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8 Reasons OTHER Than Working Out You Secretly Go to the Gym

A gym membership is a terrible thing to waste. At least, that’s what you tell yourself when you just don’t feel like exercising. You paid for it, so you might as well use it, right? Of course, you can definitely still enjoy a fitness center without always necessarily partaking in the whole “fitness” part. There's no shame in finding creative methods for getting the most out of your monthly fee. Hey—the gym’s got some serious perks besides ample amounts of kettle bells and cardio machines.

1. Free Child Care
Okay, it's not technically free since you’re paying a monthly membership cost. But compared to the regular price of day care, it might as well be. Sometimes you don’t really feel like working out, but you do feel like taking a break from Mommy duty. The gym contract doesn’t specify what gym activities warrant the use of their child care, so go to town. Ditch the kid, then have a mini spa day complete with a sauna session. Maybe you’ll even hit the treadmill for a little while. Maybe.

2. You’re Out of Clean Towels (And Various Other Toiletries)
We’ve all been in dire laundry situations. You need clean clothes, towels, and linens but you also need quarters, detergent, and/or time. Luckily, the gym’s locker room has a magical fairy (or earnest employees with an industrial washing machine) supplying endless stacks of fresh towels. And what do you know? They also have complimentary Q-tips, lotion, hair ties, and razors. Can’t let those go to waste! Looks like you don’t have to drop $50 on a post-workout Rite Aid run after all.

3. You Kind of Miss Cable
You jumped on the ditch-cable-join-Netflix-Hulu-HBO GO bandwagon and are saving some dough. But sometimes, you miss the satisfaction of mindlessly surfing through 896 channels. The stationary bike with a TV attached to it is the perfect way to justify watching the original 90210 reruns, mind numbingly terrible-yet-awesome Lifetime movies, Dr. Oz, and the Oprah Winfrey Network. Because nothing beats old-school Luke Perry. What better way to get an endorphin boost and break a sweat? Oh, and the cycling is probably good for you, too.

4. When You Gotta Go, You Gotta Go
You’re halfway through your commute home from work, and suddenly the falafel gyro you had for lunch starts talking to you. You find yourself in need of a clean facility STAT, and the Chevron station or McDonald’s certainly aren’t ideal. Then, up ahead, a beacon shines bright on your right (you don’t even have to make a left turn? It’s a sign from above). It’s the entrance to your gym, and just because you aren’t planning to work out today doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of that giant handicapped stall that’s never claimed in the lady’s locker room.

5. You Just Want a Smoothie
Why does a Green Machine Power Shake have to always follow a rigorous sweat session? Can’t a gal just want one for the sake of wanting one? Yes, you might be the only person in line wearing street clothes and heels, but it’s worth the weird looks. Nobody purees kale and Granny Smith apples like Fernando behind the counter at the 24 Hour Fitness juice bar.

6. Tinder Isn’t Working
Remember when you had to meet potential dates in person? We don’t, either. Does a person even exist if he or she doesn’t have a swipe-able profile on your phone? Another way to meet romantic options (allegedly) is by finding common activities. So why wouldn’t you try to meet a boyfriend/girlfriend at the gym? There is nothing wrong with trying to find someone else who likes to stay in shape (and who also likes to utilize every possible service a gym membership offers). So if you want to wear full makeup while half-ass lifting weights once a week, we won’t judge.

7. You Need to Procrastinate
Are you on a deadline for a major project at work? Staring at the doors of a closet that needs a serious clean out? Tax season? Working out is a great excuse for not doing whatever it is you really need to be doing. And nobody can argue because, you know, it’s good for your health and stuff. Of course, you can’t clean your bathtub or scrub your oven this Sunday afternoon—you’ve got prenatal yoga class! Your not being pregnant is really beside the point. You’ll be way too tired and sore to get anything done afterward.

8. Clean Water: Lots of It
You can’t wait another second for that Brita to finish purifying (or whatever the hell it does). Might as well stock up several bottles of fancy filtered water from the gym’s fountain.  And that’s just the water you drink in endless quantities. Taking showers at the gym is also a lifesaver. The water heater pump broke at home? The water bill through the roof again? Save yourself some stress and some coin, and do your bathing at the gym. Just be sure to wear flip-flops; let’s not get too crazy here. And your gym has a pool and hot tub, you say? Take full advantage. Beat the heat or the chill, and enjoy yourself. You’ve paid for it, woman.

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