Originally published Nov. 20, 2012 at 1:00 p.m.
One thing that you may not know about me is that I can be a gym rat. I recently managed to work out eight days in a row—a personal record that I probably won’t try to repeat. Those who’ve known me for a long time probably remember the day when I was just the opposite!
When I was in my late teens and early 20s, doctors would tell me I needed more exercise. I would try to start exercising, but never was able to stick with it for a long enough period of time for it to have much benefit.
Then I turned 28, and I came to the realization that I was not getting any younger, and I might as well start paying more attention to my health while I was still in good health. I’ve always eaten a fairly healthy diet, but just couldn’t seem to make exercise part of my routine. Shortly after turning 28, I signed a one-year gym contract—something that I never would have done before. Now that I was paying money every month for a gym membership, it made me more determined to get my money’s worth. Plus I’m in the TV news business, and working out is a great way to relieve the stress of a job with odd and varying work schedules (and it keeps the suits fitting better!).
That’s been a few years ago now, and working out regularly is one of the best decisions I’ve made and actually followed through with. I’ve been a gym member ever since.
But I’ve noticed some funny things about people in the gyms I frequent! Some folks—mostly guys—are addicted to their mobile devices and often spend more time checking Facebook, Twitter, voicemail or whatever else you can do on a phone these days, instead of pumping iron. These are the “osmosis” exercisers who seem to think their very presence will bring them better health and physiques. I’ll say I’m not completely innocent of this time wasting habit, but I do make an effort to keep my phone stored away from me most of the time. I’m there to work out, not keep up with the rest of the world. Plus, I don’t always have an abundance of time when I get to the gym.
Then there are those who are completely in their own world with no phone in sight. You know, the loud grunting men who apparently want to make sure you realize how heavy the weights are that they are throwing around. Some of these folks are the same ones who rapidly go back and forth from one piece of equipment to another, or who stay in the same exact area, hogging a piece of equipment for a long time. You might call them the “intense” exercisers.
Take it Easy Exercisers
I’ve also encountered the “take it easy” types. While there’s a relatively small number of these folks, they are the ones that you see moving so slow, you wonder if they are achieving anything at all. And I’m not talking about elderly gym members—I’m talking about younger ones. Their heart rates may rise by a beat or two per minute from their normal rates. They are similar to the osmosis group, but the difference is they do move consistently, just not very fast or with much effort.
All joking aside, most people are very polite and don’t want to bother anyone. If you see me working out, feel free to say hello, and if you see me absorbed in my phone, please admonish me to put it away! I don’t want to be one of those “osmosis” gym-goers!