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Why I love the gym

Posted by Elizabeth Comeau  January 27, 2012 10:07 AM

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On my playlist this morning: Never say never (workout remix) by Justin Bieber
What I did: Weight lifting (30 minutes) Run (15 minutes)

Many, many of my friends and family have told me that a big reason they aren't exercising regularly has to do with their hatred of gyms.

I feel like I've heard every negative thing out there about gyms:
People tell me: "It's not clean ... too loud ... too crowded ... too cold ... too hot ... too smelly."

Well, I have a confession. I love the gym. Love. It.

Does that make me weird (it wouldn't be the only reason...)?

Why do I love the gym? Let me elaborate.

The gym makes me competitive
I don't like to lose. At anything. So, yes, I am that girl who will secretly look over at your treadmill and see what your pace is and how far you've run. And then I will try to beat that. I know it's annoying to be on the receiving end of this, but I can't help it. And to my defense, it helps me work harder (I always make sure I pick a machine next to someone I know is not a slouch). So in this way, the gym helps me make the most out of my workout. If it were just me on a treadmill in my home, I'd probably be watching home decorating shows and wind up walking at a steady crawl ...

It gives me a place to go
After much trial and error, I have discovered that I am better at keeping up with my exercise routine if I have to go somewhere to do it. I am not good at doing workout DVDs in my basement like some of my friends simply because I can *always* find something better to do in my house (play with my son, clean, do laundry, walk the dog, rearrange something). So the gym, and having to go to one, makes me feel like exercising -- and getting out of the house and making time for myself. Another reason I don't exercise at home well: I have the tendency to be interrupted by life. At the gym, no one can bother me unless it's an emergency.

It's easy to vary what I do
Most gyms have a variety of treadmills, rowing machines (my love!), stationary bikes, elliptical machines, stair climbers, weight machines, free weights, and more. I don't know about you, but that's a lot more variety than in my basement gym (which consists of a TV and some free weights). So, the gym helps prevent me from getting bored of doing the same old thing every day. Sure, some weeks I'll run on the treadmill three days in a row, but on that fourth day when it just seems boring, I have other options.

It's true. I love the gym. On the other hand, the gym locker room is another story ...

Are you a gym-lover or gym-hater?

Staying fit is an important part of staying healthy. This blog will offer exercise tips from experts as well as share the personal journeys of Globe staff members committed to fitness. No matter your age or energy level, we invite you to join in and share your own story. How do you find time to work out? What are your daily challenges? Let us know and read along -- and together, we can all get moving.


Elizabeth Comeau is a social media marketing manager at She will be blogging about her personal fitness journey and using a device called a FitBit to track her weekly goals and progress (see below). Follow her journey and share your own. Read more about Elizabeth and this blog.

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