Before I go any further I’d like to state that this is not a criticism of the traditional gym environment, nor is anything I suggest supposed to replace existing gyms but would be best adopted as an additional space within gyms (well, perhaps in an extension built onto the gym).
On Sunday morning I got up filled with the urge to exercise. I wasn’t quite in the mood to go to the gym so I was searching for something a bit different from that. So I got up, showered, went out and exhausted myself on the local swings (deserted as always), walked briskly round the block and then repeated the exercise a few times.* I received an invigorating, fairly whole-body cardiovascular workout with particular muscle demands on the abs and certain portions of the arms and legs.
It got me thinking about how much more fun it was and how much more interesting it was than sitting/standing on an exercise machine (even though at our gym there are little televisions on most machines to take your mind off exercise). So I would like to revolutionise gyms by the introduction of previously child-centred activities. In addition to a sizable set of swings I think that all gyms should have several of each of the following:
- pogo sticks
- space hoppers (trying to tuck your heels under a swiss ball is only good for 2 or 3 shuffling bounces)
- pedal cars
- The skipping toy that goes around one ankle and you spin it round (I can’t find a free-use image so if you can’t imagine it put “skipping toy ankle” into Google images (or the search engine of your choice))
- Bucking bronco (yes I realise that’s not a kid’s toy, but it fits into my plan for fun, exciting, exhilarating exercise)
If there’s anything I’ve missed, feel free to comment 🙂
With all these toys it’d be much easier for everyone to motivate themselves to go to the gym because it would be fun, not just another mundane part of adult life. Those who wanted to combine it with a traditional workout could do so, and perhaps use it to motivate themselves through tough moments. The competitive men would do their competitive men thing and organise races and competitions, everyone would have a laugh at themselves and others and the general atmosphere would become light and really friendly compared to the serious atmosphere in the traditional gym.
Maybe it’s time we all gave up our work-outs and demanded fun-outs instead!
*If you are going to follow my example in this you may be interested to know that if you do not dry your hair before going on the swings you may experience a “volumizing effect” any hairdryer would be intimidated by.