At one stage in my previous life, I was going to the gym around eight or nine times a week. I would go in the mornings before work, attend classes on my lunch breaks, maybe go in the evenings or to classes on the weekends. I was at the gym more often than I was at home. I had my own hired locker there, with all my nice shampoo etc in it, and spare gym kit in case I was just in town one day and fancied a quick trip to the gym. To be fair, at that point there wasn’t much else in my life to take up my time.
Fast forward a couple of years; I’m a mother now, and time is not my own. I did join a gym a while back, but managed to use it precisely twice before the time constraints thwarted my attempt to be stick thin and ripped. There are just so many other things I need to do during any time S is not with me, it’s simply not feasible to gallivant off to the gym. And then, in the evenings, when I’d quite like to go for a run or to a class or something, there’s a sleeping toddler upstairs so it’s a no-go.
Thing is, it’s not just parents either. I’ve a friend who works in an office; she does way longer than the standard 9-5, and when she finishes the absolute last thing she wants to do is go and work out under yet more fluorescent lights, watching one of those TVs on the wall that never show a channel you’re interested in any way. And, as everyone knows, you can go home with all the good intentions in the world to come back in an hour once you’ve recovered a little… but then the sofa gets its spongy claws into you, and you’re done for. My friend still has her gym membership, and sometimes goes on a Saturday morning for one of those punishing workouts that make you feel equally awful and virtuous.
We all buy equipment with all the best intentions in the world, intending to walk on the treadmill as we watch Eastenders in the evenings, or to have a quick rowing session before work in the mornings. It lasts a couple of weeks (if that) and we just get a bit bored, don’t we? Then one day, we’re sorting washing and need an extra surface “just for a couple of minutes” that turns into two weeks, and before you know it the thought of using the treadmill is accompanied by an hour-long excavation.
I know a couple of people who’ve bought fitness equipment for their homes; one friend uses her cross trainer as a clothes horse, another has a treadmill that acts as an extra seat if there are lots of visitors. Neither of them uses the equipment; it’s just there to make them feel bad. So what’s the answer?
I think I’ve found it! there’s a company called Hire Fitness, who offer fitness equipment hire. The idea is that you think “hmm, I quite fancy having one of them there power plates” and call them up. They deliver within 48 hours (within an agreed 2 hour time slot), you keep it for four weeks and then either send it back, swap for something else, or keep it. So if you decide to go on a fitness kick, you can do it without breaking the bank buying loads of stuff you might not use long term. You can swap and change your equipment about so that you’re not getting bored of using the same thing… but if you decide on one piece of equipment you really get on with, you can then buy it from them.
I think this is a great idea, and something I’m hoping to investigate once the house move is finalised. Whilst I can’t justify the trek to and from the gym, as well as time spend arsing about in there, I can definitely find 20 minutes here and there to do some cardio in the comfort of my own living room!
As a special offer for my readers, Hire Fitness have offered 20% off hires of 8 weeks or more. Just enter the code SMA at the checkout.