Exercise is a great thing. It helps us stay in shape, meet our weight/body/physique goals, and gets our energy levels up. I've been into fitness as long as I can remember, and growing up, I partook in gymnastics, karate, dance, cheerleading, etc.. For a little under a year, I've had a gym membership, and in today's post, I'm going to share why I got one as well as the pros and cons of a gym membership to help you decide if getting one is right for you.
I work from home, so I can decide if I want to work standing up, sitting down in an office chair, wrapped in my blankets sitting in my bed, at a coffee shop, etc.. This is a great thing, but it means that I have to be extra proactive in making sure I'm getting the physical fitness I need. Being at home is fun, but it's important to get out, so I initially got a gym membership to get motivated about working out and to get out of the house.
When I initially got my membership, I went to the gym pretty consistently; I went almost every day of the week. I also signed up in the spring, so the weather was changing and I was coming out of the winter seasonal depression which also made it easier to go to the gym.
Throughout the year, my gym attendance decreased. I explored pole fitness for a bit and did workouts at home. Since getting my gym membership, there's been times when I haven't been for a few weeks and even a few months. The thing about my membership and most gym memberships is that they're annual, which means it's a year long contract. That means whether I go to the gym or not, I have to pay anyway per my year contract. This is fine when I go, but it's not fun seeing that money taken out of my account when I'm not going and reaping the benefits. The only way out of paying before the contract is up is to pay a buyout fee. Even without going to the gym all the time, the fact that I can go when I want does make it worth it to keep. Also, the buyout fee is more than I'd want to pay. When I really think about it, the fact that I can go to the gym when I please and use the amenities makes it worth it no matter how often I go.
If you're someone who wants to engage in fitness, you want the freedom and ability to go to the gym when you like and will go at least 50% of the time or 50% of the duration of your membership, and you have it in your budget to invest in a membership, go for it. If not, than it may not be the best investment. The best way to decide if a gym membership is for you is to weigh out the pros and cons of a gym membership for you and your life.
Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post and/or that it helped you in some way.
R'Nelle CyRe' Collins
Period cramps are the devil. Many people often use something to relieve menstrual pain whether it be painkillers, a hot water bottle, etc.. I've tried a variety of methods to cure my menstrual pain, but today I want to share the latest and most innovative method I've found that actually works: ThermaCare HeatWraps.
Now, these wraps have been around for years, and some of you may have heard of them, but I started my period when I was 11 and I'll be 20 next month, and I'm just discovering them. No matter my period relief method, I've always still felt a dull pain throughout my cycle. I was browsing for a heating pad recently (as this is method is one of my favorites) and I found these wraps. I decided to give them a go as they heat up when exposed to air, and they're essentially heating pads on the go.
At the start of my previous cycle (about a week ago), I started to experience the expected cramps. That same day, I opened one of these wraps up, peeled back the adhesive, and stuck it to the inside, front area of my underwear as the directions instructed. The wrap was positioned right below my stomach which was exactly where I'd want/need the heat to be.
Apparently it can take up to 30 minutes for the heat to be as hot as it's supposed to be, but within minutes I could feel the heat at a temperature that was satisfying to me. The best part is that you can use each wrap for up to 8 hours. I've used about 2 wraps so far, and they last for hours on end (though I didn't use them for 8 full hours). I literally had no cramps while using them and felt no cramps for a few hours after. I've never experienced this cramp relief prior to using these wraps. On a side note: I got them at Kroger, but they're available through Walmart, CVS, etc..
While you may not necessarily enjoy your period, there are great tools to make it better.
Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoyed this post and/or that it helped you in some way.
R'Nelle CyRe' Collins
As long as I can remember I have wanted to do a split. According to my mom I could when I was a child, but I am not quite as flexible anymore. Though I've exercised for years, I just recently started incorporating stretching into my life regularly. To cut to the chase, this post is all about my flexibility journey, the importance of stretching, the benefits, how it has improved my life, and so on
The main reason I started stretching regularly is because I wanted to achieve my splits. The main reason I wanted to achieve my splits is because I picked up pole dancing in April, and a lot of pole routines involve spits, and I didn't want to do a modified faux split in class; I wanted to do the real thing. I also wanted to be able to show off during the improv round of the routine(s). While my motive may have been superficial, it motivated me to start stretching.
Though I started stretching soley for splits, my views quickly changed, and my motive for stretching transformed into me wanting to do something to keep my body limber, mobile, and healthy. I don't know what I expected in preparation for splits stretching, but when I began, I learned that warming up your body for splits is an entire process that involves stretching your calves, thighs, hips, etc.. That being said, the majority of splits stretching doesn't involve splitting at all. I also learned through these stretches that most of my body was tight, tense, and not nearly as flexible as it could be.
One of the best ways to prepare for splits is through hip stretches as your hips are responsible for the range of motion that allows your legs to go into a split. At first I started stretching my hips as I thought it would bring me closer to achieving my splits, but then I quickly discovered that stretching my hips was essential to functioning my best everyday. Whether you're doing an intense workout or walking around the grocery store, you are using your hips. They're essential to moving your legs, and it's important to stretch them regularly as they can get tight from sitting in an office chair, driving, etc..
I'm still stretching to increase my overall flexibility, but the main reason I stretch now is for the complete benefits. For one, stretching is relaxing. Deep stretching is best done after a workout when your body is warm, and it works best when it's accompanied by breathing. Before I go into a stretch, I take a deep breath in and breathe out as I sink into the stretch. This technique detracts from the discomfort of stretching and helps with focusing. Taking a slow deep breath in and slowly breathing out can also make room for deeper, longer, stretching. Keeping your muscles limber can also result in less pain after exercise. Stretching is also great for circulation which is essential to overall function.
Since I've started stretching, I feel a million times better mentally and physically. I'm more flexible for one, I'm able to focus better, I feel less stressed, and I feel more confident. Seeing progress encourages me to continue stretching, and knowing that I'm doing something great for my body that is improving my physical and mental function feels amazing. Stretching itself is a workout, so I'm not only seeing results in my flexibility but my physique as well.
I'm no expert or health professional, but I do have a stretching/workout playlist that I'd love to share with you if you're interested! The stretching videos are centered around stretches for splits, but they're great for overall flexibility whether you're working towards your splits or not. The workout(s) on this playlist are centered around dance including weight-free workouts, ballet workouts, etc. I update it when I find new videos I enjoy or want to try, so be sure to check back at it from time to time!
Whether you are as limber as spaghetti or as tight as skinny jeans, I hope this post/my stretching playlist will aid you in your flexibility journey.
Thank you for reading,
R'Nelle CyRe' Collins