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5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Join a Gym This New Year

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Join a Gym This New Year

Starting January 1st, formerly empty gyms all over the country will suddenly become overflowing with people set on making this year the year they finally get in shape.

And whether their reason is to lose weight, gain muscle, improve overall health or something else entirely, New Years resolutions are the number one reason people of all fitness levels pony up the cash and decide to finally join their nearby gym.

But as a former personal trainer and gym-addict, I’d urge you to save your money and take a different—and more successful—approach and not get a gym membership this year.

Here are 5 reasons why you shouldn’t join a gym this New Year:

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You probably won’t even use it

When I used to work at a gym, I’d see a flood of people join in January. They’d act really enthusiastic about getting in shape, and often make it in two or three times a week, diligently doing their treadmill workout or trying a new class or two. But after about a few weeks, they’d start coming in less and less until finally after a month or two, they’d stop showing up altogether.

In fact, nearly 4 out of 5 Americans don’t even use their gym membership—except maybe at the beginning of the year.

And whether it’s because you’re intimidated by the (unnecessary) machines in the gym, you hate the commute or you just don’t know what workouts to do, save your money and work out at home or outside instead.

The equipment sucks anyway

I’m always shocked when I go into a gym I’ve never been in before and there’s not even a basic pull up bar, a jump rope or a few kettlebells for people to use.

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In fact, most standard gyms (not including CrossFit gyms) are overflowing with fancy machines and may only offer a few piddly free weights. You’re better off buying a few basic pieces of equipment for your own home, and focusing mostly on bodyweight exercises instead.

It costs too much money

Depending on where you live (gyms in cities are more expensive), a gym membership can cost anywhere from $30 a month to $200 a month, and that’s not even counting the initiation fees. That means you’re spending $360 to $2,400 on a membership to something you might only use once or twice a month (or, not at all if you’re like most gym members).

Want a better way to use your money? Get a few trusty pieces of home workout equipment like a doorway pull up bar, jump rope, even some parallettes or a kettlebell or two. Not only will these be one time expenses that will more likely than not last through a lifetime of workouts, you’re also more likely to actually use them since they’ll never be too far away.

It takes too much time

For most people, a trip to the gym consists of the time it takes to drive there, changing in the locker room, a 45 minute or so slow paced workout or a class, a shower and maybe a trip to the smoothie bar—altogether taking anywhere from an hour or two every single time they go.

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So it’s no wonder many people have trouble finding the time to work out—an hour or two of your day is a lot to commit to 3-6 days a week!

Working out at home will not only save you money, it’ll also cut the time you spend getting to and from exercise by more than half—especially if you do more efficient forms of exercise like HIIT.

Bodyweight training is better anyway

You’ve probably noticed that most gyms don’t prioritize bodyweight training, focusing instead on shiny equipment to lure in members. But most machines are mimicking bodyweight exercises anyway—just in less efficient, less beneficial way.

For example, when you sit at a biceps curl machine to bust out a few sets of curls, you end up only using your biceps muscles. On the other hand, if you were to stand up straight and do biceps curls using a pair of dumbbells—or better yet, just do some pull ups—you’ll not only work your biceps, but also your core muscles as well.

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And since bodyweight training helps our body work like it’s supposed to work, you’re better off skipping the gym altogether and just doing your workout at home instead.

Skip the gym this New Year

So this year, rather than forking over the initiation fee and monthly membership costs, consider skipping the gym altogether.

You’ll not only save money and time, you’ll also be more efficient and more likely to keep up a consistent workout schedule throughout the entire year rather than just the first few weeks.

Image credit: deanetr

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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