Beating obesity: To gym or not to gym, that is the question

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There is a strong likelihood that as you pursue less weight and far better health it will occur to you that you should perhaps join a gym. You have seen the ads and you probably have a friend or two who belong to gym and they speak glowingly of the experience, but should you join? Well here are some facts to consider.

gym3You are most likely to join a gym in January. Why? Because you have just passed through America’s national day of gluttony, better known as Thanksgiving. You have also probably over indulged around Christmas and/or Hanukkah. And as you continue to party on right through New Year’s Eve you may very well become motivated to make getting in better shape one of your New Year’s resolutions.

That typically triggers thoughts of joining a gym. The gyms are thrilled with the New Year because every year they are swamped with new members and you may well be one of them but consider this. Of all those who join in January 80 percent will be gone by summer. So let’ look a little closer before signing up.

Joining a gym is not cheap. It can run $100 a month and sometimes even more. Yes there are also gyms that offer memberships at much less cost, but there definitely is a cost and in most cases the gym wants at least a one-year contract. So it is very important that you seriously consider the realities of you before committing to something for a period of time greater than statistics indicate you will be actually using the facilities.

gym4bA national average of all gyms indicate that slightly less than half of their members utilize the gym on a regular basis, meaning at least twice a week every week. So is it a good value for your money?

Then think hard about exactly why you want to join a gym. In my own case I did join a very inexpensive and basic gym and soon made this discovery. I would walk to the gym almost every day. When I got there I would use a treadmill for at least 30 minutes. Then I would use a few weights for a while and then I would walk home. Huh! I have a full set of weights at home and if I just walked an extra 30 minutes or so beyond my walk to the gym and back I would be achieving the exact same thing but without the added costs. I am no longer a member.

My wife on the other hand can’t get enough of CrossFit and she loves Yoga. For her a gym membership is essential and that raises another thought which is what exactly can a gym provide that you cannot do on your own?

gym7One thing, obviously, is camaraderie. CrossFit for example provides competitive measures that can be very inspiring. And the proper application of Yoga does require some guidance usually better provided through a competent instructor rather than a youtube video. But at any gym you are likely to form friendships over time and by working together there can often be the added benefit of mutual inspiration with the perspiration.

And absolutely all gyms do provide a greater variety of typically high quality equipment for a far broader spectrum of exercise options than generally available in most private homes. And at the gym you can also receive consul and advice from gym staff as well as from certified physical fitness trainers. The trainers, however, will cost extra and whether or not that is an option to pursue I will discuss later.

However, in contemplating to gym or not to gym, finding the correct answer for you requires full and honest evaluation of your needs and goals. If you are considering a gym membership shop around because there are often many options at least in large urban areas. Look at everything including the available equipment, how crowded is the gym when you will most likely be there, what help can you expect from staff, what training options exist beyond just equipment and above all else just how committed are you to truly using a gym membership in a meaningful way and on an ongoing basis?

Lose-Live-CoverTell your favorite walking tale and win a book.

Yes indeed walk for health and also for joy and then share your walking experience to inspire others. Please write and email your favorite walking experience to me at: Where did you walk, what did you see, how long was your walk and anything else you want to reveal. Please include a few photos with your email. Submissions will be accepted now though November 10, 2016 and the winner will receive a free copy of Lose Live the ultimate guide to good health and weight loss.  Your story will also appear in this publication. Together we can feel great and begin to win the war on obesity and ill health.

You can, at any time, get your very own copy of my true and real guide to effective and permanent weight loss, Lose Live available at, and Just be sure to keep checking in right here for regular updates. And if you have a question or comment for me please send your email to:

Copyright © 2016 Ron Irwin

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Gym photos provided by Claudia Gestro