For the past few years, my exercise consisted primarily of outdoor running (minimalist shoes), weather permitting.  As I get older, I find I am less accommodating of fluctuations in the weather.  In the summer, it’s too hot with our 100% humidity. In the winter, it’s too cold, windy, and/or dark.  I’ve become the Goldilocks of running…..  As I started to put weight back on, I thought about joining a workout facility.  I haven’t belonged to a gym since around 1995.  I always hated waiting on equipment, using their showers, rushing to try and make the aerobics schedule, and the atmosphere that you had to exercise in color coordinated outfits.  

With that in mind, I took a look at Anytime Fitness–a 24-hour facility. I liked the idea of flexible hours, which leads to less waiting as people workout whenever convenient for them.  It was also close to my house, so I would be able to go home and not use their facilities.  All of the cardio equipment have TV screens so you can watch your favorite show while working out (or stream Netflix over their free wifi to your iPad).  I also like that the cardio equipment all faces out the window so you don’t feel like everyone is watching everyone else workout (perfect for introverts).  

As I get back in shape, I’ll start to use some of the strength training equipment as well as switch my cardio workouts around to get a better workout.  I joined a month ago, and I’m going around three or four times a week.  I used to rush home from work to get in a run before dark.  Now, I can wait until 8:00 PM if that’s when I feel like working out.  

One of my challenges was tracking my workouts as I moved across machines. I settled on continuing to use Runkeeper and manually entering treadmill/ elliptical workouts via the log function. I enter the duration, the distance, and calories burned based on what the machine says at the end.

The best gym for you is the one you’ll actually use.  So far, this is the best option for me.

  • Variety of cardio equipment–treadmill, tread climber, ellipticals, lateral ellipticals-
  • Configuration of equipment – facing out the window
  • Time flexibility
  • Not a club like atmosphere
  • No one walking around interrupting your workout
  • Free wifi (can stream Netflix or HBO2GO to iPad)