October, 19 2016 Published by Toronto and Area Chapter - By Erin Forsyth

We Should Exercise Every Day, So Why Don't We?

From the Fall 2016 issue of the CCI Toronto Condovoice Magazine.

As a certified personal trainer, I am committed to assisting individuals wishing to pursue a healthy lifestyle and achieve specific fitness goals. Often times, individuals may be prevented from achieving a more healthy lifestyle and reaching these goals due to specific challenges which first need to be overcome. These challenges may be due to finances and the extra expense of gym memberships, or may be simply the lack of access to exercise equipment. Most often however, time constraints due to a busy career, children and other commitments play a substantial part in preventing even the most motivated individual from reaching a particular fitness goal. Living in a condominium that offers a gym facility to exercise in may, in fact, solve almost all of these challenges and allow for optimal daily physical activity while promoting a more positive outlook on making healthier goals a reality.

Gym memberships, for instance, can be expensive - even the more affordable ones add up quickly, especially if more than one membership is required for a particular household. Living in a condominium with a gym facility can negate this potentially expensive additional monthly cost and provide many, if not the same, benefits other off site gym facilities offer. You may even find greater benefits as parking, travel time, ease of access and location is ideal. I like to ask my clients if other family members are supportive of their fitness goals, and many times I find my clients that participate in physical activities without the stress of related additional cost tend to gain this support more readily.

Considering that recommended guidelines of physical activity for most healthy individuals is to accumulate approximately 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise activity or 150 minutes of vigorousintensity exercise activity per week and at least three days per week is recommended for strength training, we should exercise almost every day. Having access to a gym where no travel is required can also help save the additional daily cost of extra gas required to get to and from an offsite gym or the additional transit fare, on top of gym membership costs.

Exercise machines and equipment for strength and cardiovascular training tend to be very large, take up an expansive amount of space and this applies even more so with multiple pieces. The average household consumer would not necessarily purchase this equipment for regular in home use or have the amount of space required for the use of multiple machines. Most condominium gyms will usually offer a number of machines for strength training, a set of free weights, together with cardiovascular and/or endurance training machines such as treadmills, elliptical machines and various stationary bikes catering to all fitness levels. There may even be the additional perks of a swimming pool and sauna. Whether you are a beginner or an avid gym goer, there is most always something for everyone.

If you are unsure about how to use a particular machine, often there are diagrams with instructions located on the machine itself. If not, for the sake of avoiding injury, consider contacting a fitness professional in your area for a demonstration. It is always a good idea to become familiar with the various and different kinds of fitness equipment or machines you may have access to and ensure you know how to use them correctly. This will provide you with more confidence to use the tools needed to make the changes you are looking for. Our bodies benefit tremendously from strength and cardiovascular training, making the physical demands of daily life easier and having access to the equipment needed is a very important part of your success.

Most often, I find my clients lack available time to exercise. Long working hours and obligations to family and children leave most people short on time for themselves. Living in a condominium with a gym facility will avoid someone having to spend extra time travelling back and forth to and from an offsite gym. Many individuals finish work or begin work at the same time and travelling to an off-site gym to get a workout in may prove to be difficult in the middle of rush hour or heavy traffic and the additional frustration may quickly lead to negative thoughts associated with working out. These negative thoughts make it far less likely for the gym to become a relaxing fun and positive aspect to one's life, whereas a condominium gym offers a much easier way to squeeze in early morning exercise activity, even before work, or much needed exercise activity after work to relieve stress and maintain a healthier body weight… especially after sitting for a long period of time during the day. Just knowing you can take a quick elevator ride up or down and if you are feeling particularly ambitious on occasion and decide to take the stairs, the gym facility will be ready and waiting for you.

If you were to also take into consideration the additional workout deterrence of inclement weather, obviously having a condominium gym would avert this issue altogether. Travelling outdoor and on the roads in heavy rain, snow, ice conditions, even extreme heat to an off-site gym not only takes additional time, it may even impede valuable motivation. With the ease of a gym located so close to your home, you are equipped to more easily overcome the challenge of time constraints in order to support fitness goals in a more effective and efficient way.

Interestingly, regular physical activity also nourishes psychological benefits. The mind proves to be a very powerful tool in the success of attaining exercise goals and maintaining a healthy positive outlook. You may be pleasantly surprised how many of these positive health benefits arise when exercising regular in your condominium gym. A condominium gym can increase feelings of self-worth and does not discriminate by creating a greater sense of community arising from the simple fact that regardless of age, gender, weight, disability, marital status, nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status, we all benefit from exercise and all require approximately the same minimal level of exercise in order to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other disease associated with a lack of physical activity and weight gain.

A condominium gym may also feel less intimidating to some interested in beginning a fitness program and can help greatly improve self-confidence. By exercising in a gym located where you live, you are also more likely to find and come across like-minded people who share similar interests in fitness, health and exercise. Keeping in mind that these individuals are also your neighbours, you may even find that incorporating exercise into conversation as a common ground gives opportunity to communicate with new people thus greatly improving and broadening your social network. If you have not had a great day or otherwise do not find yourself as motivated as you would like, knowing you can always take a quick trip to the gym and, most of the time, see the familiar happy faces of your neighbours exercising may provide greater reassurance, encouragement and support in making exercise a regular part of your life and a positive experience.

Definitely, having access to a condominium gym facility or fitness centre can help overcome many obstacles and challenges in the daily lives of individuals looking to make significant changes for health reasons, maintain a healthier lifestyle and reach a particular fitness goal.

As a certified personal trainer, I would highly recommend this type of living accommodation. It most certainly eliminates almost all excuses to not get moving and enjoying daily physical activity.

Physical activity becomes so important as we age in the prevention of high blood pressure, the regulation of blood sugar, aids in the prevention of bone and muscle loss which may reduce the incidence of joint pain, injury or broken bones. Exercise activity naturally reduces depression, stabilizes mood, reduces anxiety and also improves mental health and self-image. Exercise is a positive way to cope with the stresses of daily life. Exercise decreases body fat, leading to a healthier body weight, reducing the risk of diabetes and other life threatening diseases.

There is something outstanding about living anywhere that provides an outlet of considerable opportunity for you to live a longer life and meet other like-minded people, all while not having the additional burden of cost or travel, leaving you more time for yourself. To share a few standard tips to keep in mind when exercising in your condominium gym: always have proper supportive footwear, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water (before, during and after your workout) and, in consideration of other gym goers, always wipe down the machines after you use them, placing equipment back in the correct spot. The gym is waiting for you, what are you waiting for?


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