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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter, Issue #340. Gym Germs.
February 01, 2023
There’s an ongoing argument about the wisdom of closing down gyms, of all places, during the coronavirus lockdowns. Today, of course, gyms are open again and mostly unrestricted.
Coronavirus aside, gyms have always been great places to get fit; still, the fact is they are also notorious bacteria and virus breeding grounds. Even frequent disinfectant wipe-downs by staff make sterile gym conditions nearly impossible. Keeping your hands off your face after handling equipment helps. Still, people make mistakes during workouts.
I wonder how many senior newsletter subscribers workout in a commercial health club or gym? I don’t know the answer. However, if you do belong to a gym and have ever considered working out at home instead, now might not be a bad time to make the switch.
My wife and I worked out in commercial health clubs for years and taught classes in them. On the other hand, we’ve also exercised at home, doing combinations of weights, resistance bands and bodyweight exercises. So we’ve switched back and forth between home workouts and gym workouts.
For several years now, I’ve been exercising at home, exclusively. I probably won’t ever join another health club. For one thing, home workouts are too convenient. Patty used to go to a recreation center for Zumba classes. But she eventually dropped that during the Covid lockdowns and didn’t go back. She has a Peloton bike and uses their programs.
As people get older there are even more reasons to workout at home. Yes, self-discipline is required. But the hours saved by not having to drive to a health club is another good reason to create your own gym. Our spartan home gym won’t pass for Gold’s — but it’s effective. Take a look. Even when we belonged to a health club, we would still often use our own home workout gear on days when we were pressed for time.
Home gyms can be as simple or extensive as you want to make them. Look at George Boedecker’s home gym, for example. Nice and very complete. Even younger seniors still pumping heavy iron would find plenty of it at George’s. Yet nothing more than a set of dumbbells or kettlebells, plus some bodyweight exercises, can be highly effective too. Add resistance bands and you’ve made your gym portable. Multi-purpose machines take up more space but are worth considering if your budget allows it.
At my age now, 86, I’ve graduated to resistant bands for most exercises. I’ve become a big fan of bands and I can workout almost anywhere with them.
Your home gym might be sets of resistance bands or a couple of kettlebells, or a big space filled with everything from free weights to fitness machines.
Flu, colds, and viruses of all types linger on gym equipment when there are multiple users. A home gym, on the other hand, can be kept comparatively germ free.
Stay healthy. Stay fit.
My Photographs: Subscribers have asked when the newsletter photo at the top of the page and my website pictures were taken. I’m 86 years old now. The photos were taken when I was a mere 70. Though I remain active, I am no longer nearly as muscular as I was 16 years ago. —LF
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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter is a free publication sent twice monthly to subscribers. The purpose is to provide honest and realistic fitness information for people age 50 and above.
I have never been paid or received compensation of any kind to write a positive review or endorse a product. If I say that I personally use a product or service, it is because I find value in it and have paid for it with my own money.
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The newsletter and website provide information to help users establish and maintain a fitness lifestyle. But fitness information is not the same as fitness advice, which is the application of exercise and dietary practices to an individual's specific circumstances. Therefore, always consult with your physician for assurance that fitness information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate for you.
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