The Day I Realised I was Insane - How to Avoid Exercise at the Gym
So there I was circling the car park at the local gym. This car park was underneath the gym and was split into two sections. The first one you came to often had spare spots to park, the second was the most popular but was hidden until you had left the first area. So it became a gamble, do you take the first spot you see, or hold off for a position closer to the entrance to the gym. A misjudged gamble would warrant another full lap and any potential time gains would be lost.
After a few failed attempts I got to thinking, the only reason I want to park closer to the gym door is to save energy and effort, and there it was, I finally realised I was insane.
I was quite happy to waste time, fuel and therefore money by driving through the car park with a hawk eye just so I could save the physical exertion of walking an extra 50 meters. The whole point of going to the gym in the first place was to exercise to get fitter. Here I was however forgoing a brief walk so I could run and push weights around.
I had compartmentalised my exercise regime so much that I had completely missed the point of the bigger health picture.
After coming to this point of clarity I started to park in a side street to avoid the parking roulette. Next I parked a couple of miles away and warmed up by running to the gym to avoid the boring “it’s not really running anyway” treadmill. The next step was quitting the gym altogether and reclaiming my fitness independence.
This doesn’t just happen in the gym car parks though. Often we might drive to the gym and then jump back into the car to rush to the shops to buy food before dinner. What if we simply combined these two events by cycling to the shops, and riding home with a bigger load? This would give us a great exercise opportunity without the gym visit, save fuel money and be a more efficient use of time.
As an aside, I was at the shops the other day unloading the trolley at the checkout. I started thinking in my mind, ‘if I use two hands for each product, it would be lighter and easier’. This madness however would have robbed me of an incidental exercise opportunity to improve arm and core strength. So I persisted with single arm lifting.
If you work in an office situation, think about all the ways you avoid exercise. You might take the lift instead of the stairs, eat lunch at your desk rather than going outside. You might print your documents to the closest printer, or phone someone in the office instead of getting off your chair and speaking to them face to face.
So let’s stop this compartmentalising of our exercise routine and see all of life as a great opportunity to get healthy and strong. Let’s blur the edges between exercise and the rest of our activities. If we think a little outside of the box, we can save time, save money and lead a much more efficient and enjoyable life.