Fitness today comes at a serious cost.
To steam, or not to steam…? That is the question. I’m not talking about your broccoli. I’m talking about what you do to your body down at the gym. Gone are the days of sweaty little weight rooms full of grunting men in low-cut vests and veins throbbing with steroids. Today, the UK’s gyms have become like holiday resorts – jam-packed with steam rooms, saunas, Jacuzzis, foot spas and even meditation rooms. But while there’s no doubt that this stuff makes for a lovely outing, is it actually what you need from a gym?
I mean, it’s not like it all comes cheap. The average cost of gym membership in the UK is now £40 a month and the top tier memberships can be around £600 per month. Talk about shedding a few extra pounds! The real problem, though, is that all too often gyms now seem to be designed to help you break a sweat without actually breaking a sweat. They attempt to give you “a fitness experience” rather than to just help you get strong and healthy.
This isn’t an unreasonable aspiration for a fitness business trying to compete in a crowded market; it just seems a bit misplaced to me. And, if you’re not careful with these modern sorts of gyms, you can find yourself cast under their spell of wellbeing – living under an illusion that you’re getting incredibly fit, when all you’re really doing is paying through the nose to be a member of a certain sort of club that happens to be centred around fitness. You turn up in your snazzy kit, do a bit of yoga, have a little jog on the treadmill, maybe dabble with a few weights, and then hit the sauna or go and lounge about in the café slurping smoothies; all very pleasant indeed, but not quite a path to genuine fitness. It’s a bit like buying those colognes from Mercedes Benz – you’re not actually the owner of a Mercedes, but it gives you an agreeable feeling that you’re part of the club....
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