Tag Archives: health club

Exercise: I Talk the Talk and I Walk the Walk

8 Oct sxc.hu createsima - Rainbow Image

It’s been quite a while since I’ve written a post about exercising. I’m sure you won’t be surprised at what I’m about to tell you. (Although it surprised me!)

I was acknowledged for doing the most workouts at my health club for the month of August.

Marcy at top of the list

Marcy at the Top of the List

See my name at the top of the list?

I wasn’t aiming to claim the most visits and I wasn’t keeping track even though some members at the club don’t believe me. A new doctor I had been seeing recommended I workout AT LEAST 5 times a week! To me, this translated into doing more than 5 times a week so I was at the club everyday it was open: 6 days a week. I did that for 2 1/2 weeks straight and I didn’t take the 7th day off when I was home!

How was it? It was exhausting! Are they serious? What senior citizen can continually exercise at that pace? Maybe if they didn’t put much effort into their workouts but my workouts aren’t like that. I put my all into it. I’m known at my club as the person who works out the hardest. Really, it’s more of a social club for a lot of the members. I hope their social friends visit them when they’re in the hospital recovering from illnesses due to their lack of exercise!

So, there has to be a balance here. It should be taken into account how seriously you exercise! Plus, I don’t exercise for 30 minutes. I figure since I’m there, I’m going to exercise until I’m tired and that is usually 50 minutes and, depending on which gym I’ve been going to and the equipment they have, as long as 1 hr and 15 minutes. I think doctors need to ask their patients about this. Or, maybe I need to volunteer this information the next time at my appointment since I seem to be stereotyped: Senior = Sedentary.

MY GOALS

I’ve been working on increasing my upper body strength in the past few months and the effort shows. My biceps have increased .25% while I’ve slowly continued to lose weight. I’m still using the caloriecount website and I don’t know if I can ever do without it! I am seriously hooked on it because it has been so beneficial to me!

The reason I’ve been working on my upper body strength is that women in general, are known to have poor upper body strength and I’ve always wanted to do a chin up. So far, I can master a chin up half way. This is a new goal for me. I like to challenge myself and I am always seeking new exercise goals to keep things interesting and to have something to achieve.

Since April of this year, I put together a warm-up routine for myself that I do now every time I exercise. It is about 6 minutes long and involves a variety of arm movements but also leg and ab movements too. I am crediting this routine for healing my shoulder issues that had dragged on for over 2 years! I will write up and post the routine in a future post. You may want to try it. If it worked for me, it may work for you.

Recently, I saw a 75-year-old female body builder on TV. She was lean and didn’t look anywhere near 75! She was inspirational! I was telling one of the gals at my club about her and I said that the body builder was my idol to which she replied, “You’re MY idol!” I got a kick out of that. Hey, that’s OK with me. That’s what this blog is all about:  talking the talk AND walking the walk; reaching that goal at the end of the rainbow!

sxc.hu/cempey - Colorful Rainbow Shot

sxc.hu/cempey – Rainbow Gold Goal!

 

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My Health Club is History

17 Oct sxc.huskizof Josep Lluís Caldentey - Donkey

I joined a new health club. You already know about some of the problems I was having at my former club. Let me tell you why I left.

I had been in the private shower/changing room, next to the

PRIVATE SHOWER ROOM

ladies’ locker rooms.

There are two of these rooms; two on the side of the ladies shower/locker area

and two on the side of the men’s shower/locker area. As I was IN the shower, a man started pounding on the door, telling me to hurry up! He was pounding hard enough to break the door down. I told him I’d be out in a minute. About 10 minutes later, he was back, pounding on the door again! He said I had been in there 1/2 hour. (I hadn’t.) I was furious!

I finished showering, got dressed and opened the door, expecting him to be standing there. He wasn’t but he was walking down the hall towards me. I figured it was him but I asked if he was waiting for the room. When he said yes, that’s when I gave him a piece of my mind. I can count on one hand the times in my life that I went into a tirade over something and this was one of those times. He was not going to get away with this kind of obnoxious behavior.

I was yelling at him in a very loud voice and I did that deliberately to make sure other people heard me. In the end, believe it or not, this guy was literally shaking. I don’t know if that means that I scared him to death or if he was holding back wanting to punch my lights out! I just didn’t care, I was fed up and this was the last straw!

He told me that the men’s changing rooms were being cleaned. I said, “We’ll see about that!”

He kept complaining that I was in the shower for a 1/2 hour. At which point I looked at him in contempt and called him a jackass. At which point he said the “F” word to me.

I stormed off and hailed the first health club employee I could find. I said I needed to speak to the manager. The employee said he was a manager. He was all of about 30? I told him what happened, that this guy kept pounding on the door telling me to hurry up while I was in the shower, and that he used the “F” word to me. The manager kept saying over and over, “We’ll take care of it.” He kept apologizing.

I finally calmed down because I realized that he wasn’t going to do anything about it. So I asked, “Aren’t you going to ask me his name?” “Don’t you have any questions?” He kept saying, “We’ll take care of it.” So, out of desperation, I described what clothes the guy was wearing and what he looked like. In disgust, I left.

I tell you this story for your own safety and for the safety of your sisters, your mothers, and your daughters who go to a health club/gym. All during the time that I was yelling at this jerk, NOBODY came to find out what the ruckus was. If this guy had become violent, he could have easily pushed me back into the shower room, done some damage, and nobody would have witnessed it. There are plenty of cameras around this club but NONE in the hallway leading to the side door of the ladies locker rooms

and the two private changing rooms where we were.

The manager said that they had been giving the mens’ rooms a “deep cleaning.” How stupid do these “managers” of this health club have to be to not put up a sign on the doors letting women know that the men will be using these facilities on this day?

The manager said these rooms are “family” rooms. So, in other words, he was defending this jerk’s right to be on the women’s locker room side using these rooms.

Can you imagine if I went over to the men’s locker side and started pounding on the “family” rooms telling a guy to hurry up and get out? They would probably handcuff and cart me away!

When I was new at this club, one year ago, I went on a guided tour and the guy who gave me the tour told me that these rooms were used for changing baby’s diapers, and also if someone preferred privacy rather than being in the larger open locker room. He never said that men were allowed to use them. In fact, he never took me on the men’s side of the locker room to show me the “family” rooms on their side. He never said I could use the rooms on the men’s side either. I never even considered that men had these rooms on their side of the locker area until this incident. In the year that I had been there, I had never seen any men use the rooms on the women’s side and I had gone 4-5 times a week, on various days, at various times.

The bottom line was that there was no respect for women at this club. I certainly didn’t need to feel stressed out after I worked out!

So, when you are looking for a health club, take into consideration these things:

1. Check to see where the ceiling cameras are located.

CEILING SECURITY CAMERA

Make sure there is one near the entrance to the ladies side of the locker rooms AND that they can “see” all areas of the club.

2. Don’t join a club that is so large that your voice gets “lost” due to the distance between you and other people.

3. Ask questions. Ask if men are allowed to use women’s showers and/or changing rooms. If there is an emergency “cleaning” or other type of emergency can men use women’s facilities. If so, will a notice be posted to let women know?

4. I am in the Silver Sneakers program which allows me to change health clubs easily. Even though they had me sign a contract, it’s fairly worthless and probably nothing more than a sales ploy to make you feel obligated to stay with them. I don’t.

When I was new, employees at this club photographed me and put my name in large letters on an ID card as big as a charge card. This is another thing I didn’t like about this club. Although they provided towels for free, you had to turn in your ID card at the desk in exchange for a towel. Sometimes the desk was unmanned and anyone could go behind the desk to pick up their ID card which allowed them to see YOUR ID card and your name/photo. This poses a security issue for you. I only used their towels once. When I saw the lack of care regarding my ID card, I brought my own towels from then on.

I have been at my new club for two weeks now. In the Silver Sneakers program, the club gets paid every time you swipe your “ID” at the entrance or whatever type of “ID” the club has you use. My current club uses a small numbered tag-like ID that I attached to my keychain. There are no privacy or safety issues with it.

My new club is a small club with only two private shower rooms on each side of the club. One side says, WOMEN’S RESTROOM and I assume the other side says, MEN’S RESTROOM. Ceiling cameras can view all areas of the club.

Final Thoughts

Women have as much right to be at a health club as men. We have the right to take care of our bodies. We have the right to be treated with respect, especially when we’re paying customers. I am left with this question: Why aren’t there more women owned, women run health clubs? Why?

What Motivates People to Exercise?

13 Sep sxc.hu/ mckenna71- Swim Suit

When I went to my health club to work out Friday, I was just finishing up and headed for the floor mats to do some core work. Since they put out new, thicker mats, I was standing there admiring them when a little old lady walked over to me.

“They moved everything around,” she complained. The staff had rearranged all the equipment and spread everything out. Frankly, I liked it.

“It’s safer this way. We have more room,” I said. She introduced herself. Her name is Sally. I noticed that she was wearing a beautiful ring with a topaz stone. I asked if she was a November baby. She looked surprised and said, “yes!” I told her that I was a November baby too and had recognized her topaz stone. Sally asked what day I was born and I told her November 6. She said she was born November 11. She said the man she was just talking to was born November 8. (It must have been November Day at the gym.) Then she joked that she was older than me, 80 years old. I said that I think about getting older and wonder if I will be able to continue exercising when I’m 80. Sally said, “It’s up to you.”

Well, if it’s up to me then I’ll be exercising until I breathe my last breath!

What motivates someone like Sally to exercise at age 80? What motivates anyone? TJ of TJ’s Garden and I were chatting about that recently. In this article you will find out what motivates me and some hints to motivate you too.

Do visions of the Grim Reaper in the distance motivate you to exercise?

Or is it that swim suit number that you’ve eyed recently? For me, I love to cook/bake and my exercise habit counterbalances my love of eating habit.

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Hints to Make Yourself Exercise

1. Get on the scale. There’s nothing like seeing those numbers creep up on the scale to make you watch your diet or push you out the door to exercise.

2. Look in a full-length mirror. Do you like what you see in your reflection? If the answer is no, then you know you have to get your butt in gear and go work out.

3. Go shopping for jeans. If you pick out four pairs of jeans to try on in your size and you can’t zip any of them up, you know you have to exercise.

4. Help somebody else. The benefit of helping somebody else to lose weight or to go exercise has double benefits: it encourages the person you are helping and it reinforces the good advice you’re giving in your own mind.

5. Positive affirmations. When you force yourself to go work out (like today, I was really dragging it) and then succeed in doing a good workout, give yourself a pat on the back. Say positive things to yourself. Or, say positive things out loud (when nobody is around). It’s not hokey to say, “Great job! Especially when you were really having a tough time motivating yourself! I’m proud of you!”

6. Sit down, bend over, and try to tie your shoelace. If your stomach is in the way, you need to go work out. It’s easier to tie a shoelace when your gut isn’t in the way. Make shoelace tying easy on yourself; you’ll be glad you did.

7. Ask yourself, How much do I like myself? If you like yourself, you will treat your body well. You know the poem: How Do I Love Thee? Let me count the ways: 1. I love thee for taking such good care of thy body!

8. Lie to yourself. When you are on your way to the gym, tell yourself that you are only going to work out for 10 minutes. (I do this all the time.) Once you complete the 10 minutes, you start to feel better so then you say to yourself, “OK, I’m only gonna do 10 minutes more and that’s it. That’s enough.” When you’re done with those 10 minutes, then you can either stop or say that you might as well do 10 minutes more, it won’t kill you. There are days when I have this conversation in my head and I end up doing 45 minutes on the elliptical machine! I not only feel very proud of myself but I feel physically good too. So will you!

9. Compete with yourself. I always go for burning 400 calories on the elliptical machine. It doesn’t matter if I start slowly or how many miles I do. I just want to get to that 400 calorie mark. You can start at a lower number, of course. Just try to do more each time. You want to beat your old record.

10. Hire a Personal Trainer. You can learn a lot from a trainer in a short amount of time. See if the trainer will train two of you at a time: you and a girlfriend. The friend can help motivate you too.

Here are more ways that I motivate myself. Click the link, you won’t regret it.

What motivates you to exercise?

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Don’t Be THAT Guy!

5 Sep Don't Be a Clown!

As I was reading through some health blogs, I came across Bob Doucette’s post titled, Don’t Be That Guy.  He made some good points about guys (and girls) who practice what Bob calls “douchebaggery” (ill manners in the gym) and I immediately recalled an incident that had aggravated me recently at my health club.

 

I told Bob I was going to steal his title because I liked it. I’m also going to steal his style of telling the story because it is a good one. I’m not going to steal his term douchebaggery because he coined it and fair is fair. I prefer the term dolt.

 

I’ve made it to the gym two Fridays in a row and I don’t usually go on Friday. Last Friday as I was working my biceps on the fitness machine, an old coot walked over and stood very close to me so that I felt uncomfortable operating the machine. Guys: don’t ask me if I have beer in my water bottle. I don’t find it charming especially coming from you with your over-sized beer gut at my eye level. I told this dolt that I don’t drink much in case he was screwing up the courage to ask me out for a brew. He made another comment about how he only drinks one…and then another one, and then another one. I put my head down as if to say I’m going back to working out now, goodbye! He left. Don’t be THAT guy.

Are You This Guy?

 

When I work out, I get very focused. I’m busy counting my repetitions and I don’t have much time for chat. I’m working with machines and I don’t want to be hurt while using them by not paying attention to what I’m doing and making small talk or whatever. I was working (this was the same Friday) at the machine for my adductors, or my inner thigh muscles. Ladies, this machine puts you in an uncompromising position similar to the one at your OB-GYN doctor’s office except that you’re sitting down. A friend of the old coot had placed the bottle of cleaning solution near me. He bent down to take a look at a part of me (that I’m not going to describe here), pretending to pick up the bottle. I ignored him but I heard a woman’s voice from behind me yell, “WATCH IT!!” as a warning to him. He was sufficiently embarrassed because she had caught him in the act. He sheepishly asked me if I wanted the bottle and I said no. That was dolt number 2. Don’t be THAT clown!

Don’t Be a Clown!

 

When I walk on the track, especially after I’ve worked out and am sweaty and exhausted, don’t pretend that you don’t see me on the track and cut across in front of me making me stop short. I can’t tell you how many men (and a few women too) have done this. I’d hate to see them driving in traffic! I got so ticked off at people doing this that one day, I saw a guy walking towards the track and I could see from the speed he was walking that he wasn’t going to stop. He looked directly at me and I looked directly at him; glared is more like it. If he dared to cross in front of me that day I was going to give him a piece of my mind that the entire floor would have heard! In other words, if looks could kill, he’d be dead. He saved his life by stopping until I walked on. Don’t be THAT guy or THAT girl!

 

I like facing the big picture windows when I use the elliptical trainer machine. I go for 45 minutes which is what I normally do. Just because I did 45 minutes this past Friday, it doesn’t mean I was waiting patiently for you to take the machine next to mine when there are 25 other *$#! elliptical machines on the floor. I’m not interested. Read my body language: I’m not looking at you, I’m not smiling at you, I’m not talking to you. What does that tell you? Don’t be THAT guy!

I’m working out at the gym.

 

I tried to find a good video from YouTube to insert into this blog since Bob had one on his blog, but they were all pathetic. There was one video about meeting women at the gym that almost made it into this blog until one of the guys in it made the comment, “But she had makeup on.” Just because I comb my hair and wear lipstick to the gym doesn’t mean I’m there to pick up men. It’s hard to believe I have to defend that. Really, aren’t you grasping at straws here fellas? Women go to the gym for most of the same reasons as you: to get in shape and be healthy. Don’t demean us by thinking otherwise.

 

Here’s a clue: be extra diligent cleaning the machine that you’re on when you see me waiting for it. I dig your message of respect. Be THAT guy. It’s OK for you to look silly stopping short and nearly falling when you’re exhausted from working out and about to crash into me when I’m on the track. I appreciate YOU making every effort to avoid a collision. Be THAT guy. Finally, it’s OK to tell me that I don’t have to wipe down the machine after I’ve finished using it because you’re just going to put your towel on the machine anyway. Be THAT guy. I’d go out with THAT guy.

 

There may be a follow up to this post because there is no shortage of dolts at my health club. I just picked the ones from recent memory.

 

Ladies, what ticks you off at your health club?

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Exercise – What Is Your Favorite Way to Exercise?

28 Aug Hand weights

Yoga Pose

When I first started going to a health club, I took every exercise class that was available. I enjoyed learning step routines, Pilates, circuit training, Yoga, toning with weights and toning with stretch bands, abdominal workouts on a ball or a weighted ball or using a kettle bell. And there was always the track for walking or running. My favorite though was and still is kickboxing. Kickboxing can get your heart rate up. It’s a great cardio workout. If you combine the kickboxing moves with weights or use weighted gloves, you get the double bonus of cardio and strength training.

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Jump rope

Home Gym

Over time, I purchased exercise clothing such as the correct shoes, running pants, stretch bicycle shorts which I wore for exercise classes, a gym bag, a lock for my locker, a steel water bottle to replace the now defunct plastic water bottle, weights, stretch bands, resistance tubes, ankle and wrist weights, jump ropes, glove weights, exercise balls, mats, exercise DVDs, and workout music tapes for my exercise routine at home when I couldn’t get to the health club. Whew!

Mat & exercise ball

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New Exercise Classes

Exercise classes are always evolving. Today there are Zumba classes and it has become very popular. Cycling classes are popular too.  Recently, my health club added a kickboxing class but it is a separate class from the classes that are included in your signup package. They charge $70 for the kickboxing class! In my previous gym memberships at other clubs, kickboxing was always included. The Parks Department offers kickboxing classes for free and those classes are packed!

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Senior Citizen Classes

Water aerobics classes are popular with the older generation and are sometimes referred to as Aqua classes or Arthritis Aqua classes.

Aqua Class

 

Low Impact – High Intensity

These days I go for the low impact exercise. That’s not so easy to find. If you like to work out at home with exercise DVDs, many of them require a lot of jumping which is high impact. The older you are, the more risky this type of exercise is for you. After thoroughly searching countless exercise DVDs, I found two that are low impact but get my heart rate up. Learn more here.

What is your favorite exercise?

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Thinking About Signing Up At a Gym?

24 Jun sxc.hu/ Lotus Head

Do you know what to look for when you sign up at a gym?

I’ve had memberships at three health clubs over the course of many years. For me, the most important thing is proximity to my home. If a gym is too far away, there is less likelihood that I  (or you) will go. So, it’s best if there is more than one to choose from since there are other important variables involved in choosing a gym.

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Are You Drinking Water?

21 Jun sxc.hu criswatk Thirst

When you work out, it’s important to drink enough water. You should be drinking water before you exercise, during your exercise, and after you exercise. It’s disturbing how few people I see in health clubs drinking water. I feel like I’m the only one guzzling away. Please don’t make me feel isolated! Drink with me!

Experts from WebMD say:

  • One to two hours before your workout, drink 15 to 20 ounces of water
  • 15 minutes before you begin, drink between 8 and 10 ounces of water
  • During your workout, drink another 8 ounces every 15 minutes.

Not drinking enough water can lead to these ailments that I have written about in another post.

 

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How to Find Your Target Heart Rate; and What it is!

20 Jun sxc.hu felipeh3 Calculator

When I was taking aerobics classes at my health club, the instructor would always have us check our pulse to see where it was and to match it with the chart hanging on the wall. Mine was always off the chart. I never really knew what we were doing or if I should be worried that mine wasn’t listed.

I never felt sick or dizzy but I would be breathing hard.

I don’t take aerobic classes anymore but I use an elliptical trainer (machine) that shows a digital display with readouts for speed, mileage, time, calories, and handle hand sensors for my heart rate.

Usually, with these types of machines, on the left side of the display is a graphic with a caption that says Target Zones or something like that. This elliptical trainer has 65% and 85% columns corresponding with age.

I never got that. Do they expect you to do math while you’re sweating bullets? I can’t do math, especially percentages, when I’m standing still or even sitting down! So, are you supposed to keep a calculator in the little book or drink holders that they provide? No. I finally got around to figuring out the answer. I will share that answer with you right here.


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Track Rules at Health Clubs Are For Your Safety

19 Jun sxc.hu/ linder6580 - One way sign

I was walking on the 3-lane-track of a modern, two-story health club. An elderly gentleman, about 60,  sidled up to me and asked, “Did you tell them the correct way to walk on the track?” I wasn’t sure what he was talking about. He continued, “Those two have been going halfway around the track the wrong way and then they walked back halfway the right way. They did this about four or five times!” I listened to him as he urgently told me what two young teenagers were doing on the track. When he finally gave me an opportunity to speak I said, “No, I didn’t see them doing that. I just told them that they should move to the right because the left lane is the passing lane. They had moved all the way to the left to let me pass them on the right.”

This didn’t seem like much of a problem to me and I figured that they were new. It was a boy and girl who looked to be about 13 years of age. The boy smiled and quickly moved out of the way for me (he was on the far left). I moved on and it was then that the elderly gentleman caught up with me.

“Everyone has to go in the same direction otherwise someone is going to get hurt.” He was right. We can’t all go in whatever direction we please, it would be chaos! He thanked me and hurried on leaving me to think about what had just happened.

The two teens were gone, disappeared. Apparently they saw the gentleman talking to me and thought that I must be a staff member.

This health club is a family health club. There are elderly people using the track, moms pushing strollers with kids inside, elderly people with walkers, and sometimes very seriously handicapped people who can barely walk at all on the track. There is more than enough room for all of us but we need to follow the simple rules: go in the same direction!

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