Five Reasons Not To Join a Gym

Reviewed by James Brann, M.D.

  1. The Cost
    Are you kidding me? For the cost of the annual membership, you could buy a really nice home gym - something you'll be able to use year after year for long-term fitness.

  2. The Contract
    It'd be nice if you could walk into a gym, plunk down $20 and work out for an hour before heading home. Unfortunately, most gyms make you sign a contract - usually a six to twelve month contract. Why? Because the gym franchisers know that many of their newly-signed clients won't last through the first month. So, you're locked in to a worthless contract for a service you no longer want. And you pay and pay and pay for your mistake (which only makes you feel worse).

  3. Sanitation
    I don't care how clean the place is, I don't want to sit on the sweaty stationary bike seat that some pro wrestler-looking guy used for the last hour. Yuck, please pass the disinfectant.

  4. The Stumbling Block
    Getting motivated and staying motivated when you start an exercise program is hard - very hard. Joining a gym means getting your workout clothes ready, getting into the car when it's 115 degrees outside, driving for 20 minutes - and all before you've done a single rep. Getting started is tough, but making yourself pack up everything to head off to a noisy, smelly gym is a real stumbling block for lots of people - especially those with sensitive noses. Have you every smelled one of these places? Like my teen-ager's gym shorts after a year fermenting in the bottom of his locker - it's a smell that you just don't forget.

  5. The Alternative
    Spend $100 on a decent pair of walking shoes (one-tenth the cost of a gym membership) and walk. Every day. You don't have to worry about smelly, sweaty guys, you don't have to worry if your leotard matches your cropped tee and you don't have to drive anywhere.

    Walking is simply one of the best exercises you can undertake. All you need do is strap on your shoes, walk out the back door and let your mind drift into the 'zone'.

    It's easier, less expensive, provides excellent aerobic benefits without stressing those ageing joints and muscles. So get fit, stay fit and fit a little extra cash into your wallet each month. Your neighborhood is just outside your door. Stop by for a visit and enjoy the clean air and the satisfaction of knowing that you're doing something good - for you!