This is the beginning of a series of articles that explore reasons to start healthy habits for reasons other than those pertaining to the health benefits.
There are always reasons to develop healthy habits that have nothing to do with being healthy. I think that recognizing these reasons (in addition to the health reasons, not as a substitute, of course) can help to reinforce your decision to stick to the change. It’s not easy to just start being healthy, so any extra support is always worth looking into.
1. It’s free (or it’s comes close)
Because you don’t have to pay extra out of your pocket to go there (like you might as a working adult), the gym is, for all practical reasons (see reason 3) free. At most campuses, you can get in with your ID card. When you think about it, it’s a pretty sweet deal. Gyms make a lot of money charging people to use their equipment when you can get a decent workout without any of it. As students, you and I both know the value of free. If you were willing to stand in line at Chipotle on Halloween to get a free burrito for wrapping a piece of foil around your arm, you better be willing to use the gym for free.
2. It’s local
Most gyms aren’t within a walking distance of the people that pay the membership fees for them. Like any business, you would normally have to make it to some shopping center or downtown area to use it. That means paying additionally for some transportation. A close gym removes the barrier of distance that tends to doom most workout regimes before they begin. If you already have convenience on your side, why not take advantage of the other benefits.
3. Make use of your tuition
Okay, so this reason might seem to conflict with the first one. In one way, it does. That’s because you pay (or your parents pay or your state government pays) for your tuition to attend school. If you have a ‘free’ pass to the school gym because you’re a college student there, that usually means you already paid for the annual registration fee as a part of your tuition. At my school, the annual registration fee for the gym costs $340. Therefore, if I don’t go to the gym daily, I’m losing money. For the same reason that you would go to classes or use the school transportation, consider the gym as something that you ought to use to take full advantage of what you’re already paying for.
Do yourself a favor and get better grades. Seriously.
5. They’re state-of-the-art
Okay, I’m speaking to anecdotal evidence here, but college gyms tend to be up-to-the-times. Primarily, they can afford to have good equipment there because of the money they get from this list’s reason 3. Also, because they’re well funded and large, they have a ridiculous variety of equipment available. I still see machines and other interesting workout apparatuses, that, quite frankly, I did not could exist. If not the equipment, college gyms have free classes that offer all kinds of workouts under the instruction of an expert. Whether you’re into Spinning, martial arts, dance, yoga, Pilates, or whatever, there’s probably a class for that.