It is the new year and it is almost spring time. Yes, bikini season is almost here already! The time to start thinking about getting into shape or for some of us back into shape is now! However, it is not always easy; it is especially difficult for those of us who are differently able. As a person living with a disability who is essentially a “Gym Rat” so to speak, it has been an interesting journey trying to find a gym to workout in. Working out at home is fine if you have the space and the equipment for the exercises you want or need to do, but if not then I would suggest an alternative. Going to the gym doesn’t have to be a worry as long as you take the time to do the research. There is a list of things to consider when you are looking into a place to work out:
Is it affordable?
If you are on a budget this is an important fact you want to keep in mind. There are gyms out there that you only have to pay $10-$20 dollars a month or so, compared to having to pay $60-$100+. You just have to look for them.
Is it accessible?
Are you able to get to the equipment you want to use and are you able to use it. Keep in mind accessibility does not end on the floor. Make sure you check out the showers, locker rooms, bathrooms, and other benefits such as massage areas as well.
Is it a friendly environment?
The biggest thing that a person who is differently abled wants is to work out and not be judged. Look for a place where not only the staff members are nice but the patrons are friendly as well. Find a place where if you need help you’re not scared or nervous about asking or if you are the patrons are nice enough to look over smile, strike up a conversation or just walk towards you and are nice enough to ask if you need help without judgment.
Can you commit?
This is where the thinking process is really the timeliest. You have to decide whether you can and want to commit. Are you comfortable enough in what you saw and what you learned to start and stick to your goal? Is your goal important enough to you to want to overcome your discomfort for public places and your fears of what others might think of you for you to work?
For the parents:
As a parent there are plenty of excuses not to go to the gym to workout. The one thing you can look into if you do not or cannot find a babysitter or someone to watch your children is if the gym has a children’s area to watch them as you concentrate on your workout.
Now that you have a few things to think about before considering if the gym is the right choice for you. Hopefully the decision is a lot easier to make after putting all your worries and fears to rest by someone who has gone through the processes that you may have to endure.
Living life as an athlete who is differently abled and having to put that life on hold for a while due to personal setbacks, the concerns are all understandable when trying to get back into the swing of getting fit. It is never an easy thing whether you live with a disability or not. It is also not easy after taking so much time away from that part of your life whether it is a personal decision or you are forced to put it aside.
Keep in mind that even though it might be difficult but the results, whether it be to compete or just to be healthier in your life as you live it, are well worth the work.