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Getting Better All the Time

I think and hope that regular readers of my blog will appreciate the variety of posts I throw up-random stories, travel tips, big life ideas, etc. I live a happy and fulfilling life, and the idea is that if I make my ideas and thought processes public, over the long term, people can take bits and pieces to improve their lives (just as I've done from other people). This has proven to be successful on some scale.

But two thirds of the visits my site gets are from first time visitors. They searched on Google, followed a link on twitter, or were emailed an article by a friend. They don't get repeated exposure, but rather a single shot. And, if I'm honest about it, a post like Yuka probably isn't going to improve their lives, other than to offer a few moments of entertainment.

This set of circumstances leaves me thinking about what major themes run through my philosophy that can make an impact in a single post. Last night, as I slept in a chilly tent with no electricity, no light, and no internet, I kept coming back to the idea of always getting better.

The Problem with Gyms

On Runaily

In the last ten years I have been a member of four gyms. They have all had the same thing in common – I ended up never going to them! I often ask myself why I used put myself through the rigmarole of joining gyms one after another – a kind of gym addiction you might say.

Here are a few promises that gyms hope to deliver:-

1. Exclusive surroundings with excellent facilities.2. A chance to meet other like minded people.3. A range of classes under one roof that you can’t normally do such as Zumba and body balance.4. A chance to have a ‘fitness’ schedule done for you by a trainer. They will tailor it especially for you – good if you want to lose weight.5. Personal training for one to one fitness coaching. Your own special motivator.6. A place to relax in the jacuzzi, steam room and sauna.7. A good quality cafe serving healthy snacks such as smoothies and open sandwiches.8. Exercise done in a ‘safe’ way with encouragement. Good if you are unfit and not done exercise in a while.9. Creates more space for you if you live in a small flat in a big city such as London.

Here is the reality of gym membership:-

1. They are expensive (I paid £60 a month) and often very busy at peak times. It’s cheaper for off peak membership but the allowed hours often don’t fit into your working schedule.2. Hard to get on equipment in the actual gym – queuing for tread mills and exercise bikes! There is no wait to go outside for running.3. They take much time out of your day. If you go to the gym after work several hours or more can be washed away.4. Exercise routines designed for you are often repetitive and not challenging enough. Gyms are scared of being sued if something horrible happens to someone.5. You have a complete lack of fresh air. Running in an air conditioned space can’t be good for you in the long run.6. It’s harder to motivate yourself to go to the gym often a car journey away than it is to step outside your own front door with a pair of trainers on.7. The relaxation areas are often too tempting. I often avoided the gym and plunged in the jacuzzi instead. Came out feeling lethargic and sleepy.8. The gym cafe will probably sell chocolate bars and muffins. Again too tempting!9. You need to be dedicated to disciplining your social life. A quick offer of a drink after work can cancel out a night at the gym. A mile a day on the other had can be slipped in easily into your routine.10. If you travel or have regular holidays then your exercise routine is destroyed. One back the habit has been broken and hard to get into it again. With a mile a day I can run anywhere and do. At the minute I am holiday in Mexico and enjoying my early evening runs before dinner.

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