Sunday, March 13, 2011

Get Your Fat Ass to the Gym!

Fat? Thin? Well, it really doesn't matter where your body stands in the overweight/underweight spectrum. Every body needs exercise. If you were to confine yourself to a bed for weeks on end without moving the slightest bit, you would start becoming ill. You would get bed sores, your muscles would be in atrophy. You'd be urinating dark urine as your kidneys would stop functioning efficiently as well.

Whether you work in an office cubicle or are a personal trainer at a local gym, we all exert energy and our muscles in the simplest of everyday activities.

From walking up and down stairs in our house, to walking down the hall to the bathroom at work. These simple, unnoticed exercises are what keep even obese people from losing the able to stand-up.

However, everyone, obese, underweight and in-between will benefit from exercise. This is a generally accepted principle. Astronauts exercise in space to prevent muscle loss (as the lack of gravity requires less muscle exertion). And, down here on Earth, millions of people have embraced a lifestyle of exercising everyday or every couple of days to maintain a physically healthy and fit body.

But, going to the gym is far more than about looking good, or trimming down your waistline. It's about mental health as well. Those people that could be described at "gym Nazis" get a natural high from exercising and that is what keeps them going to the gym on a regular basis.

We all have stresses in our lives, some people have stress that manifests itself in physical anxiety form, requiring the using of prescription drugs such as Valium, Xanax, or Klonopin.

Exercising regularly allows your body to relieve stress in a natural way that reduces the need for these medications.

If you are having trouble sleeping at night, think about a time when you were outside working hard all day. Did you sleep like a baby when you got home? The same goes with a steady exercise regimen.

Gyms are not places to be feared. Many people that are overweight are so embarrassed by their appearance that the thought of even walking into a gym gives them a panic attack. Gyms want your business, period. They have specially designed programs for people that are severely overweight and don't even know where to start. Think of a gym not as a place to be feared, but as a Church that welcomes everyone and is so happy that you came in today.

I've been a member of several gyms in my life as I've lived and worked in Northern Virginia; Olney, MD; Charlottesville, VA; Sierra Madre, CA; & now Cumberland, MD.

Last week I was lucky enough to finally be able to commit to join the local gym "Life Fitness Management." This place is like a feel-good playground for adults. There are flat-screen TV's everywhere, machines for every muscle in the body, Yoga, Pilates & other classes. There are massage services, a steam room, top of the line locker rooms, with showers, blow dryers, shaving cream, even cutips!

As if that was not enough, they have a protein bar that serves up protein enriched smoothies that make Starbucks just seem lame.

One could literally spend all day in the place, never have to shower at home, and socialize with some of the nicest and warmest people in the entire city.

What's not to love? For only $49 a month, stay in for dinner only two or three times a month, and spend the other thirty days giving your mind, body, and soul, the nourishment you know it deserves.

Since joining, I've only been to the gym twice so far and I already have seen results from decreased stress, levels to decreased weight, and increased happiness.

So like I said get your ass to the gym, whether it's fat or not.

And that's today's B-Word.

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