Paying for the gym; can’t! Won’t!

gallicinvasion
gallicinvasion Posts: 1,012 Member
edited August 2019 in Chit-Chat
Had an interesting talk with my brother the other day, and he vocalized a lot of the reasons why I feel such hesitation in paying for a gym membership or fitness classes.

He was voicing his amazement that we’ve set up a society that prioritizes labor-saving and being sedentary (the US’s obsession with cars, work mechanization, home-cleaning gadgets, and our addiction-like relationship with smartphones, TV, etc), sometimes at great cost to the consumer. And this lifestyle means we’re far more sedentary. And then we are sold back health and exercise (we pay to perform labor that isn’t producing anything but the muscles we used to have through our day-to-day labors) through gyms and fitness classes. Always at cost to the consumer.

No one to blame but corporations, general capitalism and the hand of the market, but I thought this was fascinating. I do purposeful exercise 3 days a week, 15 min each, at home with a small set of weights, so I’ve paid into it a little bit, and I’m still doing labor that doesn’t produce anything except a tiny bit of muscle on my bones 😂 but at least I’m not paying monthly for it.

Context, although our identities shouldn’t have a bearing on how y’all receive these ideas: my brother has always been an active person in his day to day life, biking to work and for pleasure, hiking on long weekends to explore new places. He works outdoors, as a director for our city’s composting program. I have never been a person who gravitates towards activity, and have struggled with weight since late high school. Recently lost 98 lbs and have found great success in building more activity into my day (parking 15 min away from work, making multiple trips, only taking the stairs and not the escalator, saying yes to more walking tours, days in the city, hiking, etc).

And we’re both pretty anti-capitalist 😂 or at least, we are well aware of the severe problems that our current economic systems create for the disadvantaged.

Anyone else have similar feelings towards paying for the gym?
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Replies

  • gallicinvasion
    gallicinvasion Posts: 1,012 Member
    edited August 2019
    I've seen that movie a few times. How the grinch stole Christmas. 😊
    Hmm, not sure I get the relevance, unless I’m the grinch for taking away the Christmas-like joy of the gym!
    😂
  • gallicinvasion
    gallicinvasion Posts: 1,012 Member
    I've seen that movie a few times. How the grinch stole Christmas. 😊
    Hmm, not sure I get the relevance

    Lol i should have bolded but i meant the consumer america your brother was talking about.

    Lol true!!
  • gallicinvasion
    gallicinvasion Posts: 1,012 Member
    I think we can all agree that staying active and exercising are very good for your body. But i think this is more about the societal implications of building our lives around labor-saving measures, so much so that we literally have created an industry around expending our energy (in ways that don’t produce any useful product) in order to get our physical fitness back.

    Like, when people get exercise by biking to work, or by painting their baby’s room, or by stacking canned foods for the homeless, that labor produces some good! And we always need more of it! Labor spent lifting weights for the individual’s health is also good, but the same could be accomplished if we directed that human energy towards physical labor that helps people.

    Now obviously I’m a hypocrite because i don’t expend my energy stacking canned foods for homeless shelters. My armchair-philosophizing only extends to me saving $20 a month by lifting weights at home instead of giving the money to planet fitness CEO’s.

    BUT. I’m wondering if others feel similarly! Maybe we can start a movement of “get fit by helping humankind!” all about expensing physical energy doing useful work that improves life for the disadvantaged.
  • FeelinFooFoo
    FeelinFooFoo Posts: 4,738 Member
    Haven't gyms and exercise classes been around for a long time though, even when society was more labour intensive ? I think these days gyms and classes are offered at affordable rates. Here in the UK there is good deals, 24/7 gyms. I see lots of people every single day pounding the pavement or exercising in the park. Many people have home gyms or chose to work out outdoors. Some people just prefer going to a gym cos it has lots of equipment that they couldn't afford otherwise. Plus I guess gyms and classes offer employment to people and encourages a healthy lifestyle. A gym can sometimes be a healthy safe space for people to socialise and work on their fitness goals they wouldn't be so popular if they didn't have lots of benefits to such a wide range of people.

    Better spending money on a gym membership than on some other things. But, you don't have to. I have worked out at home at one time (for about a year) and outdoors and I actually preferred that during that time. I couldn't really afford the gym and found that I could meet my fitness goals without a gym. I think your point is that people could be more self sufficient? And I totally agree with that but it depends on your individual goals / needs.
  • lg013
    lg013 Posts: 215 Member
    edited August 2019
    Gwen7121 wrote: »
    "Like, when people get exercise by biking to work, or by painting their baby’s room, or by stacking canned foods for the homeless, that labor produces some good! And we always need more of it! Labor spent lifting weights for the individual’s health is also good, but the same could be accomplished if we directed that human energy towards physical labor that helps people."

    Not everyone lives close enough to bike to work. You don't paint rooms everyday, and it is highly unlikely you will have time to volunteer every single day. Unless you have a labor intensive job, I think it's unlikely you would find enough activity in a day to replace intentional exercise. Plus, all those labor-saving measures were also time saving measures. Instead of spending an hour commuting, I can drive there in ten minutes. And now I have an extra 50 minutes at the gym.

    I agree with Motorsheen. My gym is a whole lot cheaper than a bypass. It has a social aspect that makes it more enjoyable than sweating alone in my spare room. I don't have a problem with what I pay for a gym.

    I’ll also add that I enjoy the gym and it offers a lot of gear and equipment that I could never afford, like a sauna and all of the machines. It’s more cost effective for something that I love to go and do, just like someone enjoys paying more to go to a movie in a theatre on a big screen. I also like what some of them classes that come with my membership teach me in new exercises, stretches, and meditation.

    I guess I could save up my membership and buy one of those machines in like 3-4 years...but I have no room in my home for it.
  • RunsWithBees
    RunsWithBees Posts: 1,508 Member
    Had an interesting talk with my brother the other day, and he vocalized a lot of the reasons why I feel such hesitation in paying for a gym membership or fitness classes.

    He was voicing his amazement that we’ve set up a society that prioritizes labor-saving and being sedentary (the US’s obsession with cars, work mechanization, home-cleaning gadgets, and our addiction-like relationship with smartphones, TV, etc), sometimes at great cost to the consumer. And this lifestyle means we’re far more sedentary. And then we are sold back health and exercise (we pay to perform labor that isn’t producing anything but the muscles we used to have through our day-to-day labors) through gyms and fitness classes. Always at cost to the consumer.

    No one to blame but corporations, general capitalism and the hand of the market, but I thought this was fascinating. I do purposeful exercise 3 days a week, 15 min each, at home with a small set of weights, so I’ve paid into it a little bit, and I’m still doing labor that doesn’t produce anything except a tiny bit of muscle on my bones 😂 but at least I’m not paying monthly for it.

    Context, although our identities shouldn’t have a bearing on how y’all receive these ideas: my brother has always been an active person in his day to day life, biking to work and for pleasure, hiking on long weekends to explore new places. He works outdoors, as a director for our city’s composting program. I have never been a person who gravitates towards activity, and have struggled with weight since late high school. Recently lost 98 lbs and have found great success in building more activity into my day (parking 15 min away from work, making multiple trips, only taking the stairs and not the escalator, saying yes to more walking tours, days in the city, hiking, etc).

    And we’re both pretty anti-capitalist 😂 or at least, we are well aware of the severe problems that our current economic systems create for the disadvantaged.

    Anyone else have similar feelings towards paying for the gym?

    This reminds me somewhere I read that companies produce shampoos with slightly harsh chemicals in them to dry out the hair/scalp so that they can also then sell you conditioners to replenish the moisture and softness that the shampoo removed :o don’t know how true that is though ;)

    I don’t go to the gym only because I tried it and didn’t like it. But if we are talking about saving/spending money on fitness, I am a barefoot runner (trail and pavement) Although I run without shoes for other reasons (mostly because I simply find it fun!) by running this way for almost 6 years now, I have literally saved thousands of dollars on shoes, arch inserts and special socks, etc. Thousands! And another fringe benefit of not buying running shoes is that I then don’t have to create trash by throwing away so many old pairs so less stress on the planet. It’s a win-win for me but I understand it’s not an option for everyone, people have to find what works for them in their individual situation. I am also not a person that gravitates naturally towards activity (was completely sedentary until I was 38) but I still somehow found my passion for trail running. Though my running may not “produce anything” it brings me joy and happiness and helps control my anxiety to levels that I don’t require meds to feel ok and that’s reason enough for me to continue exercising :)
  • gallicinvasion
    gallicinvasion Posts: 1,012 Member
    Cowsfan1 wrote: »
    I don't mind paying for the gym - I use a locally owned mom and pop gym so it helps local economy not corporate America I guess. And 1 hour maybe hr and a half of my day I think can be mine and doesn’t need to be used for production - I think some me time at the gym is good for my mental health too as others have said. So I don’t mind giving a local business $30/mth ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    good pt!

  • gallicinvasion
    gallicinvasion Posts: 1,012 Member
    Had an interesting talk with my brother the other day, and he vocalized a lot of the reasons why I feel such hesitation in paying for a gym membership or fitness classes.

    He was voicing his amazement that we’ve set up a society that prioritizes labor-saving and being sedentary (the US’s obsession with cars, work mechanization, home-cleaning gadgets, and our addiction-like relationship with smartphones, TV, etc), sometimes at great cost to the consumer. And this lifestyle means we’re far more sedentary. And then we are sold back health and exercise (we pay to perform labor that isn’t producing anything but the muscles we used to have through our day-to-day labors) through gyms and fitness classes. Always at cost to the consumer.

    No one to blame but corporations, general capitalism and the hand of the market, but I thought this was fascinating. I do purposeful exercise 3 days a week, 15 min each, at home with a small set of weights, so I’ve paid into it a little bit, and I’m still doing labor that doesn’t produce anything except a tiny bit of muscle on my bones 😂 but at least I’m not paying monthly for it.

    Context, although our identities shouldn’t have a bearing on how y’all receive these ideas: my brother has always been an active person in his day to day life, biking to work and for pleasure, hiking on long weekends to explore new places. He works outdoors, as a director for our city’s composting program. I have never been a person who gravitates towards activity, and have struggled with weight since late high school. Recently lost 98 lbs and have found great success in building more activity into my day (parking 15 min away from work, making multiple trips, only taking the stairs and not the escalator, saying yes to more walking tours, days in the city, hiking, etc).

    And we’re both pretty anti-capitalist 😂 or at least, we are well aware of the severe problems that our current economic systems create for the disadvantaged.

    Anyone else have similar feelings towards paying for the gym?

    This reminds me somewhere I read that companies produce shampoos with slightly harsh chemicals in them to dry out the hair/scalp so that they can also then sell you conditioners to replenish the moisture and softness that the shampoo removed :o don’t know how true that is though ;)

    I don’t go to the gym only because I tried it and didn’t like it. But if we are talking about saving/spending money on fitness, I am a barefoot runner (trail and pavement) Although I run without shoes for other reasons (mostly because I simply find it fun!) by running this way for almost 6 years now, I have literally saved thousands of dollars on shoes, arch inserts and special socks, etc. Thousands! And another fringe benefit of not buying running shoes is that I then don’t have to create trash by throwing away so many old pairs so less stress on the planet. It’s a win-win for me but I understand it’s not an option for everyone, people have to find what works for them in their individual situation. I am also not a person that gravitates naturally towards activity (was completely sedentary until I was 38) but I still somehow found my passion for trail running. Though my running may not “produce anything” it brings me joy and happiness and helps control my anxiety to levels that I don’t require meds to feel ok and that’s reason enough for me to continue exercising :)


    Nice!
  • Keto_Vampire
    Keto_Vampire Posts: 1,679 Member
    Often, I find it hard to account for preventative costs, especially in the long run. How many MD visits, ER trips, medication co-payments, etc. are you going to avoid over the course of your lifetime by implementing some form(s) of exercise as a lifestyle habit?

    Are you capable of economically acquiring a residency in which you can walk to work & walk to various shopping centers as a means of meeting exercise? Can you acquire a job & function without a phone and/or internet connection in a society in which cell phones & internet are the norms of communication?

    Consider the population density, geographic differences, & government of the US vs. say Europe...yes, walking everywhere/not owning a car is quite manageable in many parts of Europe & some major US cities (still a matter of $$$/high cost of living in these areas generally though)
  • beagletracks
    beagletracks Posts: 5,988 Member
    edited August 2019
    I see the point: It’s silly to drive around the parking lot 5 times to find a spot close to the door and then spend $40 per month for a gym membership. We overconsume and then spend money trying to compensate. All part of a system that is harmful in many ways. I used to feel like it would be lame to go to the gym instead of running or biking. But I was too fat to run or bike comfortably and it’s pretty hard to do either 6 months of the year where I live. Then I got a gym membership for $10 per month at a Planet Fitness that opened close by. I can get a good cardio workout in a short time without destroying my knees. I’ve lost 60+ pounds between working out regularly and eating less. I’m able to enjoy outdoor activities much more now. I hiked every day before I joined the gym and still do, but it’s a lot easier now and I can do a lot more. I also still do weights at home and videos, but none of it works as well alone as when I combine it with a good workout on the cardio equipment at the gym.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,988 Member
    I think we can all agree that staying active and exercising are very good for your body. But i think this is more about the societal implications of building our lives around labor-saving measures, so much so that we literally have created an industry around expending our energy (in ways that don’t produce any useful product) in order to get our physical fitness back.

    Like, when people get exercise by biking to work, or by painting their baby’s room, or by stacking canned foods for the homeless, that labor produces some good! And we always need more of it! Labor spent lifting weights for the individual’s health is also good, but the same could be accomplished if we directed that human energy towards physical labor that helps people.

    Now obviously I’m a hypocrite because i don’t expend my energy stacking canned foods for homeless shelters. My armchair-philosophizing only extends to me saving $20 a month by lifting weights at home instead of giving the money to planet fitness CEO’s.

    BUT. I’m wondering if others feel similarly! Maybe we can start a movement of “get fit by helping humankind!” all about expensing physical energy doing useful work that improves life for the disadvantaged.

    I think this is a very narrow perspective. People go to the gym for many reasons. I'm a former competitive athlete...hitting the weight room was always part of that equation. One of my best friends is a fire fighter and very active...he still hits the weight room because he's a competitive power lifter. I have other friends that hit the weight room because they have certain aesthetic goals...others like myself (though I'm currently not going to the gym) simply want to maintain somewhat of a reasonable physique and maintain muscle mass and bone density as we grow older.

    I'm also an avid cycling enthusiast...I'd love to bike commute, but 3x per week I work in an office that is 40+ miles from my home. The other office is closer, but I still have the logistical issue of the fact that when I'm going back and forth I have half of my office, including my computer in a bag...then there's the issue of having to get my kids to school while I still get to work on time..unfortunately, not happening on my bike.

    Things like painting or stacking canned foods, etc are activity...those things aren't "exercise"...they aren't a "workout" I used to do landscape construction which is a very physical job...I still hit the weight room a few days per week.

    I currently am taking a break from the gym and doing some body weight stuff at home. It's more of a time issue and spending more time with the family than anything right now. But no...I have zero problem paying monthly for a gym. The gym I belonged to and probably will get back to is owned by a couple who are very good friends of ours...I don't mind helping them put food on the table while simultaneously taking care of my fitness...not to mention that coach had me in the best shape of my life when he was training me and I was actually somewhat competitive in my bike racing there for a couple of years...not podium competitive, but more than just a finisher.