Are you wanting to start exercising but can’t bear the thought of joining a gym?
Or heard that strength training is good for your bones and joints but don’t know how or where to start?
Or perhaps keen to start exercising in a different environment but don’t know what to look for when shopping around the numerous options now available?
Let me assure you, you are far from alone!
When it comes to exercise, choosing the right location is a decision that I value as highly as where I go for my pizza (which I take quite seriously). And the thought of signing up for a gym may not be super appealing, especially if this has not worked for you in the past.
Why you may ask?
Let me start by calling out the elephant in the room.
The vast majority of us don’t actually enjoy the act of exercising (myself included).
I like the outcomes it helps me achieve (feeling strong and capable, helps me run for the bus without dying ect) and I always feel pretty good after my session is done. But during the session itself I’ll be honest and admit I’m not exactly having the time of my life.
Hence why the location you choose to have these uncomfortable sweaty work-outs has to be appealing in some other way! A number of individuals assume that they will become exercise gods/goddesses once they start paying for a membership. However, I have heard time and time again how this theory does not always hold out. Consistent exercise habits are hard work, and made up of many other factors separate to the financial commitment involved.
I have worked in, and have attended numerous gyms since my early university days. And despite some of my preferences changing, I know now that for myself personally, I need a location that has the following.
- Positive vibes
- Is clean
- Where the staff smile/acknowledge me when I walk in
- There needs to be a good assortment of kettlebells and barbells on hand.
My clients have different preferences again. As our bodies and health levels change, it is not uncommon for different things to become of more value when it comes to exercise. Here are some other factors that you might consider when considering different exercise options.
If you are just starting out, it is worth considering what type of supervision is offered. A lot of our clients mention how much they want to make sure they are moving the right way. This can become increasingly important as you manage different aches and pains and want to manage specific health conditions. Although some gyms now offer 24 hour access, this may not be of value to you if you prefer to have someone supervising you at all times.
Due to some of what I have discussed above, an environment which helps motivate you to get the work done is always a good thing. Whether it’s the music, the trainer, or the company, a good environment goes a long way in making your session more pleasant. The reason gyms or specific exercise locations seem to work better than home for example, is that they kind of exist for one purpose alone. You don't go to a gym to eat, or catch up on Netflix. Home is a constant juggle of chill, sleep, domestic duties and numerous other tasks. Exercise although not impossible, is hard to do consistently from home.
Some of my clients laugh when I tell them that each new EP who starts at BJC has to learn about gym class “vibe”. I know that a dodgy, dirty or just flat vibe can work against someone’s intention to keep up a good exercise routine. Considering we are asking you to move, twist, bend and perhaps lift some heavy stuff.. we appreciate a good vibe is essential. Similar to when you choose your local pub/bar or restaurant, we tend to return to places where we have a good time. A gym or exercise location should be no different!
Sounds fluffy, but its true! We all feel a greater connection to those who we feel share something in common. Going to an exercise venue where you feel similar or are inspired by those around you may help you feel more comfortable when you start exercising. I love hearing clients share stories about their knee replacements, rheumatoid arthritis or how they felt just as rusty when they first started.
In the clinic, I’ve tried hard to create a positive environment for all of our clients. Between all the EP’s and receptionists, we make sure all our clients are greeted each time they turn up with warm welcomes and big smiles. Sometimes, just getting to an exercise sessions is a huge achievement on its own, so we appreciate how feeling welcome is an important part of the recipe.
Creating a motivating and enjoyable musical selection is a delicate skill that we all keep working on. Read here as to why we think music can help with exercise. Some of my group sessions prefer 80’s rock, whilst others enjoy my selection of Kylie, Brittany and Beyonce We try our best to cater to all tastes!
Supervision we see as crucial. As we work with individuals with rheumatic and other chronic conditions, we make sure there are 1-2 EP’s present for all our group sessions to ensure we can keep an eye out for any rogue movements.
Head to our facebook page to see how we are doing! Hopefully the pics help display the vibe and atmosphere we are trying to create. A lot of our clients “failed” when they signed up for regular gyms. We are constantly looking for ways to make the exercise journey easier and more enjoyable for our clients! In addition to this, a good EP can also design an exercise plan that avoids gyms all together. The key is that your plan is sustainable and as enjoyable as possible.
Let us know if you are looking for something different, and think we may help you kick your health and exercise goals in 2018. We are always happy to advise and encourage.