I used to go to a local gym in South East London. Probably for a couple of years. It was quite an intimidating experience though not so bad when I got used to it. Recently, having just moved to Chester, I found there was a hotel with a Gym and Spa just 3 minutes walk away.
As a health and wellbeing coach, I am aware that I do need to practice what I preach but I certainly had some reluctance to sign up for this. Would I make use of it? Would I look weird and out of place being of quite mature years? Would I have to spend a fortune on lycra? And so the mental chatter went on.
However, I have been having physio following an accident in which I broke my hip in February. Now I have much better mobility including being able to spend time on the floor, getting up and down and so on. That’s the photo at the top of the article for now! I will finish physio quite soon and don’t think I need any more. But the physio pointed out that I don’t have strong glutes, to put it mildly. In fact I didn’t connect with those muscles (in my bottom) much at all! Things are improving but there is a way to go!
And tests show that I’m in the “amber” zone for osteoporosis in my spine. I don’t have fully developed osteoporosis but if I don’t take steps it’s likely that I will develop it. It is one thing to take supplements, but it is not the whole story. Thanks to Katie Bowman and her ideas on Nutritious Movement I’m very aware that movement and weight bearing exercise are crucial in having new fresh bone. Here is a link to a very interesting podcase on having healthy fresh bone and bone robusticity.
Another factor is that I’ve recently moved to Chester and it takes a bit of time to meet new people. The gym includes classes and a few offers on beauty treatments! Quite appealing to a new resident.
So I decided, on balance, pluses greatly outweigh negatives and that as there was no contract, I could try it out for a month or two and actually see what happened. I asked the trainer who did my induction to design a programme of weight bearing exercises, also for strengthening the glutes and a little cardio.
The first surprise was service offered to measure my baseline fitness. BMI, breathing under pressure, blood pressure as well as height and weight.
The second surprise was how technology has evolved so that I have my own fob that I put into each machine and it records my progress. I get a lovely green tick beside my workout record each time I complete a particular routine. Very satifying and motivational!
The third surprise was the fact that about half the users of the gym when I went yesterday, were over 50 years old. Some over 70. And when you think about it, we are the people who most need to be doing exercise. Gym workouts aren’t for everyone but they might be a great addition to your movement menu.
It’s early days, but I feel positive that I’ve joined and that doing my personalized workout was actually quite interesting. I think it is money well spent and I would encourage anyone to give it a go. I will report on my progress every so often.