Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Membership Has Its Benefits

Recently, there's been an increase in the number of online fitness pros slamming working out in a gym. It's annoying but I totally get it.

They've done their research and they're very aware of the all-too-prevalent fear some people have of joining a fitness center.

They've created a product (at-home workouts or equipment) to appeal to those people. Now, they're pushing the buttons of their target market. Since many people are already apprehensive about going to a gym, these marketers, I mean fitness pros demonize the health club setting.

I'm the first person to tell you that you don't need a bunch of equipment to lose weight and get in shape. Even though I own a gym, I will never pretend that you can't get a great workout outside or at home.

I am also very aware that some fitness centers do a lousy job educating members and making them feel at home. So, while I won't say it's true for every gym, I do believe that there can be definite advantages to working out at facilities like Body & Soul and here's why...

* You will get a solid, well balanced, effective workout program. Too many people piece together a strength training program willy-nilly. For optimum benefits and lowest risk of injury, use a professionally designed routine.

* Social support from like-minded people. You can commiserate with other members about certain exercises that your evil trainer includes in your program. :-) Body & Soul is like Cheers; other members know you by name and ask about you when they haven't seen you in a while. If you miss too many workouts, you'll get an e-mail or call from me.

* Fewer distractions. Working out at home can be great but way too many people (especially women) end up skipping workouts because the phone rings or their kids need something or because a chore needs to be done around the house. You deserve some time to yourself to take care of yourself.

* Form check. If you're performing an exercise incorrectly, I'll let you know. Unless you've been working out for years, reading about an exercise and doing it with good form are often two different things.

* Variety. You probably don't have a fully equipped gym in your home. Being able to challenge your muscles with a wide variety of exercises is better for you physically and it prevents boredom.

* Encouragement. You'll be regularly reminded to challenge yourself by increasing your weights, learning new exercises, working harder, etc. Too often, when exercising on their own, people end up just going through the motions.

Those are a few advantages to working out in a fitness center, or at least in mine. If you prefer exercising at home, regularly do so and are getting results, good for you. I'm all for people exercising period. The point of this article was to show the positive aspects of being a member of a place like Body & Soul.

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