Elizabeth Doyle - In the Gym
Tuesday, 13 June 2017
What is it like to be a gym member at Brookes Sport? Find out from Elizabeth Doyle
I retired from the Civil Service two years ago, and lead a busy life spending time with my family and friends, enjoying the garden and doing basic DIY, such as decorating. Two or three times a year I meet up with my cousin and spend a day shopping, maybe moving on to an evening at the theatre or sitting down for a meal.
I’ve always been into health and fitness and have been a member of gyms since my twenties. Exercise was a way of keeping slim and as I have gotten older, exercise has become increasingly important in order to keep my body healthy and strong.
I take part in Yoga, Pilates and Spin classes every week, but my preference is to get a gym workout because of the variety of exercise it gives me and the buoyant feeling I come home with. I can honestly say that I feel better and fitter now than when I was working and that is because I have more time to spend in the gym.
My ideal day is to hit the gym about 9 am, have a good workout, and get back home to shower. By this time it is still only around 11am and I have the rest of the day to do whatever else I want!
Some people say gym workouts are boring, but I can’t agree with them because of the huge variety of exercise you can do there. Although there is a good selection of resistance machines available to use at Brookes Sport Botley, I only use three or four of them on a regular basis. The rest I do with free weights. If I’m feeling really energetic I then hop onto one of the bikes and do a 30 minute spin. Bliss!!
A few times a year I like to book some personal training sessions to keep my momentum going, and there's nothing like a standing appointment with a trainer to get me motivated for a workout.
Personal Trainers come with built-in motivation, and Vanessa has introduced me to free weight exercises I would never have dreamt of. From training with kettlebells, and performing squats, to various exercises with dumbbells for upper body strength. We also use dumbbells and medicine balls for core work.
A PT session is a great way to get variety into my workouts as my trainer brings a fresh perspective and new ideas to challenge both my body and mind. Just when I have nothing left to give, Vanessa encourages me to do another couple of repetitions. Usually I do a couple of PT sessions a week for a month or so which, as well as keeping me motivated, gives me an introduction to new exercise equipment to work with. The sessions also give us a chance to discuss nutrition and eating habits.
Although the gym can be a social place, I personally prefer to focus on my exercises. I have worked out with friends but I still prefer a session to myself. People have an impression of a gym as a place full of fit people showing off their prowess on the treadmills. In reality the gym at Brookes Sport Botley is used by ordinary people like me that just want to get fitter, maybe lose some weight in a safe controlled way, and just make themselves feel better.
It has a lovely relaxed atmosphere and unlike other gyms I have used, I never feel self-conscious whist training there. The staff and other users are really friendly. In the past my attitude has been “I suppose I better go to the gym for a session”, but since joining Botley I actually look forward to my sessions. The payoff is that I am fitter and healthier.