Health and Fitness

Lifetime Bike

Lifetime Bike (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“To keep the body in good health is a duty otherwise

we shall not be able to keep our minds strong and clear.”
~Buddha

I love going to the gym. And not just any gym, I’ve spoiled myself by belonging to Lifetime Fitness since 2003. We lived in Virginia back then, and it was a brand new facility. We moved to Texas in 2006 and transferred our membership to one of their locations nearby. Besides weights and cardio machines, there are three studios for classes, a rock climbing wall, basketball courts, racquetball courts, two indoor pools, an outdoor pool, jacuzzi, sauna, steam rooms, a child center, a cafe, and a salon. Kids under twelve can stay in the child center for two hours while parents work out or get services in the salon. There are family swim hours, water slides, and fountains. In the summer, there is an outdoor cafe by the pool. There is always something to do there, and I don’t feel like I get stuck in a rut. It’s clean and comfortable. It’s my home away from home.

My husband and I met at a gym in Reno,NV in 1998. He was my first trainer and got me set up on a workout program. I told him I wanted to look like I worked out! We go to the gym every weekend and love to swim with the kids after our workouts. My husband plays racquetball with the kids, and I like taking them to the climbing wall. If only I was still strong enough to climb still, I would do it with them. But after seven surgeries on my right leg, those days are in my past. The older I get, the tamer my workouts have become. These days, I do cardio (bike, arm bike, elliptical, rowing machine, walking on the treadmill), light weights (PT style exercises nothing major), yoga classes, and lap swimming.

I’ve always loved swimming but didn’t really start swimming laps until 1998 when I did a sprint-distance triathlon in Reno. I can do all four strokes and flip turns. I used to swim 16 laps, then 12, then 8, then 4. I think it took about 40 minutes or so. These days I only swim about 25 laps at a time, but it feels great! I love being underwater, and the rhythm of breathing and making strokes is kind of meditative. Being underwater is a fun escape. It’s a whole other world. When the outdoor pool is open, I love lying in the sun too!

I usually wind down from my workouts in the hot tub, sauna, and steam room. I like going back and forth from the heat to the cold pools. It’s relaxing, and it’s good for circulation. Spending time in the sauna and steam room helps remove toxins through the sweat. It’s quiet and peaceful. I always leave the gym feeling better than I did when I got there.

My kids have gotten used to going with us every weekend. They complain from time to time, but it’s something we do as a family, and it keeps us healthy. I’m happy our kids are learning healthy habits while they are young.

When I was a kid, we never belonged to a gym. My family wasn’t about exercising at all. I played soccer, did gymnastics, and was a cheerleader. I started gaining weight toward the end of high school, and that’s when I first heard of aerobics classes. I went away to college and took some classes on campus and played soccer still. My sophomore year (1987-1988) I went rock climbing for the first time. Then in 1989 I did a 95 day Spring Semester in the Rockies. I skied, backpacked, rock climbed, whitewater kayaked and rafted, and horse packed. My twenties were full of outdoor adventures that pushed my physical limits. I started mountain biking and joined a gym for the first time when I lived in Telluride, Colorado (outdoors) for a year and a half. It was an indoor location where I could exercise, shower, and enjoy their steam room. It’s cold in Colorado! I will have to write a separate entry about that. Since then, I’ve always belonged to a gym (even though my mom always told me it was a waste of money).

Did you know it takes 3500 calories to gain or lose a pound of fat? Of course it’s much easier to gain than to lose. To lose pounds, it takes a calorie deficit of 3500 calories. That’s seven days of taking in 500 fewer calories than you burn. It’s hard to maintain a healthy weight and a strong body, but by taking care of myself with exercise and a healthy diet I’m doing the best that I can to stay fit as I grow older. I also suffer from chronic pain and it’s important to find that fine line of movement, stretching, and strengthening without injury.

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

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