Gym vs. Economy
As I run along my stretched rotating rubber band, I scan the gym of all its individual sections. The beefy steroid junkies cram the weight section in the left corner, the toned lulu lemon wearing moms stretch on the mats in the adjacent corner and the average Joes trying to loose weight fill in the middle cardio section. Leaving the other end of the gym to the classrooms. Classes are held daily with an extra charge of $10-15 on top of your monthly membership fee. However classes are not needed when you can fulfill your daily exercise requirements with the equipment the gym carries. Not only can exercise help you maintain a healthy weight, but it can change your whole life from the benefits you get out of daily exercise. With nothing else to do on my long run going nowhere, I started to think about the price of staying healthy. Going to the gym only promotes heath and wellness, yet gym memberships are growing more and more impractical and inaccessible for the average person.
With the average gym membership costing $55 a month, you would think the average amount of people using the gym per week would be higher then two days. Leaving a whopping 67% who never use their gym membership in a single month. In today’s economy with 90% of my paycheck going to rent, and the other 8% to food, I am left with barely any free spending money. Yet a gym membership was a fee I knew I had to allot some of my money too. Growing up I had always been told that exercise lead to an all around healthy lifestyle, and had grown up exercising at least five days a week. Knowing I had to join a gym to get exercise, I did some research for the cheapest membership. I found the cheapest to be a $30 monthly membership for your minimal quaint neighborhood gym, and the most expensive coming to $250 a month for unlimited access to Pure Barre classes. In some cases your paying for what you get, the 30-year-old elliptical, the ancient ab sculpting machine and the sweat stained stretching mats. Nevertheless I signed up with the local gym for $30 a month and have been less than pleased thus far.
After three weeks of frequenting my new gym I could tell the difference in my life. I was happier and had a brighter outlook on life. And I no longer panted when I walked up my stairs to class. Wanting to find out more about other peoepls work out habits, likes and dislikes, so I asked some randomly chosen people in my gym. Most of the answers were “to loose weight,” “to stay buff and keep up appearances,” yet the one answer that I loved was, “I love the feeling I get after a long run or bike ride on the machines, a sort of high. The longer I run and the harder I push and the better I feel the rest of the day.” Says a perky, perfectly toned woman running next to me on the treadmill. I could feel her energy radiating off her and filling my being with excitement, hope and drive to stay in shape. After hearing her explanation, I went straight home and looked up the benefits to exercising. A thousand sites came up and I hunkered down in my cozy robe and slippers, freshly out of the shower. What the internet had provided was that frequent exercise boosts energy, reduces risk to diseases, help with sleep, controls weight, increases libido and overall improves your mood. My list could continue, however I find these to be the most important.
If we look at society and some of its major problems, we come up with obesity, depression, and widely spreading diseases, all of which could be cured by daily exercise. The list of benefits I listed prior all associate with these diseases and can help in small ways. Obesity is fixed with a healthy diet and constant visits to the gym to loose excess weight. Depression is cured by less stress, more sleep, and more pleasure. Luckily exercise helps in all those fields by releasing a chemical called endorphins, which is a natural morphine for your body. It diminishes the feeling and