You know that I recently joined a gym and have been loving it. I have always been a “gym rat”. Want some reasons to join one?
1. Variety of Equipment. From barbells to bikes, pulley machines to pools, gyms provide many options for workouts. Some of the equipment, like weight machines, allow you to isolate specific muscle groups for definition or to rehab muscles following an injury. Weight machines use variable resistance—changing resistance throughout the joint’s range of motion—which places more stress on your muscles at the angles at which they are stronger.
Dumbbells and barbells, on the other hand, offer constant resistance on the muscle throughout the joint’s range of motion. You can use a greater variety of movements that are more specific to the movements performed in daily life. In addition to free weights, gyms have a variety of cardiovascular equipment, including treadmills, elliptical trainers, bikes, rowing machines, and Stairmasters. Ask if you can use a guest pass (or use one from a friend who’s already a member) so you can try out the equipment in the gym for yourself before purchasing a membership. Some gyms also have classes you can go to. You should never get tired of your workout routine!
2. Knowledgeable Instructors. Knowledgeable instructors can give you fitness advice, write a training program for you, administer and explain the results of fitness tests, and demonstrate the correct ways to do strength exercises so you don’t hurt yourself. If you want one-on-one attention, you can hire one of the personal trainers at the gym to work with you, or you can take a myriad of group exercise classes, from spinning to cardio kickboxing. When looking for a personal trainer, make sure you hire someone who has a degree in the field, experience working with other people with similar goals and has a nationally-recognized personal trainer certification. Many gyms also employ nutritionists or registered dietitians who can give you nutrition advice and write a meal plan for you to accompany your exercise program.
3. Fitness Assessments. Many gyms offer a complimentary fitness assessment administered by a personal trainer when you first join. Depending on the gym, the fitness assessment may include measurements of percent body fat, blood pressure, flexibility and resting heart rate. Some gyms go as far as testing your muscular strength, muscular endurance and cardiovascular fitness. The fitness assessment is a great opportunity to acquire objective data on your current fitness level so you can set realistic goals. Following the assessment, you’ll typically receive one or two complimentary sessions with a personal trainer to familiarize you with the equipment and set you up on an exercise program. While personal trainers often use these complimentary sessions to convince you to purchase personal training sessions, they can be valuable for you to learn how to use the equipment as you begin a new exercise program. Take advantage of these sessions by asking the personal trainer lots of questions.
4. Motivation and Goals. Want to lose 10 pounds? Want to get become stronger? Want to reduce your blood pressure? Joining a gym can help you set goals and motivate you to reach them. Paying for a gym membership can often be a motivator in itself, since you’ll be wasting money if you don’t go to the gym. Having a standing appointment with some friends to work out with at the gym or hiring a personal trainer to meet with you on a regular basis can also be big motivators. By surrounding yourself with people who have similar fitness interests and goals, you’ll find that the energy and motivation inside a gym is contagious.
5. Socialization. While most people go to gyms simply to work out, they can also be great places to meet people. You know you already have something in common with other people there. Maybe you’ll find a new workout partner.
While joining a gym is an investment, it can be money well spent if you find one that’s right for you. After all, what better way is there to spend money than for your health and fitness? So if you want to get the most out of your exercise program, have a variety of equipment to choose from, knowledgeable instructors and a place to be motivated to meet your goals, you should consider joining a gym.
So what else has been going on in my life? Well, soon after the ringing in of 2015, A and I drove to my parents house in South Carolina to pick up some furniture for my house! I now have an entire guest bedroom, a new desk and lots of living room furniture! I’m loving it! I’m sure A didn’t really want to spend the entire day driving with half of it driving a U-Haul by himself back to Raleigh, but he is amazing and he did it for me! And I have awesome friends who met us at my house and helped unload everything! We couldn’t have done it without them, especially because of my left arm (yes, it still isn’t completely healed).
And the girls were excited to see A this weekend!
We celebrated our anniversary with dinner at Glenwood Grill. If you haven’t been and live in the Raleigh area, it is DELICIOUS. OMG. Every part of the meal was fantastic! You must try it!
And this post is getting really long, so I’m going to end it here. But with a recipe, of course!
Quote of the Day:
“Everyone who has run knows that its most important value is in removing tension and allowing a release from whatever other cares the day may bring.” -Jimmy Carter
What recipe to post tonight? Hmmm…I think I will post this Lemon Pepper Roasted Broccoli recipe that A and I made the other night. The last time I visited Milwaukee, his mom made this recipe, and I had it marked in a magazine to try myself! So, I already knew I was going to like it!
Lemon Pepper Roasted Broccoli
– 1 1/2 lbs fresh broccoli florets
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper, divided
– 1/4 cup chopped almonds
– 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
– Preheat oven to 450*. Place broccoli in a large bowl. Whisk oil, lemon juice, slat and 1/8 teaspoon pepper until blended; drizzle over broccoli and toss to coat. Transfer broccoli to a 15x10x1 inch baking pan.
– Roast 10-15 minutes or until tender. Transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with almonds, lemon peel and the remaining pepper; toss to combine.
Courtesy of Taste of Home