (often) let friends, family or work interfere. Being at the gym is motivating, watching athletes train, seeing older people maintain their active lifestyle. You're exposed to so many more activities--a great opportunity to find a new "love" (yoga, pilates, body pump, spinning, dance, etc.) And we all know that unless daily activity/exercise becomes a life-long habit, the likelihood of maintaining our weight loss is diminished.

If you hate it, you quit. Can you do a month-to-month membership at first to try it out? Most places will give you a pass for a few days to try it.

I have an office job that doesn't pay much and so it means that much more that I pay a premium for a GREAT gym and to work with a trainer sometimes. I'm stronger, slimmer and most of all, happier. You cannot put a price on that!

Saturday, July 15, 2006, 4:16 PM

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One more thing...

Shop the clearance rack at Target for workout clothes. Inexpensive and you'll fit in no problem!

Saturday, July 15, 2006, 4:17 PM

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Shortest possible time if you do to find out if you like it. Consider other options like a personal trainer that you meet in your home or their place of business that may or may not be the gym down the street. If you do sign up at gym many times a personal trainer session will be included with membership. One other option have a work out "buddy" let you come as their guest a couple times.

Saturday, July 15, 2006, 7:41 PM

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Join. I never though that I would but I had to sign up to get my son to go so he could get gym credit and graduate high school! He wouldn't go alone. Now I go all by myself twice a week and the results are great. I just do the weight machines and do my cardio outdoors.

Saturday, July 15, 2006, 8:28 PM

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I never go to the gym

I hate the gym, but I run daily and weight train at home, so I think you should try it out for a month or so. I've wasted more money by signing up for a work out facility and never going, give it a try on a trial basis.

Saturday, July 15, 2006, 8:31 PM

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If you're not using what you have at home, it may be in your best interests to join. I was running at the gym. Bought myself a treadmill. I was always able to tell myself- oh, just another hour of TV, or another email, or another load of laundry before I would get on it- half the time I never did it. However, I never miss my scheduled time at the pool, and when I schedule gym time, I don't miss it, cuz I know if I don't do it when scheduled I won't be able to. I'm the kinda that takes advantage of too much flexibility- I need somewhere I have to GO to, to work out....

Saturday, July 15, 2006, 9:08 PM

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I find I'm so much more motivated when I'm in a gym environment as opposed to working out at home. I live with my husband and his Father and I've lost count of how many times I've had to break my workout to go and help them out with something, then have to go back to my workout and try and get back into the right frame of mind again.

But when I go to the gym, I'm there to work out without interruption, it's my time to improve my fitness, there's no distractions. I still work out at home as well, but I love my gym time. And I never thought before I started this regime that I would find myself saying that!

Sunday, July 16, 2006, 6:02 AM

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If you're thinking about it, I'd say join. I love my gym, and I find it very motivating to be surrounded by so many fitness minded people!

One thing about starting with a new gym... Give it a few weeks before you form an opinion. I've found the first week or 2 can be kind of awkward, you're getting used to things & learning your way around. After 2 weeks, you'll feel like a pro. And get the personal trainer - he/she can help set you up with a healthy routine, and can also push you to try new things. And. if you're not sure whether you will use the gym consistent, that trainer appointment can be a very good motivator!!

Sunday, July 16, 2006, 7:55 AM

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If you're tight on money, joining might be motivation to work out. For example, if I DONT go for a few days, I realize I'm paying anyway and wasting all that money. For me, that commitment keeps me going. Also, I dont know if you work or what your schedule is, but if you can get to the gym at off-times (or even weekend days) it tends to be fairly empty and less intimidating.

Let us know what you decide to do! :)

Sunday, July 16, 2006, 10:58 AM

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i, too, though that i would feel more motivated by joining a gym-even though i, too, had many pieces of equipment sitting dormant in my home. i was active in the gym for a little while, but the "thrill" of starting something new soon wore off. i continued to try to convince myself that if i had to pay for it, i would go work out. in the end, it just didn't happen that way. now, i do motivate myself to work out with what i have at home-eliptical machine, weights, dvd's, body-bar, etc. i contribute "gym fees" to a money jar (though considerably less than a standard gym fee), and reward myself for taking the time to exercise by going to a concert, play, museum, whatever-and pay for it with my saved up "gym fees". good luck!

Sunday, July 16, 2006, 1:02 PM

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