Memorial Day is a great day for remembering the people who have gone before us and given us so much. That’s what that day is for, and I hate to weaken the symbology of it for anyone else, but I think it’s a useful day to remember other things too. It’s a good day to remember to change the batteries in your home’s fire alarm, for instance, or to change your air filters…
It’s also a good day to remember that gym membership you bought in early January. Remember? The gym around the corner? With the elliptical machines and weights? The pool and the treadmills?
I realize my suggestion may upset the economies of gyms that count on people forgetting all about those annual fees. And I do apologize for that.
But we’re entering the season of hot and hotter weather, when it’s hard for many of us to exercise without risk of injury. A nice, safe, air-conditioned gym environment awaits, virtually empty (everyone else forgot about their memberships, too), for us to get in our 30- to 90-minute routine.
But wait, do you need to go to they gym in the summer, when you’re so much more active?
Gyms empty when daylight hours extend. Our outdoor activities are more welcoming, and our ability to kid ourselves reaches its greatest height. We imagine ourselves to be more active in the summer, when really we just move the parties and buffets outdoors. We go to a lot more outdoor get-togethers. Or we stand around in small boats, staring at the water and snacking.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
But let’s not kid ourselves that we’re actually burning more calories when we switch from being couch potatoes to pool-side potatoes. When we move our inertia from the livingroom to the boat deck.
I’m heading back to the gym myself, and know I’ll have the air conditioned comfort and quiet to enjoy. I won’t wait for a single machine or a shower, can be sure the news channel on the tube is the one I want. The very idea of having the gym to myself pleases me. Besides, I’m out of shape these days, and like the idea of having the gym’s staff more available to answer my questions, give me advice. Summer is a great time for soft bodies to take over the country’s weight rooms. While no one’s looking, we can establish our turf at these places, before the marathoners and tri-athletes return from their summer training and races, before next year’s new resolution members put down their cash. It’s the least intimidating time of year to become a gym regular.
Go ahead, find that membership card, pack your gym bag, and continue working out, even in the summer months.