September can become a pretty busy month at the gym. Somehow that back-to-school attitude still holds strong for many of us. As summer winds down, the lazy hot days are over and it’s time to crack down again. Beach lounging can only last for so long. For those who live in student towns, the influx of students coming back from summer is noticeable when there’s only a select number of machines for everyone to share at the gym. September is absolutely hopeless if you’re thinking of showing up and expecting the treadmill or bike to be free. Crowded gym getting you down? Here’s how to come prepared:
Go to the floor. If you’re headed to the gym during a busy month, bring a mat with you. Before you go, memorize a routine of favourite stretches or strength exercises. If the moves require a med ball or resistance band, make sure you pack it in the bag. Need inspiration? Check out these books for exercises tailored to runners.
Go at night. Going to the gym during an off time is the best tip for taming frustration from over-crowded facilities. If you know more people have been at your gym these days, avoid high-traffic times. Live in a student area? Go on a Friday night or Saturday night and take your pick of machine. Stay on it as long as you want.
Run before the gym and just do strength work there. Hoping a cardio machine is going to be free? Just run to the gym or find a pretty location to run around that’s close by. Get in the cardio and rely on the gym to do all your weights and toning work. We’re fortunate to have falls that give us some of the best running conditions. Take advantage before winter hits.
Sign up for a class at the gym. By signing up for a class, you’re ensuring you’ll have a spot in advance of when you arrive. It might cost a little more but classes like yoga and spinning compliment running perfectly. You may discover a new love or talent for whichever activity you choose.
Bring an activity log. Keeping a log of workouts, goals and general fitness information can give a lot of insight (here’s how to keep an effective log). Bring one of these along to the gym. While you’re waiting, update it or read it over to see if you’re on track and whether or not you need to make any changes to your plan.
Find the track. Do a track workout! Already have a workout planned? No problem, just do strides to prep yourself. Do an appropriate amount. Too many can take from the workout. Don’t let the strides become the workout.
Hop in the pool. At many gyms, the pool is the least crowded area. This may not be the case at your particular gym but it will never hurt to know when public swim times are. Keep a towel, bathing suit, cap and goggles in the bag just in case.