Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Here we go


At the urging of our neighbors, we signed up yesterday for a one-year membership at the St. Bernards Health & Wellness Institute.

That’s a fancy name for a pretty deluxe health club with state-of-the-art equipment, a couple of salt water pools and a salt water hot tub.

We still need an assessment by one of the fitness trainers, so we just kind of played with the equipment this afternoon.

After a frustrating 10 minutes trying to get a treadmill to go faster than 1 mph, I turned to the PrecorSelectorized Strength Equipment – an array of exercise machines designed to work specific muscle groups.

Back in the early 1980s when I worked at the downtown offices of The Indianapolis News, I joined a health club where I spent my lunch hours working out on Nautilus equipment. I was dedicated to my routine and ended up being able to use the full weight stack on most of the machines. I was, as you might suppose, in the best shape of my life.

Then the club closed and our memberships were transferred to a club in a shopping center across 16th Street from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which was impossible for me to use on my lunch hour. I went a few times in the evenings, but it was a hassle and I quit.

I’ve joined other clubs in Indianapolis, Carmel and Crawfordsville over the years, but never got a habit of exercise going well enough to benefit from them. Some oversold their memberships to the point where I had to wait to use machines, which was maddeningly frustrating and led to finding excuses not to go.

The Jonesboro facility seems sufficiently well-equipped enough that congestion may not be a problem. What I want is a trainer-structured routine that I can go through without interruption.

I’m sure our doctor was pleased when the St. Bernards folks checked with him to get him to sign off on our participation. He’s been nagging me about this sort of thing for years.

So, today I just familiarized myself with the Precor machines and reverted to my Nautilus training: Set what looks like a reasonable weight and do at least 8 reps and no more than 12 reps.

I love the keyless lockers that let you set your own 4-digit code, the showers are nicely appointed with bath gel, shampoo and conditioner and there are tons of clean towels.

We hit Academy Sports yesterday morning where I bought a pair of Nike cross-trainer shoes, some shorts and underwear and Maria picked up some shorts. Now I have to go back tomorrow and buy a swimsuit so I can use the pool and hot tub.

At 68, I am mindful that getting fit and staying fit is more important than ever, so it’s critical that I make this work.

Pretty much everything that ails me – hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, etc. is a consequence of being overweight and out of shape. When any luck, we can save our membership fee in no-longer-needed medicine over the coming year.

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