Whether you're a professional runner or you only jog to relive the stress from work and daily pressures, you're obviously interested in personal fitness. If the advertisements are to be believed, people who are interested in staying physically fit simply cannot do without a gym membership. But do you really need a gym membership, or can you manage to stay fit on your own? We'll run through the pros and cons of gym memberships for runners to help you decide if you need one or not.
Pro: Cross Training
For serious runners, keeping in shape isn't just about jogging around the block. There's cross training to be done if you want to stay in shape in the off season and between marathons. The weight machines that will help you maintain your edge are either too expensive or large to buy for yourself. In this case, it's definitely worth it to shell out for a gym membership.
With the mortgage rates and gas prices the way they are, most of us don't have a lot of extra cash lying around. Gym memberships cost an average of $60 per month in the big city, so it's more economical to simply take runs in your local park instead.
Pro: Off Season Exercise
In the winter, some will have you taking pictures of lovely snow covered vistas. Unfortunately, these vistas will be your former training ground. If you want to keep fit in the winter you'll need to buy a gym membership to a facility with an indoor track.
Con: Extra Effort
The more preparation for exercise is required, the less likely it is that people will bother. While directly stepping out of our downtown Toronto condominiums and going for a run around the park across the street is easy, travelling across town to use a gym membership is not, especially when you have to take along changes of clothes, shower things, and remember your member card. Will you bother?
Many people feel motivated by the presence of other people. Whether they're driven to show off in front of the opposite sex or they just like to chat with their friends to relieve the boredom of lifting weights, they're likely to work out for longer at a gym.
The presence of others can be a con as well, if you're the type of person who likes to listen to music over headphones and get lost in your thoughts as you work out. The peer pressure of performing in front of an audience might make you less likely to go to the gym and your fitness will suffer. So make sure you know what type of person you are.
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