Being a part of a fitness center family can be fun in a lot of different ways. Finding the right gym that fits all of your needs can be challenging though.
I have been a member of several gyms in the Metro area. And while each has its own personal feel to it, there is not much of a difference between what each facility has.
The biggest factors in picking a fitness center is usually location, cost and hours.
For Des Moines native Chad Bissell, that was exactly the case.
“I chose the gym I did because they have a location close to my house, and it had enough equipment to accommodate people during busy hours,” said Bissell, who works out at the Waukee YMCA. “It has good hours and a good size pool. We looked around for about two weeks before making a decision on a place, and I also talked to a lot of friends and neighbors about where they go.”
Besides location, operating hours was a big factor in Bissell’s decision. He also looked at pricing as a factor.
“We looked for a gym with good hours, a gym that was clean, a gym with reasonable dues without hidden fees, and we also wanted it to be family friendly,” Bissell added.
Bissell said he spends about seven to eight hours per week training. And he does so because he wants to stay mentally and physically fit, and he knows working out can also help stave off chronic illness such as hypertension and diabetes. He also uses training to relieve stress.
“I really workout so that I can look good naked,” Bissell joked. “I want to do everything I can to avoid having to deal with chronic illness that require lifelong treatment with medication.”
Bissell knows a little bit about medication as he studied pharmacy at Drake University and currently serves as a Regional Account Manager at Good Health Systems.
Having a busy job plus being married with two children makes things difficult for Bissell to train, but unlike other people who use both of those things as excuses not to go, he finds enough time during the week to get his workouts in.
“Having a family, along with work, means that I have to get my workouts in during early morning hours when everyone is still asleep, or after the kids’ bedtime in the evening,” Bissell said. “Working out on the weekends is also difficult.”
When Bissell finds time for the gym, he does weights plus cardio three days per week and what he calls a cardio “brick” two days a week. His cardio consists of running, biking and/or swimming. On cardio-only days, Bissell tries to swim at least one mile, run a 5K and bike eight miles.
After weight training, Bissell’s cardio consists of either a 5K run or an eight to 10 mile bike ride. He even adds another six to eight mile bike ride outside in the evenings during the warmer months.
“My favorites are weight training, swimming and biking outdoors,” Bissell said. “I hate running, but it’s a necessity.”
Being in the health field, Bissell knows the positives a person can gain from consistent physical activity. And he wants to stress how important it is for people to continue or begin a workout regime.
“By making a small investment of your time five to six days a week, doing something as easy as walking, can dramatically cut down on the likelihood of having to take drugs every day of your life when you are older because the exercise can help you avoid hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes,” Bissell said. “And having to take drugs everyday becomes expensive, so invest your time to save money and your health down the road.”
Bissell said working out can also help with preventing injuries, can help avoid colds and the flu and can give you more energy.
“Plus, if you have a partner, working out together can be a great way to spend quality time together, which can make working out more enjoyable and helps keep you accountable to someone.”
If you workout in the Des Moines area and want to share your workout story, please contact me at [email protected] And if you liked this story, you can receive future articles through a free email alert by clicking on the subscribe button at the top of this page.