As part of putting together my exercise plan, we rejoined the YMCA today. We had actually been members before we moved to our current location and used it quite a bit at the time (it was fairly close to our house). When we moved to our current house, we were in the same overall area and our membership included all of the locations include the one that is about 20 minutes or so from our house. But, we didn’t like going so far to the Y and never went there. Finally, we decided to drop the membership and just exercise here at home.
But, with the recent changes to my exercise given my knee and trabecular bone injury, we decided to rejoin so I could try out ellipticals there for awhile before deciding whether to buy an elliptical. We visited the nearest Y location today and it was nice. It wasn’t as large inside as our old location, but has two outdoor pools. It does have one thing the old location didn’t have at all, which is an active horse riding program. But, I doubt I’ll be using that. The cardio room had a lot of really nice Precor ellipticals in it. That will give me the opportunity to try that elliptical several times a week and see if it bothers my knee. I won’t be able to start that until next week, but I’m looking forward to finding out how well I like the elliptical. If I like it a lot I will probably buy one.
There is a possibility, actually, that I might not. The Precor ellipticals are really nice but super expensive. To put it in perspective, I could pay for my Y membership for 9 to 10 years for the cost of the higher end Precor ellipticals. If I find that I don’t mind going to the Y for 3 days a week, it might work out better just to use the Y for the ellipticals and use my exercise bike on the other days. Of course, I could decide to buy an elliptical that is less than half the cost of the Precor elliptical.
The other advantage of the Y is that I do like the weight machines. Yes, yes, I know all the reasons for favor free weights. And, I do have dumbbells at home. But, to be honest (and I know this is heresy), I like the weight machines more than I like free weights. By that, I mean that I enjoy the weight machines more and feel a greater sense of progress. Part of this is that I am less worried using the machines. I find it easier to do properly and I find it easier to decide whether to go up in weight or not. With free weights, I have more anxiety about whether I’m using proper form and I don’t find it as easy to see my progress.
Now, I’ve certainly used free weights before and I am sure I will continue to do so for certain exercises. But, having the machines available is great. For example, one reason I’ve had problems with my knee is that I have a lot of difficulty with lower body exercises at home. This whole 4 month long knee saga started when doing squats and lunges didn’t agree with my knee. Now, had I belonged to the Y at the time, it wouldn’t have been issue because I would have just used a leg press machine which doesn’t usually bother my knees.
So, I’m really happy to have the weight machines available for certain exercises. I probably wouldn’t have joined the Y just to get access to those machines. But, if I’m going there anyway to use the elliptical I will also go ahead and use some of the machines.
We’ll probably start at the Y next week. I’ve been transitioning from the walker, putting more weight on left leg. Next week, I think I’ll be able to start using the elliptical very lightly. And, I’ll be going back to physical therapy to do weight bearing exercise.