Not Going To The Gym
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Good Reasons For NOT Joining A Gym

I’ve been going to the gym for many years. For the most part, I think gyms are a force for good, and there are far more positives than negatives. However, you might not want to join a gym for some very good reasons. The list below is not a bunch of excuses but genuine reasons why joining a gym might not be a good idea.

Reasons for Not Joining a Gym


Catch Bugs

Gyms are busy places, with a lot of people passing through them each day. If there’s a bug going around, you can be sure that someone at the gym has it and will end up passing it on to you.

All that sweat and touching of gym equipment makes it the perfect environment for bugs to spread. While this may not be so much of a problem during the summer, the winter months, when colds are rampant, it can make it feel like you’re perpetually catching a cold.

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Athletes Foot and Verrucas

Since being a regular gym member, I have had athlete’s foot twice in two years and also had several verrucas. I’m a member of a David Lloyd health club, so there are more opportunities to catch things like verrucas due to their being more wet areas, (swimming pools, spa) than a typical gym.

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Pulling A Muscle Or Worse

It is quite easy to cause physical harm to yourself at the gym, especially when you first start. I’ve pulled a few muscles over the years, but nothing too serious. It has been entirely my fault on each occasion, usually by trying to do too much or using the machines incorrectly.

If you’re a newcomer at the gym, I strongly advise scheduling a session with a personal trainer who can instruct you on the proper techniques. Many gyms offer free induction sessions, which usually only cover the basics and will not instil the confidence to perform exercises completely safely.

Gym Membership Cost

There’s no avoiding it; joining a gym will cost you each month. In most UK towns & cities, there are usually several different gyms, and the membership prices can vary quite a bit between each gym.

Fortunately, most gyms these days don’t tie you into long contracts like they used to. So, if you find that you don’t go to the gym, cancelling your membership should be easier enough.

For the cost of 1-year gym membership, you could probably buy a home gym!

 

Cost Of Buying Gym Gear

Apart from coughing up each month for the membership, you will probably need to buy gym clothes, a gym locker padlock, a water bottle, and headphones. All of these additional costs mount up.

Rewarding Yourself With Junk Food and Beer

Something that I have done in the past and still do occasionally is convince myself that because I’ve done a hard session in the gym, I deserve a treat in the form of some unhealthy food & drink, undoing all my hard work.

You Don’t Lose Weight

Don’t expect to lose much weight by going to the gym. One of the reasons I joined the gym was to try and lose a few pounds, as I was at the top end of my BMI index. After three months of going to the gym at least three times a week for 45 minutes or more, I hadn’t lost much weight at all 🙁

After speaking with a personal trainer at the gym, it turns out that the gym alone isn’t a great method for losing weight. The most important factor in losing weight is diet. The gym should be used in conjunction with changes in diet to lose weight.

When I go to the gym, I feel like I’m burning the calories away rapidly, when actually I’m not. I burn about 150 calories (Kcal) when using the rowing machine for 15 minutes. So, if I rowed for a solid 45 minutes (my average gym session), I would burn 450 calories. Which is about the same amount of calories in two pints of beer!……. This explained why I wasn’t losing weight at the gym.
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Boredom 

The repetitive nature of gyms can be quite boring. Cycling on an exercise bike for 30 minutes that’s going nowhere or lifting weights up and down can be pretty dull.

When I first joined the gym, I suffered from boredom but found that there were things I could do to make the experience more enjoyable. Like giving myself targets, mixing up my exercise routine, taking part in classes, listening to my own music and working out with friends.

Finding Time

The time it takes you to get to the gym, change, do your workout, shower, change and get back can take quite a big chunk of time. Finding that time on a regular basis can genuinely be difficult. 

Intimidating 

Many people find the gym intimidating, especially when first joining. I know I felt intimidated when I’ve had some time away from the gym and then went back.

There are good reasons people might feel intimidated:

  1. Fear of Judgment: People worry that the OG gym-goers will judge them. Make them feel self-conscious about their appearance, fitness level, or workout techniques.

  2. Lack of Knowledge: Intimidated by the unfamiliarity of gym equipment and exercises.

  3. Body Image Concerns: Negative body image, feeling uncomfortable in workout attire or worrying about how you look while exercising.

  4. Feeling Out of Place: If someone is new to the gym, they may feel like they don’t belong or don’t fit in with the regular gym crowd. 

  5. Crowded Environment: A crowded gym can be overwhelming

  6. Social Anxiety: Interactions with other gym-goers, such as making small talk or asking for help, can be anxiety-inducing.

  7. Unrealistic Comparisons: Comparing to others at the gym, especially those in great shape, can lead to feelings of inadequacy.

Conclusion: Good Reasons For Not Joining A Gym

Personally, I feel that the reasons for joining a gym outweigh the reasons for not joining a gym. However, everyone is different. If you suffer from anxiety, then the gym might not be a good environment for you, or if you are someone with a weak immune system, the gym might not be the best place for you to exercise.

For most people, the negatives that I’ve listed can usually be mitigated one way or another. 

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