Saturday, June 23, 2007
Posted by Helene
After two days of fighting the computer gods, I have to change my original plan to write another article about “4 exercise moves dos and don'ts” like I had done a couple of weeks ago. Since I seem to be able to keep my internet connection for more than five minutes tonight, I have decided to reflect on some strange and sometimes absurd things I have encountered at the gym this past week.
1/ Put the cell phone down: Do not get on the cardio machines and start chatting away, this is your “me” time. Chances are that if you can chat with your friends while pedaling away that you are not getting a meaningful workout. The latest gossip can wait until you are done giving your workout 100% of yourself. If her boyfriend just left her in tears, take the time to be with her not on the bike. Unless you are “on call” or left the babies with an inexperienced caretaker, leave your phone in the locker room. The people around you probably don’t really care that Sue wore red stripe pants with a blue argyle sweater…and remember we are always louder than we think.
2/ Do wear the appropriate shoes:
A lady came to take my plyometrics/weight lifting class yesterday but had forgotten her workout shoes. She told me she would pass on the plyo but meant to lift weights barefoot. Hello…! I was sorry to inform her I could not let her do that for fear she might drop a dumbbell on her feet…I was actually surprised I had to explain why she could not take the class.
Do not sneak on the elliptical or bike in your flip-flops hoping that the gym personnel does not notice. You only hurt yourself, your joints, spine not to mention your shins. Call it a day and come back tomorrow, or better yet, put a pair of spare shoes in your car at all times.
3/ Respect the class: If you take a group aerobics class, do not spend most of the time chatting with the person next to you. It is distracting to the people next to you. It is annoying for the instructor because we know you are getting nothing out of it and disturbing the flow of things. If you can’t wait to chat with Jane, do it after class over a nice and healthy refreshment.
If you don’t like the class, please do not decide to make your own and start your own moves while one is going on. Step aside, get on a cardio machine or check out another one at a later day. It has not happen to me yet, but I don’t think I would have kept my cool when it happened to my friend Michelle in her kickboxing class.
4/ Disinfect: The bottles of disinfectant and towels placed around the gym are not there to enhance the décor. There are hundreds of people using the same equipment everyday and even of gym employees do disinfect the machines a few times a day, it does not justify you leaving a sweaty weight bench for the next person or sweat drenched handles on the bike. No disinfectant or towel in sight, bring at least a towel to wipe off your hard earned sweat and efforts.
Do not go to the gym if you have a fever, cough or sneeze a lot. There is no scientific proof that you will “sweat your cold out by exercising” but complete backup that you will give your germs to gym employees and trainers. Remember when you used to take your kids to daycare and they would catch all the germs floating in the air at the time? Same with the gym: pay it forward by staying home, you won’t slow down your progress that much by taking some time off….in the long run your body and fellow gym goers will thank you.
You are probably wondering where sweet Helen has gone after reading this…Well, I live at the gym: 6 days a week, anywhere from 5 to 10 hours a day, which make me care about…everybody in every circumstances. By doing the things mentioned above, people fail to see the bigger picture:
1/ By not giving yourself a tough workout and being on the phone instead, it is going to take you twice as long to reach your goal. You might even stop coming to the gym altogether because you “went everyday and did cardio for 40 minutes every time and never saw results”. Then, a few months later, you rejoin and it’s not 20 pounds you need to lose but 35…not cool. Buckle up!
2/ Keep wearing the wrong shoes and your joints and spine will be so out of commissioned that you will have to stop coming, maybe get some physical therapy or surgery ( I have seen it happen) thus defeating the purpose.
3/ It is most ok to exercise and socialize: I sometimes “buddy up” on the treadmill with a friend and we talk some while walking, but I leave these instances to my “easy” days. A group class is not one of those times. You would get more out of your workout by focusing on it and more out of your friendship by giving Jane your undivided attention when the class is over.
4/ If you are sick, remember to treat your body good and stay away for a couple of days. Your body needs to hydrate, work through the sickness and heal. By constantly working out on a cold or a bug, you are taking away its ability to heal fast. Every workout is more difficult for you, you might lose your drive ad when you have recovered you find out that your training is out sick because you passed on whatever you had (as well as all others sick at the time) to her/him and it is now going to take even longer for both of you to get back on track to make you reach your goal.
I care….I am passionate about my job, so saying “no, not acceptable” is also part of it.
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This Post was written by Helen from Tartelette