49. The gym

Guest Thought from Ben Weinberg

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Hate it or love it, the gym has become tuned to the pulse of our society. With the increasing number and size of gyms, it seems like everyone and their mother has a membership these days. I think this is a positive trend. There are gyms for all folks, from the muscle-mass addicts to the casual weight lifter.

As I get older, going to the gym is becoming more and more a part of my weekly routine as my daily opportunities for exercise and fitness are starting to decline due to sheer laziness or the business of my schedule. Finding the motivation and perseverance needed to go work out after a long day at the office or school is a constant struggle. It makes me miss those days before college where I would participate in mandatory gym class during school and then do varsity sports after classes ended.

I think despite the crowded treadmills, overworked weight-lifting machines and the occasional interaction with the obnoxious guys who live for the gym experience 24/7, it’s not such a bad routine to get into for those who don’t really partake in it yet. It relieves stress, clears your mind and makes you stronger. People do a lot of things to make themselves feel good, why not add going to the gym to that list? Even if all we did at the gym was run a few laps or do a few good stretches, the results would be positive. If we all gave it a shot, it could lead to a fitter and happier world.

Who knows? You might just like it so much that you make a habit of it. Don’t over do it, of course, especially if you’re new to the scene. My body usually gets sore and aches if I go more than three times a week, but a little soreness is to be expected. The hard work of running, lifting, jumping, and stretching usually pays off if you put enough effort into it.

Unfortunately, most people in this world do not have the chance to go to the gym, and even more worrisome is how few people take the time to exercise and take care of their bodies. The gym is a luxury we often take for granted, but exercising should never be overlooked. We should never be too busy to be healthy.

It seems counter intuitive that the more developed a nation becomes, the higher the risk of obesity becomes. It seems we slip into unhealthy patterns when we should be taking more advantage of the opportunities we have. If not a gym, then something else: yoga, kick-boxing, rock climbing…

While the gym is not as accessible or as affordable as it should be, it’s a step in the right direction in terms of giving society the means to improve themselves physically and mentally if they so choose to. We should always be encouraging citizens to pursue healthy lives.

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3 thoughts on “49. The gym

  1. Aye aye captain, procurer of health. I do the gym, well I did, faithfully, 6 days a week for. .10 years. Lately, though, I have cut down, lost weight, gained muscle – by incorporating simple natural exercise into my life. Like walking my extremely hilly city of San Francisco carrying 20lbs worth of groceries.

    Fitness is out there and a gym is really not necessary – though it can be motivating, cash flow is not an excuse, especially since I, to my own surprise became fitter after slowing down on it!

  2. I agree, gyms are great. However, they can be quite intimidating for some; I feel that many people intimidated by the gym forget (or choose to forget) that the gym is not the only place to exercise. We should remember that we can work out at home by following videos, magazine articles, etc.
    Fitness does not require a lot of money or time (the two most common excuses, it seems). A 30 min jog, or a 15 minute interval work-out is often enough.
    Thanks for another great thought!

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