Today, I was back at Aquafit. Aquafit is something I have a bit of love/”hate” relationship with.
One the one hand, I love it, becuase it enables me to enjoy a really good work out, supported by water. On the other hand I find it pretty hard going, spending forty five minutes, being told what to do, when what I would like to do is swim!
In addition, because the water is supporting me, physically I can do more, I really enjoy pushing myself. This unfortunately, had led to me getting told off, by some participants, for kicking to hard, splashing to much or “wetting their hair”. It’s hard to get tbe balance right.
Today, I noticed, there a few familiar faces missing. There’s a pretty grim viral infection, doing the rounds, which is decimating people. I started with on Christmas ay and three week later, I still have a residual cough. There were also a few new, unfamiliar faces. These might be people who have been a member of the gym, for a while, who have decided to give aquafit a try. Or they might be “New Year Resolutionsers”.
As Big Ben bongs it’s way into the New Year (other clocks are avaialable) New Year Resolutions are made. To get fitter and loose weigbt, are high among them. Buoyed up, by the enthusiasm, they head down to the gym to sign up. New Year, New me!
I first noticed this phenomena, last year. In January, the pool was heaving and the gym, busy. I overheard people discuss, how amazing they were because “they’d swam 20 lengths” and listened to their plans to join “Weightwatchers”. By Febuary, the tide of new people slackened, by March there were few, of these once new faces, to be seen, either the pool or gym. The only evidence, of their former commitment to “go the gym, get fitter resolution” is that their 12 month contract still needs be honoured, necessitating the payment of x amount of money, to be talen from their bank account.
Committing to anything needs careful consideration. Doing more excercise, getting fitter, living a healthier lifestyle is hard work. It needs commitment of both heart and mind. Coming out of a swimming pool, when it’s -4c, outside isn’t funny. Even if you dried off and dressed! Getting up at 6am, to go swimming is hard work. Battling to swim, in a crowded pool, is frustrating experience.
I am pretty sure, many gyms, make a large proportion of their profits, from those people who never or rarely go. I’m guessing, many gyms, every New Year, run promotions…no joining fee, vouchers, catchy slogans, freebies, to entice people in.
Maybe though, what gyms should do is give people a trial period, offer support when that commitment starts to waiver, give advice and guidance when things get tough, maybe even offer things like a “buddy scheme”. If gyms are happy enough to get you to sign up for a year, should they not also they offer guidance and support, to help, encourage and support people to remain committed to their goals? In doing so, they will aid people people live healthier, fitter lives, could in the long run help wider society.