Why You Should Have an Affair at the Gym

99SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
4/1/2014 6:00 AM   :  70 comments   :  61,791 Views

See More: fitness, gym,
You put on your sweatpants and baggy T-shirt. Throw your hair up into a ponytail and wipe the make-up off your face. You fill your water bottle and head to the nearest elliptical. Headphones in, you tune out the world, focusing on the show you're watching or that new song you downloaded. You set your sights on the console and the clock, watching the numbers—calories, time, and distance—tick up until you've hit your goal on one (or maybe all three). Get in and get out, that's what the gym is to you. You're not there to talk or make friends. You're just there to get through your routine and go home.

But what if I told you that going to the gym could—and should—be a little more fulfilling? The truth is that having an affair at the gym happens more than you might think. It can change your mind and your body—and how you feel about yourself. If you've been going through the motions lately, feeling uninspired or tied down, then break free from monogamy and bring the excitement back with an affair!

Am I talking about "50 Shades of Gym"? No, but I have your attention now, right? I'm referring to exercise monogamy: using the same machine, taking the same class, or doing the same strength moves day after day after day.  If this sounds like you, then it's time to cheat on your routine.
 
If you just lie there (in Pilates class!) waiting for it to be over, something's gotta give. If other instructors or moves are catching your eye but you've felt too scared, unfit, nervous, or intimidated to try them, it's time to cast aside your doubts and just do it. In fitness and in life, variety is what spices things up and keeps us interested and excited. Your mind loves novelty—and so does your body.
 
Here are 4 reasons why you should "cheat" at the gym:
  1. Mixing things up prevents boredom. While most people are creatures of habit, exercise is one of those things where variety tends to keep people coming back consistently. Sure "routine" is important. But think of routine as more of where you go and when—not exactly WHAT you have to do when you're there. I mean, you can only do a single workout DVD so many times—no matter how much you love it—before you can recite every word out of the trainers mouth and start thinking that the little joke s/he told at minute 5 is more irritating than funny. In fitness classes, instructors change up the routines all the time. That's part of the fun! You don't need a trainer or class or DVD to mix things up.  For ideas on how or what to do, use these resources:

    Habits of Fit People: Mix It Up
    Ideas to Bust Your Fitness Plateau
    3 Ways to Refresh Your Treadmill Workout
    Break Free from Your Cardio Rut
    Cross-Training 101
     
  2. Variety unleashes your best body. Even athletes who specialize in a single sport cross-train and use a variety of exercise types to stay in tip-top shape. Your body is a smart and efficient machine. While program #3 on the treadmill may have been challenging when you tried it the first time a few weeks ago, your body knows better. It is no longer challenged. The more you can move your body in different angles and direction and at different speeds and intensity levels, the more your body will be "shocked" and continue to respond by getting stronger, leaner and fitter. It won't have time to get used to things (think: plateau) if those things are always different.
     
  3. Trying new things builds your confidence. This isn't something that's just important for teenagers, as high school health class may have led us to believe. So many adults suffer from low self-esteem and confidence. While some of that can be attributed to how you feel about your weight or body shape, it comes through at work, at home, and in everything you do. In my experience, exercise is one of the most overlooked confidence-building tools. When you try new things and see yourself improving, you feel good about yourself—no matter what the scale says or what anyone else tells you. Sure, it can be intimidating at first to try that group class and feel like "the only one" who struggled or couldn't keep up. But even that experience is helpful in building your character. And if you had fun and enjoyed it, all the better. The more things you can try through exercise—whether you fail miserably at them or master them—the better you'll be at trying, failing, succeeding, learning, and feeling confident in other areas.
     
  4. The novelty will take your breath away. New things challenge your body in new ways—and will have you huffing and puffing, which means you are once again challenging yourself (that's a good thing) in a way that your previous workout routine may not. In fitness, you do have to consistently push yourself a little harder (faster speed, greater resistance, longer workouts) in order to continue seeing progress. So if you're a little hesitant to change things up completely, you can get your feet wet by upping the ante on your intensity.
If you're married to your routine, consider whether that commitment is really serving you and your goals. If not, give in to your wandering eye and try that Zumba class you've been spying or that rower machine that looked intriguing. When it comes to your workouts, a little cheating never hurt anyone.  In fact, it's been known to help!

Happy April Fool's Day, everyone! I hope you enjoyed the little tease and humor of this blog--all in good fun!

Read More:
4 Signs It's Time to Change Your Workout Routine
8 Reasons Why Your Workout Isn't Working

Are you guilty of a monogamous fitness relationship? When was the last time you had an affair on your routine? Did it turn out to be a good thing?





Follow Me on Pinterest


Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
 

NEXT ENTRY >   6 Everyday Ingredients That Make Meals More Exciting

Great Stories from around the Web

Comments

  • 70
    Another 2 year old blog. Someone is running out of ideas - 4/2/2014   4:20:27 AM
  • 69
    I started cheating on the gym with yoga classes over a year ago. Now I've added walking to my cheating ways. Unfortunately, it's making it harder for me to make myself get to the gym as much as I should. - 4/2/2014   12:03:33 AM
  • 68
    Coach Nicoles's "stuff": videos, articles have a huge effect on me.

    Now, I can do only a small percentage of the exercises she posts (because of physical limitations I have). However, I always learn valuable tips, techniques, and modes that have helped various aspects of my program.

    I know I have seen her emphasis on varying workouts, in "stuff" other than this slightly melodramatic presentation (I like it!). And, it has affected my workouts. I do my workouts systematically, and consistently, but I am always looking to shake things up.

    Thanks, Coach!

    Lee - 4/1/2014   2:40:16 PM
  • 67
    Title caught my eye, but had an idea that's what you were going to write about.
    I took water aerobics for a few years. same daily classes. I knew every routine, when each step/movement was coming. i could do it in my sleep. i had a hard time getting my heart rate up, I was bored. I started doing different exercises, different formats, and became stimulated again to workout. Still do some water aerobics, but mix up instructors, different classes and sometimes workout on my own. After all I know all the routines. Smile!!
    Everyone has to find where they are most comfortable, and have fun. If it's enjoyable, you'll stick with it. - 4/1/2014   10:56:27 AM
  • PROPMAN1
    66
    You had my attention with the title. You are so right - changing the routine makes your body happier and your spirit also. :) - 5/16/2013   1:43:15 PM
  • 65
    This article caught my attention... - 4/6/2013   9:00:47 PM
  • 64
    You're blog went the direction I expected, and offered great advice. Unfortunately, it reminded me of a friend who lost his first wife to an actual affair begun at the gym. - 4/3/2013   12:26:54 PM
  • JOYCHAIRDANCER
    63
    (oups, sorry, that last sentence was not meant to be a pun.) - 4/3/2013   3:51:47 AM
  • JOYCHAIRDANCER
    62
    Giggle-and-quote-to-the surroundings-worthy post! And easy to remember when the situation arises. Exercise sluttery, here I come! - 4/3/2013   3:51:16 AM
  • 61
    Very clever Coach Nicole! The heading on your blog really got me, too funny! - 4/2/2013   6:07:09 PM
  • 60
    I do have to say that (if you're single) having an attraction to someone else (or a few someone-elses) who works out at your gym is a great motivator. :) - 4/2/2013   11:51:37 AM
  • NTENSE99
    59
    HAHAH i thought you were going to talk about how to use the various gym machines to "get physical" with your new cheating partner! LOL - 4/2/2013   10:40:24 AM
  • DEBKING37
    58
    LOL talk about a misleading title:) - 4/2/2013   9:15:29 AM
  • 57
    WOW...What a lead into a story.
    I was getting all excited to hear the juicy details...
    exercise???? .... okay, okay...I'll do it...cheesh - 4/2/2013   9:03:42 AM
  • 56
    Great article. It's hard to to come up with thought provoking articles time and again. This article had a catch, much like a hook in a hit song. But the rest of the "song" really had substance.

    If folks can't get past the moral twist of the story, I suggest not bothering at all to log onto the internet on future April Fool's days.

    The politically correct objections of today are growing tiresome. I can enjoy this article without going out and committing adultry. Let's have some perspective. - 4/2/2013   8:53:12 AM
  • 55
    Some great tips...and thanks for the April Fools! - 4/2/2013   8:01:11 AM
  • 54
    Can I ask why SP has models instead of us "real" people for pictures. Like go to gyms and ask people if it's cool to take their picture while working out or something along those lines. Just the picture turns me off to this article. There is no way all the girls they have in their pictures actually just worked out. Not only are they not sweating but the skin has no redness to it. I know that when I work out I go hard so I'm sweating, a lot, and I'm redder than a tomato. - 4/2/2013   7:44:03 AM
  • 53
    Call me old-fashioned but in today's society filled with broken homes, this article was inappropriate and in poor taste. The connotation is obvious and I have a great sense of humor. - 4/2/2013   7:12:48 AM
  • BANNERMAN
    52
    Thought provoking and great ideas. thanks - 4/2/2013   2:19:55 AM
  • 51
    What a FUN blog! - 4/2/2013   12:16:06 AM
  • 50
    Gotta give you this one its easy to get caught in a rut, especially if you do the same things day in and day out, even changing it for a week or two can make a difference. - 4/1/2013   9:28:19 PM
  • JSEATTLE
    49
    That is too FUNNY!! Good April Fools prank! LOL!!! - 4/1/2013   6:45:13 PM
  • 48
    I had to read this blog. What fun!! And you are so right. - 4/1/2013   2:00:23 PM
  • 47
    April Fool's Day !! LOL !!

    Actually, when I signed up for a gym membership, one thing the employee told me was that the gym would be a great place to meet people. they stressed what a great way it was to meet people. Their sales pitch emphasized the social benefits of having a membership over the fitness benefits. If you wanted to workout, you went to Gold's ! LOL !

    - 4/1/2013   11:52:24 AM
  • 46
    Did we actually think that Coach Nicole was advocating being unfaithful to our spouses? Come on! I can't say that I actually laughed, but I did get the point. - 4/1/2013   11:35:14 AM
  • 45
    You did get my attention! LOVE it! - 4/1/2013   11:29:03 AM
  • 44
    Too funny! I, too, thought the article would entail dressing the part and talking to other people at the gym. Prefect timing for this article. I just posted my April goals to find some new exercises to get me out of this funk! - 4/1/2013   11:26:00 AM
  • 43
    LOL! Great article! Happy April Fool's Day! - 4/1/2013   11:13:50 AM
  • 42
    LOL @ the people offended by this. I actually stopped reading the article when I realized it was about using different equipment. I do that. I thought maybe the article had something to do with meeting new people or something. :) Not necessarily an affair, but thought it was going to be an analogy for creating new relationships. - 4/1/2013   9:51:57 AM
  • 41
    Great blog! I think it's time to mix it up a little to break this frustrating plateau. - 4/1/2013   9:15:46 AM
  • CHAVELA-B
    40
    Good article.

    I just started Zumba using my Wii. I got it simply because the treadmill and the walking and the other things I was doing were getting boring and harder to look forward to. I know they made me feel better (can't say I lost much weight - but good cardio), and I also knew that I couldn't just go back to doing virtually nothing.

    Thank you for making us think, and it is always fun to smile too. - 8/13/2012   1:26:27 PM
  • 39
    Very good way to catch our attention! Good blog! - 8/2/2012   11:05:18 PM
  • 38
    Nice blog, but whats wrong with dating my fitness instructor? :P - 8/1/2012   3:20:44 PM
  • CAROLVY
    37
    Thank goodness this article wasn't really promoting having actual affairs with people at the gym, like I first thought!!! I would have had to leave a not-so-nice message to the writer! - 7/31/2012   12:45:45 PM
  • 36
    LOL... I got the joke. Yes, Zumba is my guilty pleasure now. What's really funny is that someone I know was surprised to hear I do Zumba fitness and thought it was a little out of character for me (because I'm quiet)... made me wonder what he thought Zumba is!!! LOL. For me it's fun aerobic dancing to great music that makes me burn calories faster than walking alone.
    And I broke my normal routine by attending the Hard Core class that starts right before Zumba on Saturday mornings. It's hard to get up early on a day off but I try because I know it will help me achieve my fitness goals. It was a surprise to me that I actually look forward to Hard Core because I'm not typically a floor exercise person, but after the first couple of classes I found it's not really that difficult and I actually enjoy it and miss it when I can't go.
    - 7/30/2012   5:21:45 PM
  • GYMRATWANNABE
    35
    LOL @ those with no sense of humor.

    Lighten up. - 7/30/2012   4:12:52 PM
  • 34
    Yes, those fitness instructors are cute... :P - 7/30/2012   11:46:36 AM
  • 33
    I was mortified by the first two paragraphs of this blog until you clarified you were using it as an analogy. By that point, it wasn't cute or funny to me though I regularly enjoy your blogs. Perhaps, do a flipside blog about why people do tend to have affairs at gyms and break off with long-term relationships and marriages once they decide to get fit and their partner doesn't enjoy spending hours at the gym with them? I know two 20 year marriages ended because of this exact reason. I think for some people they really fall in love with their bodies for the first time at the gym and then correlate that with attraction to someone else. Why is it so hard for us to allow ourselves to just love ourselves? Period. End-stop. Or even realize that is what we truly are feeling? - 7/30/2012   9:24:02 AM
  • 32
    Cute analogy, and it got us all reading, didn't it? Don't take it for more than it is....it's not meant to promote marital infidelity....it's humor! And it's a great idea! I'm sure Nicole assumed you'd all "get it." - 7/29/2012   2:49:48 PM
  • 31
    How clever! You have a wicked sense of humor! LOL! But certainly these were great points! Thanks! - 7/29/2012   8:08:31 AM
  • STEADFASTNSEE
    30
    Well that got my attention! - 7/29/2012   1:44:10 AM
  • 29
    Torampaul brings up a good point, terrible analogy it conjures up am image
    of someone having an affair /cheating on their spouse with someone at the gym.
    and Mookball, What is wrong with being Moral or a moralist? I love you even though I don't know you, But please stop cutting on our intelligence - 7/28/2012   11:20:06 PM
  • 28
    Mixing it up does keep things interesting ... at the gym of course! - 7/28/2012   2:39:51 PM
  • 27
    Very interesting
    - 7/28/2012   11:52:27 AM
  • 26
    The title certainly caught my attention. I think mixing things up is good too. - 7/28/2012   11:15:15 AM
  • RYLATORR
    25
    Cute article for sure, quite enjoyed it! - 7/28/2012   10:21:53 AM
  • MAKAN1
    24
    Interesting way to keep people thinking about switching routines. I liked it. - 7/28/2012   8:54:07 AM
  • 23
    For all the moralists out there, don't you know metaphore when you read it? You may need English 101 more than Spinning 310. - 7/28/2012   8:24:34 AM
  • 22
    Loved this blog - the tongue in cheek allusion had me laughing but even better got me planning on all the new "dates" I would make with the different options at the gym! Speed dating! LOL - 7/28/2012   7:12:55 AM
  • 21
    I agree with RunnerRachel: the analogy left me feeling rather uncomfortable, but having read the article, I also agree with the basic logic. It's a good reminder that there's more than one way to do 'most anything, and searching out and trying the alternatives does keep things "new." - 7/28/2012   6:58:04 AM

Please Log In To Leave A Comment:    Log in now ›


Join SparkPeople.com

x Lose 10 Pounds by December 5! Get a FREE Personalized Plan