..."The death of the treadmill has arrived. For the first time since gyms muscled their way into the public consciousness in the Eighties, there has been a sharp decline in the number of people joining them."
I read this this morning and thought...there's much more to that story and it isn't all bleak.
True, the figures for new gym memberships may be down, but that's partly because there is a much greater variety of ways to keep fit now and I think that people are much more willing to experiment with different ways to enjoy their fitness, rather than just dragging themselves to the gym in order to shed pounds.
Exercise has become a bit more of a way of life than simply going along to pump iron three times a week.
So let's not worry too much about how many of us are going to the gym.
If you like the gym, then you carry on.
I have a gym membership and I enjoy my visits there and make use of a variety of kit to keep my workouts fresh. I also love running by the river and cycling out on the open road. Until recently I had a rowing machine and some weights at home as this was the easiest way to ensure I could fit in my workouts ('til my wife made me get rid of them after stubbing her toe for the hundredth time!). I also enjoy yoga and certain elements of Pilates. Variety is the spice of life and I go with what I feel I most want to do for any training session.
If you prefer the competitive nature of training for and playing team sports then you might never need to set foot inside a gym. If dancing is your thing then you're better off in a club than a gym. So whether you prefer to swim, climb, ski, paddle, hop, step or jump, just find something you enjoy and you'll be sure to keep it up and continue to experience the many benefits of regular exercise.
And if that doesn't require a gym membership card, don't hesitate to get rid of it.