Author Topic: Mustachian Swimmers: Gym Memberships?  (Read 3824 times)

onemorebike

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Mustachian Swimmers: Gym Memberships?
« on: April 21, 2013, 08:19:14 PM »
I've recently started dropping a chunk of weight by eating healthier and going beyond my normal bike-everywhere-for-exercise routine. In part I am able to do this because of membership at a big box gym by my house that costs about 30 bucks a month. I use it only for the pool, as I've got Morton's Neuroma in my foot and it has made running (and sometimes walking) for exercise extremely difficult.

Anyway, I'm wondering if any others of you swim for your exercise and if so, if you break your mustachian ways to have access to a decent pool or if you have a work around for getting into a pool regularly at a low cost. I have two young children so getting away for exercise (other than biking them places) is tricky in and of itself.

(Also, it is important to note that 3 weeks ago I cut dairy, gluten, caffeine and most alcohol from my diet. This combined with more rigorous exercise has me feeling better than I have in 15 years.)

Deano

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Re: Mustachian Swimmers: Gym Memberships?
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2013, 08:44:41 PM »
I swim once or twice a week at public pools. I think 30 bucks a month is pretty good, I spend anywhere from 10-40 depending on if I pay for a membership etc etc. I suppose if I were in debt and worried about my financial situation I might cut it out but I like to swim and I can swim with my wife, the only activity we can really do together consistently (it's great, she's way faster than me!).

You can work out at home, you can bike everywhere, you can walk/run...but if you want to swim, you simply have to pay for it.

A bit of other advice? Go have a coffee and a piece of toast. I think that if you try to change too many things at once, you often doom yourself to failure. You've changed a shitload in a short time, while I'm not saying you can't manage it, you're hurting your chances. Maybe start with alcohol, remove some of the gluten, and still enjoy a cuppa or two (a bit of caffeine is good for you and it helps with exercise!). Maybe remove all of your gluten over time. Congrats on your lifestyle changes though, I imagine it's a tough thing to do, but you're already seeing the benefits.


Paul der Krake

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Re: Mustachian Swimmers: Gym Memberships?
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2013, 08:54:04 PM »
Sorry to hear about your foot problems. It's easy to forget about them but realize how much we need them once they start acting up.

My employer provides a free membership at the local YMCA which has a pool. It's only 25 yards but it gets the job done. Since it's walking distance from my office I pop in regularly before, during, or after work hours.

If this were my only way to exercise, I would gladly drop the $30 monthly. That sounds like a reasonable price considering they are giving up quite a nice chunk of real estate just to hold water for us to play in.

Other low cost options include lakes if you have one nearby that's warm enough in the summer months, or the ocean. Free bodies of water large enough to swim in are unfortunately not that easy to come by.

The oldest trick in the book to balance family time and training is to train very early on the weekends. The internet is filled with stories of triathletes sneaking out before dawn to get a 70 mile ride before the family wakes up, or trading favors with their wives in order to get away for a few hours. It's awful the first few times (who wants to be up a 6 on a Saturday?), but after a while you find a sleep/nap pattern that works.

davisgang90

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Re: Mustachian Swimmers: Gym Memberships?
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2013, 04:20:57 AM »
I pay $24 a month for access to the great facilities at the Pentagon Athletic Center which includes a pool.  I can go during work which makes it super handy and well worth the cost in my mind. 

onemorebike

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Re: Mustachian Swimmers: Gym Memberships?
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2013, 09:33:04 AM »
I was sensing this was a good expenditure, but something about MMM's posts on gym memberships being for fools that don't build exercise into everyday still rings in my head every time I look at our monthly expenses in Mint.

A bit of other advice? Go have a coffee and a piece of toast. I think that if you try to change too many things at once, you often doom yourself to failure. You've changed a shitload in a short time, while I'm not saying you can't manage it, you're hurting your chances. Maybe start with alcohol, remove some of the gluten, and still enjoy a cuppa or two (a bit of caffeine is good for you and it helps with exercise!). Maybe remove all of your gluten over time. Congrats on your lifestyle changes though, I imagine it's a tough thing to do, but you're already seeing the benefits.

I hear where you are coming from, but honestly it doesn't apply in this situation. This way of eating came from a cleanse I did with my wife (Conscious Cleanse) intended to address what we thought were multiple food allergies. (not necessarily looking to lose weight, though it doesn't hurt!) After two weeks I saw such a marked improvement in my sleep patterns, lethargy, total energy, attitude, breathing/congestion and stomach issues that there is no turning back. I have certainly had similar failures in the past that were based on goals of "losing weight", but this one has nailed a couple of key allergens for me (dairy and gluten at the top of the list) that I can't see myself inflicting on my body anymore.


The oldest trick in the book to balance family time and training is to train very early on the weekends. The internet is filled with stories of triathletes sneaking out before dawn to get a 70 mile ride before the family wakes up, or trading favors with their wives in order to get away for a few hours. It's awful the first few times (who wants to be up a 6 on a Saturday?), but after a while you find a sleep/nap pattern that works.

I haven't quite gotten myself to do dawn yet, though I should try. My kids are EARLY risers right now, so I've been slipping out after bedtime each night to get some laps in and relax in the hot tub afterward. It has done wonders for my mental stability. :)


mm1970

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Re: Mustachian Swimmers: Gym Memberships?
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2013, 09:06:46 PM »
So, the gym membership is definitely an area where I am not mustachian.

I had a membership to 24 hour fitness, which is $99/year.  It has a pool, which is about 13 yards long and two lanes (no, that is not a typo).

I got injured running distance (half marathons) and switched to triathlons.  I didn't know how to swim, so I started swimming a lot.  Very quickly the 13 yard pool got old (try swimming 1000 yds, you lose count  very quickly).

After about a year, we finally joined the YMCA, 25 yd pool and 6 lanes.  It was a godsend, especially later while I was pregnant.  I did a LOT of swimming.

Anyway, I have two young children (7 years and 9 months).  I've had a hard time getting out to work out the last few months...baby teething, not much sleep, still nursing the baby.  But before the teething I did it in the early morning.  We get up at 5 am.  My husband gets MWF, I get Tues Thurs.  On weekends we're flexible, but often I get Saturday for walking with my friends and he gets Sundays for tennis.

I also prefer to get exercise into my daily schedule.  Pre-2nd baby I was biking to work a couple of days a week, and my Saturday walk was to go grocery shopping.  I do really like swimming though, and when you are dealing with injury (or are hugely pregnant), it's a great exercise.  I know I *could* exercise at home in theory, but I have challenges.  My house is too small to have a separate room, and it's very difficult to get even 15 minutes without the boys bugging me to do any kind of workout.  I used to be about to work out even on my husband's days.  I'd get up at 5 with him and pop a video in (P90X, yoga, whatever).  But then my older child was waking up when I did this (he wakes at 5:30 or 6) and he'd start bugging me.  Really the gym is the best way for me to get in a solid,  uninterrupted workout.

Plus the YMCA has a lot of family events and options.  There are parents' nights out and my son has access to the pool, swim lessons, camp, kids' gym, sports leagues, etc.  Mostly we just use the pool.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Mustachian Swimmers: Gym Memberships?
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2013, 09:17:38 PM »
I had a membership to 24 hour fitness, which is $99/year.  It has a pool, which is about 13 yards long and two lanes (no, that is not a typo).
13 yards?! That sounds more like tumble turn practice than swim pratice... I feel your pain.

DoubleDown

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Re: Mustachian Swimmers: Gym Memberships?
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2013, 06:34:20 PM »
I don't even play a doctor on TV, but many folks with Morton's Neuroma have had success eliminating (or at least mitigating) it by running barefoot. Apparently doctors are also now recommending barefoot running as a treatment for the condition, giving some professional credibility beyond just the anecdotal reports from us barefoot enthusiasts.

I took up barefoot running 5 years ago and the knee problems I used to have went away completely. My feet, which used to be pretty much just hunks of flabby meat hanging from my ankles are now very strong. They actually shrunk in length since I developed a much higher and stronger arch. I'd highly recommend trying it if you would still like to be able to run.

Just take it slow to start, starting with walking on forgiving surfaces like sand or grass, and slowly building from there. Swimming is awesome exercise too, but I know I'd miss running if I couldn't do it any more. Good luck.

Hotstreak

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Re: Mustachian Swimmers: Gym Memberships?
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2013, 11:46:06 PM »
I was sensing this was a good expenditure, but something about MMM's posts on gym memberships being for fools that don't build exercise into everyday still rings in my head every time I look at our monthly expenses in Mint.

It's not about spending zero dollars, it's about spending money on the things that really truly matter to you, and cutting out wasteful spending.  Swimming is not quite like any other activity, and people are right that you need to spend money to do it.  I used to go to a fancy pants gym for $75 a month that had a pool, and when I wanted a place cheaper and within walking distance, I had to give that up.  Now I go to an Olympic size pool with nice diving boards and platforms once a month or so, for $4.  I spend several hours there, playing in the water, swimming laps, taking a break for a snack and use the diving boards before I go.  For me it is well worth the few bucks I throw at it to have that experience, it really makes me happy and I think about it all week before I go, then for another week after.

One very Mustacian way to get in to a pool for free would be to teach lessons or a water aerobics class.  It's nice to get paid to exercise, and most places don't mind you staying after or coming around early to do your own laps or sit in the hot tub.

MamaKate

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Re: Mustachian Swimmers: Gym Memberships?
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2013, 01:01:00 PM »
Perhaps look into your local park district's options? 
I pay $12/month to use our local indoor park district pool.  The hours are a bit limited but I just plan accordingly.  In my area a for-profit gym with a pool or YMCA starts at $60 a month - crazy!