The problem with gyms

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.

These are just done reasons why I don’t have gym membership anymore. I love running out doors everyday and I encourage you to do the same.

Do any of my readers have similar stories? I would love to hear them. Please comment freely.



Would you like to be profiled on this site

In addition to my posts I would like to profile other running bloggers on Each month I will be profiling two bloggers. If you would like to be profiled then please email me using the address with the answers to these questions.

1. Tell me a bit about yourself and a bit about your blog.

2. Why do you run?

3. How does running make you feel?

4. Where do you typically run?

5. What is your favourite place to run?

6. What distances do you cover when you go out. Does it vary or are you consistently the same?

7. What is your best achievement in running?

8. Have you any tips to avoid injury?

9. Are there any gadgets that you use on your runs? Any apps that you can recommend?

10. And finally………How do you keep yourself motivated?


Running a mile a day while on holiday

Tomorrow morning I am off to Cyprus for a bit of sun and relaxation. I have packed my trainers and other running gear and intend to get up early every morning to go for a mile run. I will blog during the week to let you all know how it goes.

Here are some reasons why I will be running whilst on holiday

  1. Running a mile a day is now so part of my routine that it will be hard for me not too.
  2. It will be a chance to see the resort quiet before the majority of people are up. Maybe there will be a few other runners out there too. I will be able to see the resort at its best.
  3. My metabolism will be kept high which will be important as I will presumably be eating more of the naughty carb laden stuff that I usually let myself.
  4. Once I return from my holiday I won’t feel guilty that I have not run and will be able to continue to easily without any adverse effects.
  5. It will be a definite start to my day and will feel good and not lazy when I am lying on a lounger.

Do you have any tips on how to run and exercise when on holiday?

running by the sea

The image in this post is from here.


Running faster and harder during your one mile run

As I have said before in previous posts giving your one mile run as much variety as possible is the key to you sustaining it. Doing the same run every day is going to get boring and your body will get too used to it. Shake your runs up frequently.

One way in which you can do this is to include some faster segments in the run. If we want to get technical then this is called HIIT ( high intensity interval training) but we don’t need to worry about that. It just means that during some parts of the run you are going to be running very hard indeed but not for very long.

Here is a routine that I often do.

Run for 2 minutes
Walk for 30 seconds
Run very fast for 30 seconds – let your heart pound and get out of breath.
Walk for 30 seconds.
Run for 2 minutes
Run very fast again for 30 seconds.
Repeat until your mile is done.

I find timing the segments exactly is really important. I use the runmeter app on my phone for this but you can use a stopwatch.

The above routine is just a suggestion but I advise you to find your own. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the timings. If you find that 30 seconds is too much or not enough for the faster segment then change it. It’s fun to find a pattern that works for you.

I wouldn’t do this type of run every time you go out but 2 to three times a weeks seems about right and tends to be what i do.

If you decide to do this then let me know how you get on. You will definitely find that your ordinary mile runs are easier and that if losing weight s your aim then you will lose more.

Thanks for reading and let me know how you get on.


10 Reasons why I run every Day

“The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine” Mike Murdock 

There are many reasons why I have decided to run a mile daily. Here are ten

  1. A mile run is easy to fit into the day. It takes me around ten minutes to run the mile and this is very achievable on a daily basis.
  2. It is a short enough distance to avoid injury.
  3. Over a year I run 365 miles which is the same as 14 marathons.
  4. It burns about 60,000 calories a year and probably more as the metabolic rate is kept high.
  5. The run can be done anywhere:- from home, from work or on holiday. There can be no excuses to move.
  6. I am able to challenge myself easily within the mile by incorporating a few faster segments.
  7. I don’t need to procrastinate about going for the run as I know it will be over quite quickly. The psychological barrier is easily broken.
  8. I do not need to think when I will be exercising as I know it is everyday.
  9. My metabolic rate is kept high because it is always being given a daily boost.
  10. As I run everyday I tend to have more energy throughout the day and am much more positive about everything else in life.

Why do you run everyday? I would love to hear from you.


Running more than a mile a day an what to do the next day

Sometimes, especially if you have been a regular runner, running a mile a day does not seem that much mileage. It is true that to really see the benefits of this you have to do it every day or every other day. However let’s say that on one day you decide to run four miles because you can or because you are running with a running club or with a group of friends that want to do more. The question might be “What do I do the next day”?

I see that you have several choices

Choice 1

Don’t go running at all the next day as you feel you have done enough the day before.

Choice 2

Go for a mile run and run all the way. Could be tough depending on what you have done the day before.

Choice 3

Go for a mile run but walk for some of it.

Choice 1 out of these is the worst. I think it is important to do something every day so going outside and seeing what you can do is the best thing. Even if you walk all the way you are still in some way sticking to the mile a day plan.

Choice 3 I find to be the best one, I find that if I highly structure it I feel like I’m making progress. I usually walk for 1 minute and run for 2 minutes until the mile is done. I use the runmeter app on my iPhone to measure and time. This is an excellent way of doing it.

When I first started with the mile a day mentality I thought that if I ran for three miles one day then I would not need to run for the next three days. The problem with this for me was that three days of not running sometimes destroyed that habit I had built up. It really is important to do something each day!

Mixing it up

If you really, really, really don’t feel like doing any exercise that involves walking and running then cycling or swimming is your next best option. Sometimes a change is as good as a rest and getting on a bike and cycling around a park is just amazing.

I would not like to think that you are restricted to running only a mile a day but I would be mindful of the next day and have an approach in your head of what you are going to do.