The fitness equivalent of the dodo bird…a gym membership

Two excellent posts, one from Quartz and the other an article from Inquisitr that expands on the Quartz piece and has a hilarious Jerry Seinfeld clip about gyms. Both articles are about why you don’t need a gym membership to become and remain fit…even very highly fit. Personally, although I exercise regularly (pretty much at least once nearly every day since age 17…now 58), I have belonged to a gym for only about 5 of those 41 years. The rest of the time I used all my own equipment. I still do that now, and I teach my clients — predominantly baby boomers and Gen Xers — to do the same. Use the outside world for your aerobics, because nearly everyone can walk, hike, jog, run, or cycle, and get your strength and conditioning from body weight exercises, kettlebells, sandbags, and slosh pipes (the last item you can build yourself for about $40).

Three months later, I am now one of the gym’s favorite kind of members: The kind that doesn’t go. Health clubs bank on the fact that most people won’t show up. The facilities can only hold a small fraction of their actual members, about 10%. Yes, despite what their marketing may imply, most gym chains actually want you to pay upfront, and then come just enough to make your membership feel worthwhile, but not so much that you take up real space.

Categories: exercise, healthy living

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