image courtesy of Google images
One of my favorite ways to unwind and de-stress is to hit the gym. You hear plenty of people say, “I hate working out,” and maybe I’m weird for not falling in line, but honestly I love it.
Sure, in the midst of a grueling workout, when you’ve got beads of sweat dripping down your face and onto the floor, you’re not exactly feeling super comfortable and you may not be loving your life at that very moment. Your muscles are straining against the burden of a 20 lb. (or more) weight and it feels like finishing three more reps is mission: impossible.
I guess I’m an optimist. When I think about the time that I spend in the gym and for what reasons, what stands out the most in my mind is how I feel after I leave–contrasted against how I felt before I arrived. No matter what, I’ve never ended a training session feeling worse than when I started. Even if you’re falling over halfway through boot camp or simply flailing and not punching by the end of Kickboxing, you should congratulate yourself and take pride in knowing that you did something good for your body. Instead of sitting in front of the television or the computer like a sack of potatoes, you moved, you sweated and you gave it your all.
A big part of embracing your truly fit and athletic side is enjoying the environment that you are in when doing your exercise. Love nature? Go running on a trail. Not a runner? Go for a swim. Are you a little more like me, someone who likes to keep track of the statistics–for instance calories burned and time elapsed? Head to the gym where you can keep an eye on your machine to stay informed.
In the past, I’ve been a member of Gold’s Gym, and I also used to take advantage of the gym on campus when I was still in college. I had a favorite Gold’s location that I traveled a little further to in order to avoid the hustle and bustle of the location nearest campus, which was always overcrowded, and not exactly with many very pleasant patrons, either. Nowadays, I am a proud member of You Fit. Their gyms are simple yet effective. The funky purple and green color scheme is energizing without overdoing it and the open, organized layout is welcoming. There are designated areas for cardio machines, weight machines, free weights and stretching. And most importantly, the staff members (at both Tallahassee locations) are genuine and friendly and they don’t give you the kind of condescending attitude that unfortunately, you seem to run into quite often at other establishments. (You know what I’m talking about…you’ve the good-looking guy/gal at the front desk who doesn’t acknowledge your existence aside from quickly scanning your member card, unless of course you’re wearing a ton of makeup and have your hair done as if you’re going out for a night on the town.)
Although I wish they would stay open just a bit later on the weekends (Sat and Sun, they’re open from 8 am-8 pm), they have reasonable hours that fit my schedule and a membership is affordable. For just $22 a month, I get unlimited gym access, plus I also have unlimited guest access! So if I feel like sweating with a friend, I can without any sort of time restrictions. With a membership, I get a 50% off discount on beverages and I also am able to use their tanning facilities, (not that I need it).
My usual workout usually consists of a cardio warm-up, some time doing machines and free weights, a few rounds of ab work, and then back to cardio for a fat-burning finish. Being able to use an establishment that easily fulfills all of my exercise needs has helped me come a long way in really loving my workouts. I get to the gym multiple days per week, and I truly enjoy every minute of it.
You Fit Health Clubs get 9 out of 10 stars on my list!