Our Grandparents Never Went to the Gym

Can you imagine trying to set up a gym or fitness centre in 1940. You would have to convince people that it was of benefit to them to come in and use the equipment.

I can imagine a farmer being told to get onto the treadmill so he can walk to get some exercise. He’d be saying – he get his exercise in the paddock thanks!

What about the gardener. She would be told to get on the weights machine, but she would argue that she gets enough of that pulling weeds and digging potatoes.

What about the woman told to jump on the bicycle to ride her way to fitness, she’d be saying that there was no point in doing that because she just rode four miles to get here on her own bicycle and still has the return journey ahead of her!

Yes, I agree with you that the 1940’s gymnasium would be a total flop!!

But, as a 2010 girl I have a gym membership. We have a community owned aquatic and leisure centre about half way between my house and town.

Sure, I could get my exercise walking in the paddocks, digging potatoes and riding my bicycle like they did in 1940, but there is one big difference. They never allowed do get themselves overweight in the first place.

Have you noticed when looking back at old photos and hearing people’s recollection that very few people were overweight ? I believe it is a combination of an active lifestyle and limited food variety and quantity.

Today we lead a more sedentary lifestyle and have an abundance of food all around us, and like any cow on a good pasture we are bound to add a few kilos each year until you hit middle age and ........... Last week I read that obesity is now the biggest health problem in Australia and is responsible for all kinds of preventable diseases and conditions.

If exercise was a pill it would be a wonder drug. It reduces stress, makes you feel very very happy, reduces blood pressure, corrects type 2 diabetes, makes for strong hearts, great skin, hair and nails. Who wouldn’t buy a box of that pill ?

So. Quite ironically I drive to the gym to get on the exercise equipment. One of the trainers told me I am close enough to ride my bike there and back, which I am… but if I rode my bike there, I wouldn’t have to go inside!!! ( That’s my logic …..and I am sticking to it for now!)

Is it worth the money ? I think so because I use it almost every day so the actual cost of each visit is less than a cup of coffee and I feel so damn good after a class. Today during a bodypump class with the music blaring I had a massive rush of endorphins and could barely stop myself from yelling out ‘damn…yeah!’ as I threw that weights bar over my head.

You can check out all about bodypump here.


Julie said...

Hubby rides his bike to work every day, straight past an exclusive, harbourside gym full of people riding stationary bikes and running on treadmills - paying a fortune for the priviledge - and he laughs out loud every single time.

I used to love lifting weights but now nothing beats the feeling of falling into bed, with my muscles sighing in relief and an AWESOME sense of satisfaction at how much I achieved in the garden/kitchen/house that day.

Sorry, but I'm now firmly in the gym-memberships-are-a-complete-waste-of-money camp LOL :-)

Out Back said...

Great post.

I don't have a gym membership. I try to exercise at home by way of walking (roughly 4kms), skipping, trampolining (my son's), putting music on while doing the house work and bopping away to it, doing jobs outside like sweeping under the verandah and gardening. We also have home cooked meals regularly. And I think the important one is to move faster when doing things, I tend to dwardle too much. As my friend said to me once, "when you have kids you have to RUN!!" (she is very slim)

My grandparents would shake their head at the very thought of going to a gym.

A lot of kids nowadays don't even walk to school, whereas my dad and his sisters had to walk roughly 11 kms (nearly 7 miles)to attend school. Even though dad said the girls got to take the horse and buggy but he had to walk.

Have a great day,

BusyWoman said...

Thanks for the comments ladies. Good on you both for getting your exercise around your home.
Julie, my hubbie doesn't go to the gym and he is super fit. (unlike myself)

Recently I let my membership lapse and walked, jogged, rowed and stepped without the gym but really missed the classes and the motivation. So... I am back there.
You see I am about 10 kgs over the weight I should be, so I want to strip that back before I am 40.

My gym is also the local swim centre so I don't see the money as a waste because of the use of all the facilities.

Waste of money is a subjective concept anyway. I allow a weekly 'sanity' amount like a grown up's pocket money which we blow however we like. For now it's weight lifting and damn good coffee - we all have our weaknesses!!!

libby said...

Hi Michelle,

I loved going to the gym for many years until I discovered a program I can do at home (I love being able to workout first thing). I also walk and need to get back on my bike. I used to ride to my gym and just used that as extra exercise. I do miss the social aspect of the gym at times - I love lifting heavy weights and doing classes like bodypump but for now I'll still with my at home program - it allows me to get a lot more done around the house - which as you pointed out - is yet more exercise.


Busy mum of 3 said...

I weigh less now than when we got married, and I think I am fitter and I know I'm a lot more active. The difference.....3 children! I do not stop from 6.30am to 8pm 7 days a week. Now there's an exercise program. LOL.