Is Going to the Gym Making Us Lazier?

It’s been a long, long three months.

Fire School is almost over which means I’ll be able to actually finish the articles I have half done for a new series. In the meantime. . .

This topic came up last night when I arrived to work my shift. My co-worker wanted me to know a member had complained the HR monitor on one of the exercise bikes wasn’t calibrated correctly. It didn’t match the HR their smart watch was showing. My co-worker asked what I would have told this member.

“Well, the machines are measuring your pulse based on your palms which isn’t overly accurate, especially when you consider that your hands are sweating which would affect the sensors. It’s used for more of a guideline. If you don’t want to just use your smart watch, let me show you how to palpate and assess your pulse manually.”

That’s what I would want to say. In reality I would have done the same as my co-worker: “oh, I’m sorry for the inconvenience. I will fill out a maintenance report and let the manager know!”

But seriously.

Gyms are a great place; don’t get me wrong. I know I work-out better in a gym because I’m not getting distracted with projects at home, and there is usually more equipment for me to use.

It was a beautiful day outside. We have an indoor track. All the treadmills were in use, and people were complaining that they have no place to walk. When I suggested the track or our walking trail, faces were made. One person outright said they wouldn’t be able to watch their show outside. . .

Half the machines we find in gyms now can be abused; that is, they do so much of the work for you that you don’t do the little bit of work properly. For example, rather than picking up two dumbbells, a person may sit at a machine for bicep curls. Ok, that’s fine. But now, they’re not activating core muscles to hold them upright. They’re not sitting up straight with good posture which is putting strain on posterior muscles and not allowing anterior muscles to stretch the way they should.

On top of that, all the machines – at least on the cardio side of things – have to be “smart” machines now. They have to have touch screens and have user names or logins. They track your heart rate – maybe – as well as your average speed, distance ridden or walked or ran or climbed. Heaven forbid the tv on or in front of the machine isn’t working!

Again, it is wonderful that people are going to the gym, but you should be going to increase activity! To get away from staring at computer monitors and tv screens!

As an extra thought, if you’re not seeing or feeling any results or changes from going to the gym every day, maybe it’s because you’re not challenging yourself. Once you get an elliptical or bike going, it doesn’t take much effort to keep it going. Focusing on the screen instead of your movement and exertion is not helping your reach your goals! Some movement is better than no movement, but if you’re not doing your best then why bother?

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