Ugh… I am sick this week. RB40Jr got a cold from school first and passed it along to me. That’s the thing about daycare and school, kids are always sick. Actually, this year has been pretty good. This is only the second time we got sick and it’s almost the end of the flu season. Anyway, I’m still going to hit the gym this week. My 2017 fitness plan is to go to the gym whenever Junior is in school. This is a very good habit and I intend to go to the gym as long as I can get out of bed. I’ll just take it easy this week. Some physical activity is much better than staying at home all day.
Today, I want to talk about why I go to the gym to exercise. As our regular readers know, I’m a very frugal guy. Why pay money to go to the gym when I can work out at home or just go outside? Let’s go over some reasons why going to the gym works better for me.
Work out at home
In theory, I could work out at home and save $300 per year. In fact, I worked out at home for 2 days when my gym closed last month due to a safety issue. For those 2 days, I exercised with my bodyweight and I didn’t need a lot of equipments for that. At home, I did a bunch of pushups, squats, lunges, crunches, and jumping jacks. The only major omission is pull ups. I’d need to get a pull up bar, but they are relatively inexpensive so no big deal.
This sounds good in theory, but it won’t work due to a couple of reasons.
- Our place is small for 4 people. We live in a 2 bedroom condo and the place is already full. At the minimum, I’d need to get a pull up bar and a few sets of dumbbells. That’s not a lot of equipments, but we really don’t have any space for more stuff.
- I probably could not exercise consistently when I’m at home. I had a nice pull up tower and some dumbbells at our old house and I never worked out at home. It was very difficult to motivate myself to exercise when I’m home. There are way too many distractions and I prefer to do fun stuff at home. It is possible I could train myself to exercise at home, but I really doubt it.
Exercise out door
What about exercising out door? There are a lot of options. You could run, bike, or play sports with friends. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work for me either because…
- I can’t sustain a cardio activity due to a genetic condition. I can run/jog for just a few minutes before blacking out. This exercise intolerance condition is the result of mitochondrion disease. I could walk and lift weights, but running, biking uphill, and team sports are out. I have to pace myself when I do physical activity. Actually, my condition is on the mild side of mitochondrion disease.
- We live in Portland and it rains for 8 months out of the year. A lot of people run and bike in the rain in the Pacific Northwest, but I’m too soft for that. Walking to the gym in the rain is about my limit for getting wet.
- I tried exercising outdoor when I first became a stay at home dad. I took our kid to the playground and work out a bit there. It didn’t stick, though. Junior wanted me to play with him and I usually can’t get a good work out in. We walked a lot, but that wasn’t quite enough.
Going to the gym
I like going to work out at the gym and I enjoy seeing my progress. My goal was to do 15 pull ups (video at the end of this post) and I’ve done that. Now I’m shooting for 20 by the end of the year. This one is going to be tough, but I think I can do it.
As for the cost, the gym membership really isn’t that expensive at $26/month. I have been going to the gym about 20 times per month so it is just $1.30 per trip. That’s dirt cheap in the grand scheme of things. Consistent exercise will improve my health and $26/month isn’t expensive at all. It’d be a different story if I get to the gym just once or twice a month. Then, I’d have to figure out an alternative.
Exercising at the gym works for me and my policy is to stick with what is working. Actually, blogging about getting fit this year really helped too. I don’t know why, but blogging improves my stick-to-itiveness a ton. Everyone should have a blog. Here is my tutorial on how to start blogging and why you should.
So that’s why I pay $26 per month for a gym membership although I’m pretty cheap with other stuff. Exercise is very important and most of us don’t get enough. I’ve read about other bloggers who work out at home and I think that’s great too. You just have to do whatever works for you.
What about you? How do you exercise? Do you go to the gym or prefer to do something else?
This video was taken in March. I started off pretty good, but the form deteriorated toward the end. My form is better now. I’ll take another video at the end of June and share it.