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Why You Should Have an Affair at the Gym

By , SparkPeople Blogger
You put on your sweatpants and baggy T-shirt. Throw your hair up into a ponytail and wipe the make-up off your face. You fill your water bottle and head to the nearest elliptical. Headphones in, you tune out the world, focusing on the show you're watching or that new song you downloaded. You set your sights on the console and the clock, watching the numbers—calories, time, and distance—tick up until you've hit your goal on one (or maybe all three). Get in and get out, that's what the gym is to you. You're not there to talk or make friends. You're just there to get through your routine and go home.

But what if I told you that going to the gym could—and should—be a little more fulfilling? The truth is that having an affair at the gym happens more than you might think. It can change your mind and your body—and how you feel about yourself. If you've been going through the motions lately, feeling uninspired or tied down, then break free from monogamy and bring the excitement back with an affair!

Am I talking about "50 Shades of Gym"? No, but I have your attention now, right? I'm referring to exercise monogamy: using the same machine, taking the same class, or doing the same strength moves day after day after day.  If this sounds like you, then it's time to cheat on your routine.
 
If you just lie there (in Pilates class!) waiting for it to be over, something's gotta give. If other instructors or moves are catching your eye but you've felt too scared, unfit, nervous, or intimidated to try them, it's time to cast aside your doubts and just do it. In fitness and in life, variety is what spices things up and keeps us interested and excited. Your mind loves novelty—and so does your body.
 
Here are 4 reasons why you should "cheat" at the gym:
  1. Mixing things up prevents boredom. While most people are creatures of habit, exercise is one of those things where variety tends to keep people coming back consistently. Sure "routine" is important. But think of routine as more of where you go and when—not exactly WHAT you have to do when you're there. I mean, you can only do a single workout DVD so many times—no matter how much you love it—before you can recite every word out of the trainers mouth and start thinking that the little joke s/he told at minute 5 is more irritating than funny. In fitness classes, instructors change up the routines all the time. That's part of the fun! You don't need a trainer or class or DVD to mix things up.  For ideas on how or what to do, use these resources:

    Habits of Fit People: Mix It Up
    Ideas to Bust Your Fitness Plateau
    3 Ways to Refresh Your Treadmill Workout
    Break Free from Your Cardio Rut
    Cross-Training 101
     
  2. Variety unleashes your best body. Even athletes who specialize in a single sport cross-train and use a variety of exercise types to stay in tip-top shape. Your body is a smart and efficient machine. While program #3 on the treadmill may have been challenging when you tried it the first time a few weeks ago, your body knows better. It is no longer challenged. The more you can move your body in different angles and direction and at different speeds and intensity levels, the more your body will be "shocked" and continue to respond by getting stronger, leaner and fitter. It won't have time to get used to things (think: plateau) if those things are always different.
     
  3. Trying new things builds your confidence. This isn't something that's just important for teenagers, as high school health class may have led us to believe. So many adults suffer from low self-esteem and confidence. While some of that can be attributed to how you feel about your weight or body shape, it comes through at work, at home, and in everything you do. In my experience, exercise is one of the most overlooked confidence-building tools. When you try new things and see yourself improving, you feel good about yourself—no matter what the scale says or what anyone else tells you. Sure, it can be intimidating at first to try that group class and feel like "the only one" who struggled or couldn't keep up. But even that experience is helpful in building your character. And if you had fun and enjoyed it, all the better. The more things you can try through exercise—whether you fail miserably at them or master them—the better you'll be at trying, failing, succeeding, learning, and feeling confident in other areas.
     
  4. The novelty will take your breath away. New things challenge your body in new ways—and will have you huffing and puffing, which means you are once again challenging yourself (that's a good thing) in a way that your previous workout routine may not. In fitness, you do have to consistently push yourself a little harder (faster speed, greater resistance, longer workouts) in order to continue seeing progress. So if you're a little hesitant to change things up completely, you can get your feet wet by upping the ante on your intensity.
If you're married to your routine, consider whether that commitment is really serving you and your goals. If not, give in to your wandering eye and try that Zumba class you've been spying or that rower machine that looked intriguing. When it comes to your workouts, a little cheating never hurt anyone.  In fact, it's been known to help!

Happy April Fool's Day, everyone! I hope you enjoyed the little tease and humor of this blog--all in good fun!

Read More:
4 Signs It's Time to Change Your Workout Routine
8 Reasons Why Your Workout Isn't Working

Are you guilty of a monogamous fitness relationship? When was the last time you had an affair on your routine? Did it turn out to be a good thing?

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Comments

JVANAM 5/19/2018
Middle age occurs when you are too young to take up golf and too old to rush up to the net. —FRANKLIN PIERCE ADAMS Report
KHALIA2 3/10/2018
Great article! Thank you! Report
DEB-DA 2/19/2018
I recently fell in love with Rumble-boxing workouts. Fascinating how the idea of energy and tighter abs and strong arms became exciting again after only one visit! ;) Report
ROBERTRR1 1/31/2018
Allowing relationships go stray without some sort of assurance has been very gullible to me. A lot of spouses are out there lying, cheating, committing adultery, exposing the relationship to all sorts.
I was able to secure and be sure that my spouse was faithful when i got someone to gain access to her phones, mails, laptop and Facebook account. It was really relieving to know that the relationship was not all in my head...i am happy to share more about my experience...robertsteel685 On Gmail. Just be sure and safe out there guys. HEHE!! Report
PATRICIAANN46 1/4/2018
Great article..................Thank You. Report
MEAGOP 8/29/2017
Okay, so I'm a little late (by over two years!) but I think this is a very funny April Fool's article! It's true: while loyalty to a spouse of partner is a wonderful thing, devoting ourselves to a certain fitness routine is silly. However, we do it, don't we? Okay, time to be an exercise swinger! I am inspired! Thanks, Coach Nicole! Report
MSLOUIE3 8/16/2017
Interedting. Report
LIZSPRINGSTEEN 8/5/2017
I had to cancel my gym membership because they had too many problems with the building and I wasn't about to die of heat exhaustion just so I could go work out on their equipment. But when I was there, I did change things up. Report
"when" I had a gym membership I used to try some of the "other" machines. I found out I could easily "bench" 350+ lbs. on the cable machine.
Actually after you get over the awkwardness (at least in my case) it can be fun and a nicer change of pace (no pun intended). Report
And please lay off on the people who didn't find it especially funny. Some of them could have been the odd-man-out in their partners' real-life affairs. That has to be awful. I know affairs are often winked at now, but not by everyone. Report
Hm. Well, the coach opened the door. I don't know about workouts, but a mad, forbidden HUMAN sexual attraction makes everything more, uh, motivating. Well, I guess "exciting" is the better word. I don't cheat on my DH, but a little fantasy is good for the metabolism, as long as it stays a fantasy. Cute article. Report
ALF2005
Is this really that important to you. Seems like a lot of you live to workout instead of working out to live. You have to question the real reason you are working out. What are you afraid of (not being accepted by society, early death, etc) Do you really need to be in shape more than what your daily activities require? For most of us that is sitting for 14 hours a day with maybe a little activity to maintain a house or whatever. Amazing world we live in with all this hype over fitness. I don't see professional athletes living that much longer than the rest of us but look at all the hours of pain and effort they put into exercise. Granted conforming to societies norms for appearance(by looking hot I guess) does open doors but none that I would want to pass through. Seems like a big scam to me. Report
Oh ... do tell ! About the real stuff, I mean. Monogamy worked for me. But living not far from the hotbed of Ashley Madison.com best clients in the United States... why keep it online? But then, your blog would not be in a family-friendly zone, would it? Report
SILVERHIGHQUEEN
Good article. Shame about the fun police in the comments. Report
Really great blog! I've only been using the exercise bike at home, but this made me consider some alternatives to keep the interest alive. :) Report
While I do think we should cross train, I was not impressed with the humor of this article. Monogamy isn't funny, it's a worthwhile goal. Report
Another 2 year old blog. Someone is running out of ideas Report
I started cheating on the gym with yoga classes over a year ago. Now I've added walking to my cheating ways. Unfortunately, it's making it harder for me to make myself get to the gym as much as I should. Report
Coach Nicoles's "stuff": videos, articles have a huge effect on me.

Now, I can do only a small percentage of the exercises she posts (because of physical limitations I have). However, I always learn valuable tips, techniques, and modes that have helped various aspects of my program.

I know I have seen her emphasis on varying workouts, in "stuff" other than this slightly melodramatic presentation (I like it!). And, it has affected my workouts. I do my workouts systematically, and consistently, but I am always looking to shake things up.

Thanks, Coach!

Lee Report
Title caught my eye, but had an idea that's what you were going to write about.
I took water aerobics for a few years. same daily classes. I knew every routine, when each step/movement was coming. i could do it in my sleep. i had a hard time getting my heart rate up, I was bored. I started doing different exercises, different formats, and became stimulated again to workout. Still do some water aerobics, but mix up instructors, different classes and sometimes workout on my own. After all I know all the routines. Smile!!
Everyone has to find where they are most comfortable, and have fun. If it's enjoyable, you'll stick with it. Report
PROPMAN1
You had my attention with the title. You are so right - changing the routine makes your body happier and your spirit also. :) Report
This article caught my attention... Report
You're blog went the direction I expected, and offered great advice. Unfortunately, it reminded me of a friend who lost his first wife to an actual affair begun at the gym. Report
JOYCHAIRDANCER
(oups, sorry, that last sentence was not meant to be a pun.) Report
JOYCHAIRDANCER
Giggle-and-quote-to-the surroundings-worthy post! And easy to remember when the situation arises. Exercise sluttery, here I come! Report
Very clever Coach Nicole! The heading on your blog really got me, too funny! Report
I do have to say that (if you're single) having an attraction to someone else (or a few someone-elses) who works out at your gym is a great motivator. :) Report
NTENSE99
HAHAH i thought you were going to talk about how to use the various gym machines to "get physical" with your new cheating partner! LOL Report
DEBKING37
LOL talk about a misleading title:) Report
WOW...What a lead into a story.
I was getting all excited to hear the juicy details...
exercise???? .... okay, okay...I'll do it...cheesh Report
Great article. It's hard to to come up with thought provoking articles time and again. This article had a catch, much like a hook in a hit song. But the rest of the "song" really had substance.

If folks can't get past the moral twist of the story, I suggest not bothering at all to log onto the internet on future April Fool's days.

The politically correct objections of today are growing tiresome. I can enjoy this article without going out and committing adultry. Let's have some perspective. Report
Some great tips...and thanks for the April Fools! Report
Can I ask why SP has models instead of us "real" people for pictures. Like go to gyms and ask people if it's cool to take their picture while working out or something along those lines. Just the picture turns me off to this article. There is no way all the girls they have in their pictures actually just worked out. Not only are they not sweating but the skin has no redness to it. I know that when I work out I go hard so I'm sweating, a lot, and I'm redder than a tomato. Report
Call me old-fashioned but in today's society filled with broken homes, this article was inappropriate and in poor taste. The connotation is obvious and I have a great sense of humor. Report
BANNERMAN
Thought provoking and great ideas. thanks Report
What a FUN blog! Report
Gotta give you this one its easy to get caught in a rut, especially if you do the same things day in and day out, even changing it for a week or two can make a difference. Report
JSEATTLE
That is too FUNNY!! Good April Fools prank! LOL!!! Report
I had to read this blog. What fun!! And you are so right. Report
April Fool's Day !! LOL !!

Actually, when I signed up for a gym membership, one thing the employee told me was that the gym would be a great place to meet people. they stressed what a great way it was to meet people. Their sales pitch emphasized the social benefits of having a membership over the fitness benefits. If you wanted to workout, you went to Gold's ! LOL !

Report
Did we actually think that Coach Nicole was advocating being unfaithful to our spouses? Come on! I can't say that I actually laughed, but I did get the point. Report
You did get my attention! LOVE it! Report
Too funny! I, too, thought the article would entail dressing the part and talking to other people at the gym. Prefect timing for this article. I just posted my April goals to find some new exercises to get me out of this funk! Report
KATYFUHR
LOL! Great article! Happy April Fool's Day! Report
LOL @ the people offended by this. I actually stopped reading the article when I realized it was about using different equipment. I do that. I thought maybe the article had something to do with meeting new people or something. :) Not necessarily an affair, but thought it was going to be an analogy for creating new relationships. Report
Great blog! I think it's time to mix it up a little to break this frustrating plateau. Report
CHAVELA-B
Good article.

I just started Zumba using my Wii. I got it simply because the treadmill and the walking and the other things I was doing were getting boring and harder to look forward to. I know they made me feel better (can't say I lost much weight - but good cardio), and I also knew that I couldn't just go back to doing virtually nothing.

Thank you for making us think, and it is always fun to smile too. Report
Very good way to catch our attention! Good blog! Report
Nice blog, but whats wrong with dating my fitness instructor? :P Report
CAROLVY
Thank goodness this article wasn't really promoting having actual affairs with people at the gym, like I first thought!!! I would have had to leave a not-so-nice message to the writer! Report
 
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