Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Planet Fitness

Lots of equipment for not a lot of money.
For me, Christmas is the end of the holiday season.  I just can’t be bothered with New Year’s, eve or day, occasions that offer me neither gifts nor special meals.  And lately I have been eating too much anyway.  It’s time to rediscover better eating habits and it’s time to work out more.  A lot of people felt that way today, I’m sure, but unlike many of them I am not waiting until the start of the new year to make a change.

Today I joined Planet Fitness, selecting the 1-year membership for $99 … less than $2 per week!  Planet Fitness has the convenience of 24-hour access and all the equipment I could need, especially good treadmills.  I’m sure I will use the strength training equipment too—particularly for the lower body, which I can’t exercise as effectively at home—but access to good treadmills was my principal consideration.  I said in a previous post that treadmill workouts don’t figure heavily in my fitness program … that might change.

I think I spent about $750 on my home treadmill back in 1997 and I got my money’s worth, but today it is literally falling apart:
Noisy motor, dead display panel, disintegrating belt.  Not worth fixing.
A decent treadmill can cost $2,000 or more and it’s not worth making such a big investment for a piece of equipment I probably would use only 25-40 hours per year.  The professional-grade equipment at Planet Fitness is so nice that I am contemplating a little bit of treadmill running to torch some of the belly fat I never seem to lose.  In my experience, nothing burns fat like running.  But also in my experience, nothing hurts my knees, ankles and shins like running.  In the controlled environment of the gym I can introduce a little running without some of the risks I would encounter outdoors.

Today’s trip to Planet Fitness was just an introduction.  I walked for an hour with the treadmill speed set at 3.5 mph and the incline set at 1 percent.  That easy effort still burned about 400 calories, and there are much greater efforts to come as I get deeper into the new workout plan.  I haven’t figured out all of the details, but it’s a good feeling to start something new and I hope my enthusiasm carries me through the winter.

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