Mirror Mirror on the Wall

I’ve already ranted about “women only” rooms in gyms, now I want to comment on another pet peeve of mine…the mirror-less gym. I realize that these gyms think they are creative a less-intimidating environment by not having mirrors on the wall, but, here’s a newsflash…other people can still see you without the mirrors; you just can’t see yourself!

Mirrors in a workout room are very important. You need to watch yourself in the mirror to make sure that you are performing the movements correctly. Incorrect movement or bad posture can make a big difference in the effectiveness of the exercise — you can even hurt yourself if your form is bad.

So look in the mirror, make sure you are standing (or sitting) correctly, make sure you complete each movement, make sure you are actually using the muscles you are trying to work. Intimidation will lessen when you are confident that you are performing the exercises correctly, and the only way to make sure of that is to use the mirror.

Share the Road

In my small coastal city we have seemingly perfectly good sidewalks. Yet, I run in the road. I run facing traffic and stay very close to the curb, ready to jump up if an errant vehicle comes my way (although I don’t know how much good that would do, if a vehicle comes that close to the curb they will no doubt end up on the sidewalk anyway!)

Why do I run in the road? Because the sidewalks are made of cement or bricks. As runners know, the asphalt road is easier on your feet, ankles, achilles, legs knees and hips! So drivers out there, I am not crazy, I know there is a sidewalk, I see you and I take full responsibility for not getting run over!

Can’t decide, do both!

The gorgeous weather given me the bug to run outside. But today was my weight workout day — an inside activity! What to do….Luckily the gym isn’t too far from my house, about 1/2 a mile if I go directly, or 1.5 miles if I go “the long way”. So I killed two birds with one stone and ran to the gym (the long way), did my weight workout, skipping the lunges and squats, and ran home the direct route. (Last time I tried this, I did do lunges and squats and the 1/2 mile run home was horribly long!) Today’s workout was terrific. Got outside and got my weight training in. And I’m up to 65 pounds on the bench press!

Women only?

I was out of town today and I had some free time, so I decided to go to a new gym. After I paid the guest fee, they pointed out the different parts of the gym, including the women only exercise room. What? Ladies come on, if there was a men only exercise room we’d be furious, we’d be boycotting and signing petitions, we’d be burning our sport bras!

There is no need to be intimidated by the “big scary” weight room. Believe me, the guys are there for their workout. They are busy looking at themselves and their muscles! They are not laughing at you for picking up the 5 lb weights. As a matter of fact, I bet it is more intimating for a guy to go into the weight room than it is for a woman. The guy can’t help but compare himself to the big burly weight lifters.

Don’t be afraid of the weight room. You will get a much better workout and achieve your goals faster with free weights than you will with “nautilus-type” machines. Plus, dumbbells, barbells, and plate loaded machines offer much more diversity so you won’t get bored with the same old workout.

This being said, I must admit, I had to take a deep breath tonight as I entered the weight room and took up my dumbbells at a new gym! Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Gotta love new shoes

I got some new sneakers! The weather has been so nice (well over the weekend was nice) that I was inspired to run, but alas my old running shoes had truly had it! I had aches and pains in unusual places, so I went over to the local running store, Runner’s Alley and sprung for a new pair of Sauconys. After that the weather turned rainy, but today the sun came out so I put on my new shoes and went for a run — there is nothing like running in a new pair of sneakers!