The Geek’s Guide to the Gym

The gym is not my favorite place to be.  Don’t get me wrong, I love working out.  I just find the gym dull and crowded.  There’s no variety there. Without a lot of room to work out at home, we were stuck running and walking along the treadmill and fighting the crowd to use any machines.

Cam and I prefer the park on a warm day.  I refuse to exercise outside in the winter time.  I’m freezing unless it’s at least 70F outside.  We finally got out at a nearby park recently.  The warm air and the breeze blowing just lifts my spirits more than staring at the TV in front of me, counting down each dull minute on the treadmill. 

Over the winter, I employed a few little tricks to help get me through until warmer days allowed for the pleasure of our local park trails.  

First, I always took a book or my e-reader with me.  If I have to be working out with a stranger next to me, it’s easier for me not to be self-conscious if I can loose myself in the book I’m reading and ignore my crowded surroundings.  Most people prefer their music and headphones to tune out the world.  I do that sometimes, too, but I can transport myself to an entirely different world with a book.  It’s often the only time I have to read these days anyway. 

Second, it can also be a social gathering for me.  If I can’t tune out the crowd, I’d prefer to have my friends there to chat with.  Sounds like I don’t get a lot done if I’m busy socializing with my workout buddies, right?  On the contrary, we would get so caught up in a conversation while on neighboring leg machines that we actually do a bit more than we originally intended.

Third, I try to go to the gym at 5 or 6 in the morning.  It’s not as busy and I usually have full run of any machine I want.  I always still take my e-reader to get a couple of chapters out of the way.

Now that spring is coming along nicely, I doubt I’ll find myself at the gym as often.  Over the weekend, we started back on the Zombies, Run! 5K app while we were at the park.  We have both the Zombies, Run! and the 5K trainer.  If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a great motivator to picking up the pace during your workouts, especially when it tells you that zombies are right behind you and you have to run faster to evade them.  It tracks your steps and pace to encourage you to run faster at various intervals.  There’s a bit of a storyline that goes along that you can keep up with, too.

Do you have any workout tips or favorite workout gadgets you’d like to share?