Monday, January 13, 2014 • Bethesda, MD 20814

I know what you are thinking. You are thinking that I am going to bash your local gym and say that it is not worth its weight in gold. You are thinking that I am going to say that it is a rip off and only out to get your money because they know that out of 365 days in a year, you will only use it for 146 days or less. You are thinking that I am going to say that it will forget about you once you join and focus on getting another new member.  Although most of your thoughts might be true, I would like to take a different approach.  Are you ready?

 Yes, it is that time of year again. It is the New Year and more specifically the month of January. Millions of people across our country take this time to set what are called resolutions. Americans have decided that it is time to do something about their health. Congratulations, you have made a very wise decision for statistics tell us that 66% of our country is overweight, 33% are obese and 80% of America does not get the recommended amount of exercise as suggested by the AmericanCollege of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

 Let me start by saying that there is nothing inherently wrong with joining your local gym.  After all, is not this what we are programmed to do?  “I want to get in shape so I better go join the local gym.” As the famous ESPN college football analyst Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast my friend!”

Before you join your local gym (yes, I am endorsing that you do join it if that is the environment you need to achieve your goals), I’d like you to consider the following four reasons why you may want to wait to join your local gym:

 1. Have you consulted your physician about your current state of health? If you have not had a physical yet, then I definitely recommend that you have one. You want to ensure that your heart, lungs and joints are ready for exercise.

 2. What is your ultimate goal?  Is your goal weight loss? If your goal is weight loss, have you considered consulting someone who can teach you how to eat properly?  Trust me; all the exercise in the world will not replace terrible eating! There are numerous studies out that show if a person changes their eating habits without exercising, they lose weight vs. those who do not change their eating habits, but do exercise and do not lose any weight. I highly recommend you reach out Nutritional

 3. Have you considered working out at home?  They are lots of ways to exercise at home. You can purchase a treadmill, exercise ball and some dumbbells and really get some great and effective workouts.  I know this for a fact because I personally have clients who work out at home and absolutely love it!

 4. How about getting together with friends and meeting up at a park for daily walks. Walking is the safest and easiest form of exercise. Also, exercising in a group has proven to be very motivational and provides accountability that is often lacking in one’s exercise program.

5. What about a specialized fitness service facility such as a personal training, pilates, cycle or yoga studio? These places tend to be more intimate and cater toward you as the individual.  Accountability, support and encouragement are never lacking in these places.

 Although we have been programmed to join our local gym when we have resolved to take care of health, it is not the end all be all. Hopefully, I have given you just enough information to convince you that you do have options that are just as, if not more, effective than your local gym.