I used to be your typical gym bunny (to the point of having a weightlifter’s neck!) until I came to uni and it all fell to the wayside. Last month I joined the gym and wanted to share why I joined the gym in my 30’s.
Since I announced to my friends that I have joined the gym, I have received a wide array of comments. Things ranging from ‘but you walk so much’ to ‘but you’re slim already’. And fair enough, these sounds like reasons not to shell out a fair bit of cash for the gym, but you would be wrong.
Why I joined the gym in my 30’s
Just to preface this post, I am not going to show a before picture or gush with reasons why I am *fill in self loathing reason*, because I a) haven’t got a ‘before’ picture, b) I’ve only been a member of the gym for a few weeks, c) I don’t have a problem with my body. So that out-of-the-way, let me tell you why I joined the gym in my 30’s.
If you follow me on my social media, you will more than likely be aware that over the past few years I have had a foot problem and been for x-rays for a ‘clicky’ hip, which didn’t go away with walking. Nothing was found with any of the tests/explorations and it got me thinking. Was it actually something else that was making these niggles come to light?
Training for old age
As we age, it becomes increasingly more difficult to build muscle and from the age of 30, we start to lose between 3-8% of our muscle mass every decade. And for me, that is pretty scary! During the years of my knee injury, I lost almost all of my inside thigh muscle. It took a very short time to lose it and years (and I mean multiple years) of hard work to build it back.
With losing muscle comes with instability and weaker bones, and mixed those together you have an increased likelihood of injury and broken bones. Which as a result take longer to heal and might come with complications due to not being able to get moving or exercise sooner. (think additional swelling, sores and more)
With all this fresh in my mind from reading plenty of articles over the years, I finally decided that I should make it a priority. Besides, I’m not getting any younger, am I?
Going longer and harder
As you’re here on my blog, you probably have a vague inkling that I like to get out hiking and walking long distances. As I have come on in age somewhat, I have noticed that some of the hills I just to almost skip up are a bit harder than they were. I take longer to get up, have to catch my breath more often and inevitably get far hotter, far sooner. Heading to the gym means that I can up my ante. In the few weeks that I have been at the gym I have already noticed that my stamina is far higher and my recovery time a lot quicker too. (thanks to a good old HIIT workout! We’ll come to that another time) Being able to recover faster after long periods of exertion is certainly useful for nice long hilly hikes and long distance walks.
Is walking not enough?
This is one of the questions that I have had an awful lot and one that I also initially thought was enough for keeping fit. However, I have learned a lot in the time that I have been looking into fitness. Not only from a TV programme which explored which athletes were actually the fittest. (which at the time of me typing this, I can’t find a link to) It turns out that cyclists actually don’t activate many muscles above the waist, walkers are a close second to cyclists and and that cricket players are surprisingly the fittest as they use the most muscle groups.
It was while watching this that I realised that it is almost solely muscle that holds our upper body to the lower half and that just walking is not going to keep it strong. (no matter how heavy your pack may be!) In a settee based ‘ah-ha!’ moment, I realised that it was a lack of muscle that was creating the back and hip problems. I needed to reinforce the core and make things sit more firmly.
Why a gym though?
Good question, and one that I asked myself during the time I was working out how to go about this lifestyle change. And the answer might not be as exciting as you would think. Of course I have done the home workouts before, but with the distraction of six cats, technology and of course anything else that can catch my attention as I am clearing the lounge of furniture to sweat into my rug, it just doesn’t have that ‘feel’.
It is not just that, either. I honestly don’t know that much about fitness (it is coming!) so I have always enjoyed having access to people who do and can make sure that I am on the right track. The bonus of a gym membership is that I have access to all the weights, cardio machines and classes that I just couldn’t fit into a three bed semi. Let along afford them!
So that’s where I am up to with my current fitness journey. It is never too late to do anything or to make the change you’ve always wanted to make. Don’t let those muscle stats put you off either – they are not set in stone! It might take us post-30 people that little bit longer to see a change or some definition, but it will come!
For me it is about trying things, seeing what works and going from there! You never know, I might even bring some Nordic skipping into the mix…
So why I joined a gym in my 30’s…
In conclusion as to why I joined the gym in my 30’s, it is because I want to keep doing the things I love for longer. I have so much of the world left to see and I want to be able to see it. With a fit and able body. One which matches my mind and can take me easily on the journeys I want to take. If my knee injury couldn’t stop me, I’m not going to let age stop me either!
Now over to you! Are you interested in my fitness journey, why I joined the gym in my 30’s or maybe your own? Would you like to see more of this stuff on the blog?
Let me know in the comments and we’ll see how it all develops!
Here’s to getting fit after 30! Are you with me?!
…and I’d just leave this other bit of my motivation here for you to check out…