This year, Theo and I decided to join a gym. This is the first time we have done something like this, but we decided that this was the year to do it!
We joined the YMCA of Greater Dayton, and it has been a great decision so far. There are several reasons that we chose the YMCA instead of another gym. First, the YMCA is close to our house. Not only is there one close to our house, but we are also able to get into all the other YMCA’s in the Dayton area. Some of the YMCA’s have different features, like a pool or an indoor track. It’s nice that if I need to use a specific facility, I can just a little farther away and use that with no extra cost!
We also joined the YMCA because they have an income-based membership fee. By filling out an application and submitting the front page of our tax return, we were able to shave $18 off the typical monthly family membership fee. I’ll take it. I don’t know of any other gym that will do that for you.
I’m a huge encourager of saving money and of working out at home. I do not believe that getting a gym membership is the only way to get in shape. However, after looking through our options, we decided this would be the best plan of action for us in this current season of life.
We chose this for several reasons:
- Accountability. Since we are paying for a facility, I know I sure better use that facility. I’m much more likely to feel pressured by the fact that I’m paying a fee than some deep intrinsic motivation to “get in shape”. Of course, there is also the accountability that I find when I get to the gym. Working out around other people can be really intimidating at first. But after a while, I started to recognize faces and that encourages me to continue to show my face at the gym. Plus, sometimes when I’m running on a treadmill, I bump my speed up to one higher than the person next to me. I confess. I really do that.
- Child Care. Meh. You all probably know how I feel about daycare. To me, it’s just not the best thing to leave my kids to be cared for by someone else. HOWEVER, having a child care at the gym is a total game changer. On the days that Theo is working and I desperately NEED to workout or just get.out.of.the.house, I can go to the gym. On days that our schedules just do not coordinate, I can go to the gym. I can even go to the gym WITH Theo and workout alongside him. I will never leave my children in the daycare for more than an hour and I will most certainly never drop them off and then go do my own thing instead of working out. But it’s a huge plus to me that I can have my children watched while I workout instead of having to arrange with Theo the perfect time for me to fit a workout in.
- Endorphins. It’s also no secret that I really dislike the winters here in Ohio. I don’t think I have Seasonal Affective Disorder, but I most certainly do get the winter blues. I’m a cardio girl through and through, and with at least five months of frigid winter weather, I find that I really struggle to keep my endorphins flowing and the blues in check. This will be the first winter that I’ve had a gym membership and I’m eager to see how it affects those winter blues.
- Group Classes. When we first got our membership, I took a peak at the group class schedule. I circled all the ones I was interested in. Um, I pretty much circled everything. Pretty sure I could live at the gym this winter for group exercise classes!! There is something so motivating to me about working out with others, having an instructor telling me what to do, and having a sett time each week to do a workout. Right now, I’ve been attending the TRX class and it is incredible.
5. Swimming Pool. Is the swimming pool reason enough to get a gym membership?!? Ha! Theo wanted the membership mostly so he could have a low-impact exercise. I love how the swimming pool at our YMCA has Family Swim Time. As I mentioned above, finding something to do with the kids in the winter is pretty difficult. Family swim time sounds right up our alley!
I heard on the radio that most people only go the gym 4 times a month, so in reality, they are paying more than it would cost to pay per day. We have had our family gym membership for three months now, and I can assure you that we use it more than four times a month!
It took us three years to decide on a gym membership for our family, but I am confident that it was the right decision for our family in this current season of life. I’m looking forward to continuing to get in shape for my April half marathon!