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To Gym Membership, or not To Gym Membership? That is the question.

August 31, 2011 in Uncategorized

How many of you parents (or non-parents for that matter) have a gym membership? For those of you who do, how frequently do you hit the gym? Prior to having kids, Jerrick and I were regular gym goers, averaging 4 to 5 times per week. We also managed to fit in some outdoor activity (eg. running, hiking, biking, ultimate frisbee) on some of our non-gym days. Working out was easy as 1-2-3 and we loved it. That seemed to change quickly, after Malaya, our eldest, was born 3 years ago.

Our hiatus from the gym after Malaya’s birth was not a result of injury or any other physical barriers.  Rather, it was due to the mental barriers that we faced as we made countless excuses not to workout there. We weren’t as motivated to spend any of our spare time at the gym. The whole process of driving to the gym, parking, dealing with crowds at the gym, and then driving home wasn’t appealing to either of us.  Although laziness played a critical role in our non-attendance at the gym, our changing priorities and interest to workout there were also significant factors.

So how did we stay active without going to the gym? We threw on our runners and started running. Although we typically had little energy left at the end of the day to exert at the gym, we often had some energy to run and enjoy some fresh  air in our neighbourhood. Jerrick and I would take turns watching Malaya, while the other went for a quick 20 to 30 minute run. We did this about 1 to 2 times a week, in addition to playing ultimate frisbee once weekly during the summer months. We also occasionally did 10 to 20 minute blasts of high intensity calisthenics (eg. lunges, push-ups, etc) and plyometrics outdoors or in our living room.  Although we weren’t as active as we used to be, we always felt great whenever we were active outdoors. I even continued to do some light running during my 2nd pregnancy and I felt great.

There were days when Jerrick or I would spontaneously make it out  to the gym for a quick workout, but that occurred infrequently. Nonetheless, it gave us enough of an excuse to continue to hang on to our monthly memberships. What were we thinking?

Jerrick finally gave up his gym membership over a year ago and I finally relinquished mine about half a year ago, not long after Mahal was born. In hindsight, both Jerrick and I should have given up our memberships long before we actually did. Why did we (especially I) hang on to our gym memberships for so long? Well, I kept on telling myself:

  • “I ate too much. Better go to the gym tomorrow.”
  • “The monthly membership doesn’t cost that much anyway, I might as well keep it, because I don’t want to pay the registration/activation fee again when I start working out again.”
  • “I won’t be able to go running outdoors once the rainy/snowy winter months come around, so I better keep my gym membership”.

I’m sure there were other reasons, but once I accepted that hundreds of dollars were being wasted yearly towards a gym membership that was rarely used and was not going to be used regularly anytime soon, I was able to let go.  Furthermore, a close friend of ours lent us some of his gym equipment that he had in storage, which provided us with further incentive to discontinue our gym memberships. Jerrick and I set up a mini home gym in our garage and are in the midst of scheduling ourselves in for quick workouts 2 to 3 times weekly. We’ll get you up to speed on how that is going in future posts 🙂

Kudos to the parents who continue to work out regularly at the gym, and for those of you who no longer do and/or are looking for ways to get more active, perhaps try one or more of the following:

  • Set-up a home gym
  • Invest in a good pair of runners and hit the streets/trails in your area. Kintec offers complimentary consultations with Fitting Experts to ensure you have the right shoe for your feet and activity.
  • Join a running club through the Running Room, Forerunners, or Peninsula Runners to prepare for a local race.
  • Join a recreational sports team/league through Urban Rec or if you’re into ultimate frisbee, check out the Vancouver Ultimate League.
  • Take drop-in dance classes.  iDance has 3 locations and offer drop-in one hour classes of various dance genres. Childminding is available too.
  • Turn on the TV and pop in a workout DVD such as P90X or Insanity.
  • Buy a punch pass to a local community centre and go for a workout in the fitness facility or swimming pool at your convenience, or take a group fitness class, such as Yoga, Zumba, kickboxing or spinning.
  • Hike a local trail.
  • Play tag with your kids.

Jerrick and I are planning to run the Granville Island Turkey Trot on October 10, 2011. Hopefully, that will give us some incentive to keep running up until then. We’ll keep you posted. Till next time, “Keep fit and have fun“!

 

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Lots of vitamin D, but not so much vitamin E(xercise)

July 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

We recently made a trip out to Whistler, B.C. to hang out at a couple beaches and soak up some of that vitamin D, which we’ve been waiting for all summer. At Rainbow Park (pictured above), we enjoyed some amazing scenery, while Malaya enjoyed herself in the lake.

Although Whistler offers great hiking opportunities, Jerrick and I were not equipped with appropriate gear for a successful hike with the kids. So in lieu of a hike, we decided to take the paved Valley/Lost Lake Trail from Whistler Village to Lost Lake, which was about a 25 -30 minute trek.

Lost Lake - Whistler, B.C.

Despite the fact that both Jerrick and I packed our runners on the trip with the intention of:

a) going for an early morning run on the trails or

b) going for a workout at the hotel gym,

neither of the above occurred. Instead, we opted for jumping on the hotel bed with Malaya.

All in all, we had a great trip and will definitely make another trip back to Whistler to experience some hiking with the kids and hopefully put our runners to good use!